6 "Non-Lethal" Weapons That'll Make You Wish You Were Dead

So with the whole meltdown of the financial system, you're probably thinking about rioting soon. But while you gather up your bottles and stones and get ready to face down The Man, there's something you should know.

The riot police and military are both plunging into the future of crowd control, inventing space-age weapons that won't kill you, but will make you wish they had. Such as...

#6. The PHASR (aka Crowd-Blinding Rifle)

This futuristic weapon is being developed by the US military, who call it the Personal Halting and Stimulation Response rifle. Why such a clumsy name? Because they wanted to call it a PHASR. Get it! Like in Star Trek! How cute! There's no way this thing could turn out to be horrifying!

They also call these weapons "dazzlers," proving for the second time in two paragraphs that many weapons designers have never known the touch of a woman. It projects a laser and is intended to "dazzle" and temporarily blind the target. It's kind of like one of those annoying laser pointers crossed with the BFG from Doom.

Why It Won't Kill You:

According to the makers of the weapon, when used properly it doesn't, under any circumstances, kill you or do any lasting damage. The beam temporarily blinds bad guys so they can be arrested, or they can be set up as a perimeter defense to keep an attack at bay.

Why You'll Wish it Had:

Ever went for a piss in the middle of the night, walked into the bathroom and turned on the light? Hurts, huh? Well this thing is many hundreds of times more powerful, and specially designed to project a wavelength that's most effective at short-circuiting your eyeballs.

Not many other nations are developing this technology. Now, this could be because the US military is far superior to those of the rest of the world. Or it could be that the 1995 Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons banned lasers and the US military just couldn't give a fuck about international weapons bans.

The ban came after concern from humanitarian groups, something about potential crowds of blinded refugees wandering around in a war zone and slowly starving to death. So the PHASR developers just turned own the power enough to skirt the ban.

The problem is that they still had to make it powerful enough that even the biggest badass enemy soldier would still go running the opposite direction, screaming and clutching his eyeballs, but that it somehow wouldn't do any damage to an innocent toddler's still-developing retinas. Seems like kind of a fine line there, but we're sure they know what they're doing.

#5. The Active Denial System (aka Massive Pain Ray)

The Active Denial System (ADS) is a giant heat ray (or pain ray as it's informally and less ambiguously known). The weapon fires electromagnetic radiation at the target causing a painful burning sensation.

It can penetrate through layers of clothing, though apparently can't pass through thick metal such as a trash can, so basically Oscar the Grouch should be fine but Big Bird is fucked.

Why It Won't Kill You:

The military says the ray only causes the impression of burning (they say your hair won't actually catch on fire, for instance). The ray just barely penetrates the skin, just enough to make your nerve endings think you're on fire. To prove this, they often invite people to stand in front of it.

Why You'll Wish it Had:

The military insists the weapon is safe because targets run away so quickly, and don't get a whole lot of exposure. Likewise, concerns that it can melt your fucking eyes were answered by pointing out how quickly people snap their eyes shut and turn away when blasted with the beam. So, what if you can't run away? Like, say, you are wounded because you're in a fucking war zone? We suppose you're going to lay there and feel like somebody stuck you in a microwave oven.

Not to mention that all of the safety testing was conducted by the army. The same people who want a green light given on the weapon's safety. So the testing procedure probably went like this:

The Army: Is that weapon safe?

The Army: Yes.

The Army: Excellent.

That problem is all of the scenarios that don't come up in testing (for instance when cops found out that tasers plus pepper spray equals fire). So the military will have a lot of explaining to do when the ADS crosses streams with a PHASR up there and sends the victim into another dimension.

#4. The Laser Induced Plasma Channel (aka Invisible Pain Fence)

The Laser Induced Plasma Channel, or Portal Denial System, is the kind of electric barrier/force field we've seen in sci-fi for decades. So, it can be set up in a corridor to allow only authorized people to pass through it. Should unauthorized people pass through it, well, let's just say they'll have an electrifying experience. They might get quite a shock. They will suffer severe electric burns.

It's basically this:

Yeah, go get yourself a crowbar.

Why It Won't Kill You:

The Plasma Channel delivers a non-lethal electric charge which means it won't kill you, just as tasers won't kill you. They just make you thrash around and scream about injustice. Besides, if you happen to see the below in a corridor and you don't stay the fuck away from it, then you deserve everything you get. And what you'll get is 10,000 volts. Darwinism in action people.

Why You'll Wish it Had:

Ever stumble and fall into a wall? Did it hurt? Ever stumble and fall into an electric fence? Did that hurt? Ever stumble and fall through an electric barrier leaving your body caught between the electrified plasma channels, twitching in the high voltage current while you scream out in pain at the Portal Denial System operator who can't hear you because he's listening to baseball?

If not, then don't worry. The system is being developed for both "military and civilian applications," so you'll have plenty of chances to find out.

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