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Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

Posted September 14, 2010 8:02 AM

Forget about speed detectors, the newest application of laser technology in law enforcement is a laser heat ray gun that officials plan to use to quell prison violence. When fights erupt, they can hit the inmates from as far as 100 m away with a blast of heat described as impossible to tolerate for more than a second or two. Do you think this is an ethical application of laser technology or are we veering into the realm of abuse?

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#1

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 8:25 AM

Depends on how you use it.

What would be the alternative? Should we just go back to shooting them with 308 NATO like deer?

Anything can be abused. I just saw a video of half a dozen security mall cops in Africa beating a defenseless shoplifter up with clubs. That was after they had captured him, brought him into the security office, and he had peacefully given up. What's next? Lit cigarettes in the eyes?

I think some credit is due for at least trying to employ less-than-lethal weapons where possible. I can't get too upset about the ethics of these types of weapons, even when they occasionally cause excessive injury or even death. No one sold them as being perfect.

However, if you argue that these devices are a form of torture (i.e., lasers, sonics, taser, etc.), then how ethical was it when law enforcement's only tool was a hollow point bullet or a full metal jacket round from a sniper's rifle?

Years ago when a prison riot broke out and could not be stopped by yelling at the prisoners the guards would just shoot them from towers on the walls.

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#2
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 9:46 AM

Perhaps a trebuchet that lobs counsellors at the miscreants is a more humane alternative?
(sort of two birds, one stone...)
Del

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#9
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 12:13 AM

Finally a good use for counsellors! Good job Del!

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#30
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/17/2010 12:40 AM

Counselors Last Words:

"You know!! You boys should calm down, and be friendly. It will make you much happier... and you can live in peace."

Did he say piece? YEAH!! Piece of an arm... Piece of a leg...

GET HIM BOYS!!

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#3

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 11:50 AM

I believe this is a perfect environment to use such a device. This is a great alternative to shooting them in an outbreak, or course they're less likely to be as afraid of the laser verses being shot. It is a more humane way of diverting a fight than with bullets and more convenient than a tazor which has a limited range.

It would be nice if they could shrink it down to a size law enforcement could carry and use on the streets to protect and serve on a daily bases. It could be helpful in many situations such as hostage situations, bank robbery's or domestic violence. Maybe it would cut down on the number of innocent bystanders being hit by stray bullets in a shootout.

Kept in the rite hands I believe this could be a very useful non-lethal weapon for our law enforcement and who knows maybe our military too.

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#4

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 2:27 PM

There is a "sonic ray" (my description) that is being used, by a security outfit, to deter Somali pirates. That might be as good a weapon.

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#8
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 11:41 PM

If you saw the movie " The Incredible Hulk" , that was a version of it. Movies give us a preview of all the new technology coming out.

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#5

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 3:00 PM

The fact that the news media can't even get the technology right and call it a 'laser' when it is in fact a 'microwave' (in both name and use in my opinion), and the fact it has been around for years AND is well documented leads me to the conclusion that some of those in the media would be be better suited as test dummies than people we should listen to and form our opinions on based on the lazy drivel that many of them seem to write.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System

Can the media not even use Wikipedia? What is the world coming to!

(note this rant is based both on this article and numerous recent media articles showing the same lazy fact-deficient or plain factually-wrong writing in the face of overwhelming and easy to access information to form the articles on).

Do you think this is an ethical application of laser technology or are we veering into the realm of abuse?

THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF ACTIVE DENIAL SYSTEMS! A safer alternative than existing methods (guns, clubs, rubber bullets, gas, etc). Some people will just never follow the 2 minute time-out rule and sit on their naughty stool in the corner.

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#6

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 3:20 PM

It's only abuse if they use it to punish not to deter violence.

And does it do any more harm then hitting them in the head with a baton. During the wait the guard has to take for reinforcements. To insure he's own safety. The inmates may do physical harm to each other that may need medical care. We the tax payer foots the bill for the inmates and the guards medical care. If it reduces that I say why not use such a device if it does no more harm then proposed.

