Calls to ban hoodie-busting sonic weapon
Campaigners tell Mosquito to 'buzz off'
Campaigners are calling for hoodie-busting sonic weapon the Mosquito to be banned, claiming it targets innocent young 'uns and is an "infringement of their human rights", the Telegraph reports.
The Mosquito emits a high-pitched whine inaudible to the majority of adults over 30, while causing yoof ne'er-do-wells a level of irritation sufficient to drive them from any premises packing the device. Successful trials a couple of years back in a grocery store in Barry, South Wales, and a shop in inventor Howard Stapleton's home town of Merthyr Tydfil, provoked plenty of interest in the product, and there are now an estimated 3,500 deployed nationwide in the fight against anti-social tearaways.
However, a campaign led by the children's commissioner and backed by civil liberties outfit Liberty says the Mosquito should "Buzz off", as the slogan puts it.
Children's commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, explained: "These devices are indiscriminate and target all children and young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving. The use of measures such as these are simply demonising children and young people, creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old."
Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti chipped in with: "What type of society uses a low-level sonic weapon on its children? Imagine the outcry if a device was introduced that caused blanket discomfort to people of one race or gender, rather than to our kids."
Stapleton is having none of it, and said he wants "a test case in the courts to firmly establish the legality of his invention".
He countered: "People talk about infringing human rights but what about the human rights of the shopkeeper who is seeing his business collapse because groups of unruly teenagers are driving away his customers? The noise is only emitted over a 15 metre radius and no one is taking away the rights of teenagers to walk away." ®
Surely illegal ?
In my town we have an old clock tower, when I say old, it's a century or two old. Guess what, like many old clock towers it chimes, audibly, which was once a service to the townsfolk who didn't have a clock of their own.
Of course, people that live in the town are used to it, even like it.
But a few years ago, some <insert expletive> woman moved into the town and AFTER moving in decided that she didn't like the noise of the clock. So the clock was silenced under threat of criminal proceedings for statutory nuisance.
So if nuisance laws allow a stupid woman to have a chiming clock silenced that most of us in the town agreed she should not have moved within earshot of, surely these devices are also causing statutory nuisance and can be shut down (forcibly if needed) by the local council. Certainly, if I come across one then I'll be onto the councils environmental control department straight away.
And for the record, I'm 100% behind those enlightened posters above who are able to see that these devices do not even attempt to treat the underlying problems and will, in the long term, simply make them worse. And yes, I can tell you that I have suffered from various forms of attack and bullying over the years - but I do NOT support such stupid measures as these.
But I can understand why some people should feel they are forced into it by inaction by those who COULD deal with the problems.
Completely coincidentally I was in a special needs school today doing some IT work - the school deals with problem youngsters who have probably been excluded from normal schools. They had a poster on the wall in the office, which (having done a quick search) I now find to be an abridged version of "Children Learn What They Live" by Dorothy Law Nolte - I suggest a few of you look it up and read it, because (IMHO) it's quite true.
The first stanza (of the approved abridged version goes :
If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
Many of the attitudes expressed above fit all four of those negatives - so if you hurl criticism, hostility, ridicule and shame on some section of the community (in this case all "teenagers"), how on earth can you reasonably expect anything other than the outcome above ?
Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way trying to claim there is no problem, just point out that the approach advocated will do nothing but make them worse.
This is wrong in so many ways!
Primarily because children (and in-fact everyone) should learn right from wrong thru deductive reasoning rather than by threart of harm or injury.
The joys of screaming tinitus