Non-lethal weapons are being distributed by the West into protest zones throughout the world, as well as being utilized in crowd suppression within the borders of the Land of the Free.
The producers of weapons such as rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray are quick to point out that it is not the weapons themselves that are the cause of fatalities, but rather it is their misuse through faulty training. The Orwellian nature of such a statement is staggering, as the admission of lethality is actually buried in the justification. In fact, one of the main manufacturers, NonLethal Technologies Inc., states in their own search description that they are a “Manufacturer of Less-Lethal riot and crowd control products.” Less-lethal is not non-lethal. Moreover, it seems disingenuous that major players in the military-industrial complex, which has been quite lethal to a large number of nations and peoples, should themselves be developers of supposedly non-lethal technology.
There is also emerging evidence from the front lines of Egyptian protesters, and the medics treating them, that these non-lethal weapons have increased in strength and lethality as Egypt enters its second revolution and the protester death toll rises. So, if these weapons are promoted as non-lethal, why are so many people dying?
So, let’s look at some of these supposedly safety-oriented weapons, their track record, and how the rise in strength and frequency with which they are deployed by governments poses a far greater threat than guns obtained legally under the Second Amendment by any citizen who wishes to defend themselves against legitimate criminals.
|German water cannon, 1930s – Wikipedia|
Old school — I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the now-old-fashioned fire hose, and its upgraded partner the water cannon. This was used widely in the civil rights protests of the ’60s, and appears to have actually been the first use of a so-called non-lethal weapon . . . in 1930’s Germany. It has more recently been used in countries like Belgium, France, and Northern Ireland, as well as in less-developed countries throughout the world as a tremendously painful crowd suppression, dispersal, or torture instrument. It has resulted in ruptured internal organs, broken bones and eye damage. Despite being very effective — from a police state point of view — and resulting in very few fatalities, it has largely been abandoned for more . . . lethal methods.
Firearm rounds — Rubber, plastic, beanbag rounds, wax bullets and more. There have been some widely publicized cases of this group of non-lethal weapons resulting in horrific injuries and deaths in America, with hundreds more in other countries that have begun employing these weapons. Here is a list of 17 people killed in Ireland (8 of them children) from 1972-89. The well-respected, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet studied the perpetual war zone of Palestine and the use of rubber bullets by Israeli forces. Their conclusion was that after a documented 152 casualties, “this ammunition should therefore not be considered a safe method of crowd control.”
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Chemical — Article I.5 of the U.S. Chemical Weapons Convention states that “Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.” While Article II.9 of the CWC specifically authorizes their use for civilian law enforcement. The definitions and criteria themselves are Orwellian, and the effects equally so. Tear gas has resulted in deaths, not only from suffocation, but even from getting hit with the canister itself. Pepper spray is supposed to be the more benign of the two, especially according to Megyn Kelly of Fox News who has now infamously stated that it’s an all-natural product, so what’s the problem? Sayer Ji, however, countered her health tip with a compelling article that shows how pepper or not — it is still a potentially lethal chemical weapon. The death toll is rising across the world, but particularly in Egypt where medics are seeing new, more deadly effects than they saw in revolution number one. Here is what the creator of pepper spray has to say about how his chemical invention is being used:
As an aside, I wonder how law enforcement is going to rule in the case of a woman who used pepper spray against other Black Friday shoppers? Will it be labeled an act of terrorism? Or does this act merely highlight the additional danger of making these weapons appear acceptable for crowd control, thus enabling a trickle-down tyranny.
Futuristic — The military-industrial complex, and its police state minions, continue full-speed ahead with non-lethal weapons development despite their horrendous track record thus far. Here are some of their high-tech devices which have now been unleashed upon the human body . . . and even a few new ones that are set to be rolled out. Under the guise of the label “non-lethal,” the frequency with which they will be deployed, as well as the limits of pain that will be pushed are guaranteed to rise.
Tasers — The idea that literally short-circuiting someone’s nervous system could not lead to death is truly indicative of who is running the show. Everyone from the elderly, to the deaf, to 10-year-old girls, have been tortured or killed by this non-lethal weapon. And it’s not only hand-held; police can fire a shotgun taser that can deliver a jolt from within 20 feet. As the promo video below raves “you are about to see the most technologically advanced projectile ever fired from a 12-gauge shotgun.”
Long-range acoustic devices — This was first put to use in the Land of the Free at the Pittsburgh G20 and was indiscriminate in the pain, suffering, and permanent hearing loss some people received. The device seems to have been judged a success for the police state, as it has been brought back for the #OWS protests. However, the maker of the LRAD has claimed that it is not a weapon . . . so it must not be, despite the video evidence.
Drones — To further increase the distance put between cause and effect, the ever-growing fleet of drones that are set to hover over America can be equipped with classic non-lethal weapons, as well as tasers and beyond. Nervous system strafing and chemical clouds are an impending reality for protesters.
Laser weapons — While seemingly futuristic, Sweden was the first to call for a ban on laser weapons . . . in 1973. In 1983 the Inhumane Weapons Convention was established to limit the use certain technologies, which by 1996 codified laser weapons, specifically. However, U.S. defense contractors had already produced a staggering array of these high-tech weapons including the visible-spectrum battlefield optical munitions of the Saber 203 and Perseus programs; the Los Alamos Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM) argon-ion-laser rifle and low-energy systems developed by the Air Force Phillips Laboratory (Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM), some of which generate near-infrared wavelengths. As an answer to the Convention, these weapons were dialed down. Shorter-range versions of these systems were even considered for civil law enforcement purposes (see Laser Focus World, Sept. 1994, p. 49), but so far have not been used against protesters. (Source)
Directed Energy Weapons – These weapons have morphed from the above focus on lasers to include the death ray of science fiction. High-frequency microwave radiation weapons cause the water in the upper layer of human skin to rapidly heat up, stimulating the feeling of being burned alive as the nerve endings trigger intense pain. This weapon is widely known by its euphemism: Active Denial System. It is noticeable in the video demonstration below that contrary to non-lethal weapons’ apologists, these weapons are not restricted to imminent threat situations, but are instead perceived to be a valuable tool for general control over protesters. And, yes, directed energy weapons can be deployed from the air via the Vigilant Eagle system developed by Raytheon.
Non-lethal weapons used against peaceful civilians are a sad extension of the war culture. Protesters of all stripes are increasingly viewed by the militarized police as terrorists; and the law of the land is changing to treat the whole of the U.S. as one giant battlefield where the protester/terrorist will be fair game for the whole catalog of weaponry.
Now that the Pentagon has decided to offer free military hardware to every police force in the United States under the 1033 program, we activists should be well aware that when we engage in peaceful protest to redress our grievances to our governments gone wild, if we wind up in the line of fire of any one of the non-lethal weapons listed above . . . we might just wind up dead.