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#7

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/14/2010 11:06 PM

I agree with AH that it is better than bullets.

But really, this is just another case in a long history of stupidity, where system designers insist on treating the symptoms and not even trying to identify and address the causes.

Imagine what would happen if prisons set goals, and dedicated resources to actually solving problems and rehabilitating those human beings who have deviated from reasonable behaviour. Is it ever going to work, to use force, violence, and drugs to exemplify appropriate social behaviours?

I guess it all depends on your understanding of what prison is for. If you believe in simply punishment, or if you believe in rehabilitation, the result determines what set of practices are implemented.

If you need ray guns, then why not make one that creates work ethic, peace, love, compassion and sharing inside the minds of the inmates.

Chris

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#10
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 2:35 AM

I prefer the Yuma prison concept. That was a deterrent!

How many of the clowns inside that are troublemakers and riot are going to be rehabilitated? Damn few!

Chris - I have trouble believing that anyone could make the following statement. Gangbangers don't exist in that universe - same as Taliban, ETA, numerous others.

If you need ray guns, then why not make one that creates work ethic, peace, love, compassion and sharing inside the minds of the inmates.

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#11
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 6:22 AM

Reminded me of an episode of Red Dwarf called "Justice World" where anyone who tries to perpetrate a crime has the effect put on themselves.

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#12
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 6:42 AM
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#13
In reply to #7

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 6:46 AM

The idea of prison being a rehabilitation centre for those who fall off the path is a nice idea and I would love it to be true. Unfortunately, prison just seems to be where the criminals learn their trade - I just watch a program (I think it was called "Americas toughest prisons" or something like that) and the general consensus was that the prisoners come out worse than they went in (generally speaking).

One guy (white supremacist as it happens) had been locked in solitary confinement for something like 1year (allowed out for 1 hour a day). This was his second stint in solitary confinement. He then got a review from the warden and promised upon his kids lives that he would behave if allowed out into the general prison population, within two weeks of being allowed out he was sent back to solitary confinement. How do you suggest that this person be rehabilitated when clearly the person does not want to be rehabilitated.

In contrast to this there was another prisoner (he had a 25year sentence) and according to himself, he was anything but a model prisoner when was first detained. In the end the warden put him on a training program where he would help train stray dogs so that the dogs could get a home. It appeared that he wanted to change his ways.

So in summing up, I think the role of prisons is two fold:

1. Rehabilitation

2. Punishment

The choice lies with the individual.

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#15
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 7:20 AM

The Yuma Prison was supposed to be a thousand times worse than the toughest today. Very few came out alive.

Some can be rehabilitated but certain groups such as the gang members, supremacists of whatever stripe, black panthers are next to hopeless - give them 10 years in a Yuma style facility, bury them after one or two and call it good. A few good ones might get caught up in it but tough luck!

For the most part with the groups I mentioned above no one except a fuzzy headed bleeding heart liberal can possibly hope for any positive response.

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#28
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/16/2010 6:06 PM

...but, back when the Yuma Prison (1876-1909) was in operation, NOBODY had airconditioning, so everybody was 'weathering' (pun intended) the heat equally.

...and, believe it or not, but the earthen cells were actually cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter than you'd expect (heatsink mass)!

...today's "tent" prison does a pretty good job though!

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#29
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/16/2010 11:52 PM

The tent prison is more suitable than the concrete ones for sure.

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#25
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 4:11 PM

"How do you suggest that this person be rehabilitated when clearly the person does not want to be rehabilitated?"

There are several books that I've read that had methods that had been shown to be effective. I am just going from memory here, but one was "How To Increase Your Intelligence" by Win Wenger... (and older book. he is now operating the Project Renaissance, but I can't find the references) In this, he talks about the effectiveness that certain therapies have on stroke victims, mental health patients, et al, and if my memory serves, he also discusses prison inmates.

another book was I believe Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People.. and perhaps "The Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pierce. Both of these talk about fundamental human motivations and effective policies that deal with them.

