No Pain, No Gain…

By on March 4, 2005

I heard mention of this a while ago, one of the “non-lethal” weapons the U.S. military is working on:

THE US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed.

Of course, not everyone thinks its a good idea:

“I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research,” says Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. “Even if the use of temporary severe pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown.”

Amanda Williams, a clinical psychologist at University College London, fears that victims risk long-term harm. “Persistent pain can result from a range of supposedly non-destructive stimuli which nevertheless change the functioning of the nervous system,” she says. She is concerned that studies of cultured cells will fall short of demonstrating a safe level for a plasma burst. “They cannot tell us about the pain and psychological consequences of such a painful experience.”

What do you think?



  1. I can’t help but wonder – Why does the US spend so much on riot control when its greatest threats are small terrorist cells and new nuclear threats?

  2. Mr Rice may be right in his assesment of the situation (and I don’t know either way), but, while the “long-term physical and psychological effects” about using pain as a weapon are unknown, the long-term physical and psychological effects of being shot in the head are fairly well documented.

    If it’s a choice between shooting them with this or a gun, I’d say the non-leathal would be better.

    The only concern is that this weapon could be used as a croud suppressant unneeded, as because it is ‘non-leathal’ the would be less restrictions on using it.

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