Harnessing the Power of Mad Science to Quash Dissent! [tm]

Sweeping stun guns to target crowds:
Weapons that can incapacitate crowds of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe.

A weapon under development by Rheinmetall, based in Dorf, Germany, creates a conducting channel by using a small explosive charge to squirt a stream of tiny conductive fibres through the air at the victim.

Meanwhile, Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS), based in Anderson, Indiana, will be one of the first companies to market another type of wireless weapon. Instead of using fibres, the $9000 Close Quarters Shock Rifle projects an ionised gas, or plasma, towards the target, producing a conducting channel. It will also interfere with electronic ignition systems and stop vehicles.

"We will be able to fire a stream of electricity like water out of a hose at one or many targets in a single sweep," claims XADS president Peter Bitar.

XADS is also planning a more advanced weapon which it hopes will have a range of 100 metres or more. Instead of firing ionised gas, it will probably use a powerful laser to ionise the air itself. This intense pulse - which is said not to harm the eyes - ionises the air, producing long, thread-like filaments of glowing plasma that can be sustained by repeating the pulse every few milliseconds. This plasma channel is then used to deliver a shock to the victims similar to a Taser's 50,000-volt, 26-watt shock.

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16 Responses:

  1. recursive says:

    Why am I totally skeptical that an intense pulse of narrow-wavelength UV doesn't harm the eyes?

    Oh, yeah, because it's sufficient to IONIZE A PATH THROUGH SEVERAL FEET OF AIR.

  2. 33mhz says:

    I'm all for stuff that could bring a quiet halt to cars, 'cause entertainment value aside, I'd rather have highspeed chases be as short and nondestructive as possible.

    The crowd-dispersion stuff is heavily creepy, though. There should be strict, definite and narrow limits on when this kind of thing can be used, but I doubt that'll happen.

    • valacosa says:

      And if there were limits, do you think they would be followed?

      "So it's only torture if you intend to cause pain. For instance, according to the Justice department, if you were to attach electrodes to someone's genitals out of scientific curiosity, or to give their groin a jump-start, that is not torture. You can not be held responsible for any collateral ball-pain."
      - Jon Stewart, Daily Show

      • 33mhz says:

        And if there were limits, do you think they would be followed?

        Not always, no. Then again, the fact that the 8th amendment hasn't always been heeded isn't sufficient reason for it to have been left out of the constitution.

  3. jcheshire says:

    Hysterical juxtaposition of pictures. How long have you been sitting on these waiting for just the right news piece?

  4. torgo_x says:

    I demand that these weapons be given to me now! Don't anyone dare impede my Constitutionally guaranteed right to wave around doomsday ray-guns that reduce everyone to twitching piles of seared cancer!

  5. suppafly says:

    rumsfield says "back dat ass up"

  6. cmdrmoocow says:

    Close range Shock Rifle?
    Firing electricity as if it was a water cannon?

    How long before we get a Shock Rifle a la Unreal Tournament

  7. angledge says:

    Terminator: Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.
    Gun Store Clerk: Hey, only what you see, pal.

  8. 1423 says:

    I dreamed up this crowd-control weapon that allows you to target people with infrasound. Sound waves below 100 Hz can cause nausea, breathing difficulties, loss of bowel control and other effects that are hilarious when they happen to other people, but they're of limited use for crowd control because low-frequency sound is hard to direct, so the police end up getting a dose as well. I had a nightmare featuring a weapon that used two ultrasound beams with very slightly different frequencies. You crossed the beams on your target and the beat frequency between the out-of-tune ultrasound beams created localized infrasound and drove the target crazy. Tinfoil hats offered no protection. Anyone know if it would work in real life?

    • valacosa says:

      They made us watch this ...thing when I was in elementary school, and this exactly was the plot. All I could remember was the word "Doombolt". Scouring the internet has turned up nothing more than an ancient TV Series called "The Doombolt Chase" Anyone know anything more about it?

  9. masterxmind says:

    Water hose? Like the Ghostbuster guns? I don't remember what those were called...