Another input source of information comes from this audio. It describes how the Koreans created prisons without walls during the Korean war. Another input source of information is "Reality Therapy" by William Glasser. Then there is Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz...

Another input methodology ought to be ISO 9001. The first thing that is missing from prison models is the notion of Continuous Improvement as an operating principle in dealing with people. It gets used for the building of furniture, etc., however, the purpose of ISO is to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself.

ISO is the near perfect model of how to accomplish your goals, and the major method is by root cause analysis of problems, and effective corrective actions taken. If most prison models are simply that of warehousing the prisoners as punishment, and punishing even more for cooperation, then no rehabilitation to societal standards will ever occur.

Society Justice in this case, is practicing blindness, and violating the Golden Rule.

Chris

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#14
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 7:15 AM

"But really, this is just another case in a long history of stupidity, where system designers insist on treating the symptoms and not even trying to identify and address the causes."

No more stupid than charging electronic system engineers with the job of playing psychologist.

Really, if you want to address the social problems it is better to do it much, much further upstream, before they are sentenced to prison.

There are many citations as to what the real problem is, but the root cause is simply how we choose to live with each other and how we educate our children to do the same.

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#18
In reply to #14

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 11:31 AM

"how we choose to live with each other and how we educate our children to do the same"

Alas, society teaches me against you instead of only the best for me and you.

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#22
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 3:37 PM

agreed. I would apply the same methodology to both populations. great insight. ga

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#16
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 7:39 AM

"If you need ray guns, then why not make one that creates work ethic, peace, love, compassion and sharing inside the minds of the inmates."

Well This device will create a warm feeling. Maybe we should start with that.

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#17
In reply to #7

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 11:06 AM

"When fights erupt, they can hit the inmates from as far as 100 m away with a blast of heat described as impossible to tolerate for more than a second or two."

Above is what is being discussed, stopping a violent situation quickly keeping a safe distance in the process. It has nothing to do with what you're suggesting Chris, which is a completely different discussion.

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#19
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 12:46 PM

Good point.

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#23
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 3:40 PM

I agree, but when this type of device becomes policy, then nobody looks for root cause, and the money has already been spent on the devices, and the statistics to support them. It might be effective, but it is not good enough.

Chris

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#26
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 5:22 PM

I think you are way too far out on the tree limb here. Quelling prison riots is nothing more than a symptom of a much larger problem.

That problem has to do with our social ethos and the form of defense used by prison guards is way past the point where the problem should be addressed.

Unfortunately, addressing the problem at its root is a political and social discussion fire-bomb that is not going to be settled here and really has no place in this particular discussion.

For that reason, I would recommend not dwelling on the issue so that it does not descend into a wild fire flame festival.

Just my thoughts.

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#27
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 6:14 PM

"The ox is slow, but the earth is patient".. quoted from move "High Road To China" with Tom Seleck. There is never a good time for change except now.

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#36
In reply to #7

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

10/09/2010 11:09 AM

It's the prisoners' responsibility to choose whether he/she changes or not. If an inmate chooses to riot, they choose to accept the consequences of that action, as also they chose the consequences that inprisoned them. My best friend went to prison 3 times, and no amount of rehabilitation FORCED on him helped. The change occurred when he didn't want the punishment of prison, so he then changed his own life. All prisons in the U.S. do have plenty of opportunities for rehabilitation, which sadly, most inmates don't accept or take advantage of. Again, it's their choice.

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#37
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

02/14/2011 11:35 PM

Chris you have the right idea. Every inmate should be issued with as much pot as they can smoke, ingest or otherwise consume. Riot? What riot? Hell, why bother with bars or gates...who would want to run away from that?

We don't need no stinkin happy rays, we gots the wildwood weed, which would help you take a trip without leaving the (prison) farm.

Heck we probably only need guards to keep the general public out!

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#20

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 1:46 PM

I believe every prison should be outfitted with one of these heat ray guns to detour fighting. I don't believe it's inhumane at all, it sure beats getting shot or beaten to death. I would imagine it would be pretty hard to fight while dancing around like ants under a magnifying glass.

I think Chris is right, it would be nice if there was such a thing as a ray gun to make you feel good and think pleasant thoughts, but there isn't such a thing like that yet. Rehabilitation in prisons isn't working out so hot right now and that's where they need to begin addressing the problem, but until they figure that out the heat ray gun is the next best thing to keep order in such a hostile environment.

You have to remember that these men and women weren't sent here because they forgot to brush there teeth before bed. They were put in prison for committing crimes such as rape, murder, robbery and so the list goes on. They aren't very nice people to be around, so when you get a bunch of them together in one area your going to have fights, Therefore a way to control them is needed and what better way than a nonlethal heat ray gun. If it works in breaking up the fights and nobody is harmed then I say use it and use it well. They're not at camp, it's prison, learn to be civil and you wont get zapped by the heat ray gun.

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#24
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 3:42 PM

just put all the inmates in a pool of warm water up to their necks, or even beyond with snorkels. that way, the energy required to fight will be too great, as slogging through water to shank someone is going to limit the lethality of those blows... the cost of policing the inmates will drop, and the water treatment system is relatively inexpensive...

now biting and eyegouging become the worst issues.

chris

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#32
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Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/22/2010 11:39 AM

I agree wholeheartedly. Every person in the world has arrived at a position in their lives where the decision had to be made between right and wrong. The vast majority take the right path and continue on. The people in these prisons have consistently made the wrong choices. And the old saw that they were not afforded the opportunities to be good I scream at the top of my lung B***Sh*t. There are people who extract themselves from those situations all the time. Is it easy? No, but nothing worth doing never is. When the issue of their comfort comes into question I am forced to ask myself what comfort they afforded their victims. They should really consider themselves lucky they are not summarily shot during violent outbreaks.

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#21

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/15/2010 2:45 PM

They are not laser guns, they shoot microwaves that cause an extreme burning sensation and does no permanent damage. Clubs can be used for torture too.

I have invented a type of nonlethal weapon that can paralyze people without killing them.

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#31

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/17/2010 4:54 PM

the people at the buisness end shouldnt be in prison, cant stand the time dont do the crme

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#33

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/22/2010 1:37 PM

It is 100% abuse and torture. You would not even use it on your dog. Find out why the prison is having a problem and the fights won't erupt. Would you use it on children in a fight in an elementary school?!

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#34

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

09/22/2010 5:35 PM

ethics qps i think that torture weather it is heat ray beams and thing like tazer zappers and forced drugging and mind control and things like that are just that torture and must not be tolerated in our society. There are better technoligies out there such as the uv lazer stun electronic phazar device with is a lot less painful where they must really need to control people.There is a kind of radar technoligy that can be used in some instances for screening people to mantain security instead of being tempted to take unneccesery agresive police actions will produce better security effect and even better overall security while substantualy reducing liability at the same time.

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#35

Re: Is Laser Heat Gun Akin To Torture?

10/07/2010 9:14 AM

NO, much better to "remotely" break-up fights than allow guards being hurt or killed when they have to mix in with inmates - many have little or nothing to lose and have basically lived inside jails for most of thier lives.

Besides most everybody who is in jail is NOT in there by accident, or were just "picked up" and dropped in jail for NO reason.

With direct information of jail and inmates: if a prisoner wants to stay out of trouble, there are ways, and places to go to NOT to get involved in fights or group problems and the guards can tell you who is/was and is/was NOT in the middle or started crap.

The laser may be a better method than other "less than lethal" (there is NO none-lethal weapons - accidents happen) rubber bullets, shotgun "bean bags" or the really nasty "rubber ball grenades" that fires off 360 degrees and everybody gets hit.

Better to have direction and control than NOT, besides criminals are those that have proven they do not play well with others and do not follow laws - so why should we also follow any rules.

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