UK cops eye shotgun cartridge Taser
'eXtended Range Electronic Projectile' a bad mofo
The Home office has confirmed it's eyeing the Taser eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP) for possible deployment with UK police forces, the Guardian reports.
Taser describes the XREP as "the most technologically advanced projectile ever deployed from a 12-gauge shotgun".
The company elaborates: "It delivers a similar Neuro Muscular Incapacitation (NMI) bio-effect as our handheld TASER® X26™ ECD, but can be delivered to a maximum effective range of 100 feet (30.48 meters), combining blunt impact force. The battery supply is fully integrated into the chassis and provides the power to drive the XREP projectile engine."
Taser co-founder Rick Smith told reporters last month at the US roll-out of the XREP: "It's a bigger projectile to reach out to extended ranges. It's moving faster; it's going to, potentially, cause a much bigger bruise, contusions. It's going to be a pretty bad thing."
Those unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of an XREP will suffer "autonomously generates NMI for 20 continuous seconds" - something which doesn't much impress Amnesty International, which expressed "serious concern" over the weapon.
Oliver Sprague, the campaigning organisation's UK arms programme director, said: "This is effectively a shotgun that fires electric-shock bullets. Because this bullet can be fired wire-free from a standard shotgun there is a heightened risk of causing serious injury to the face and head.
"We're also concerned by the fact that these weapons will deliver an excruciatingly painful shock for 20 seconds. Amnesty would be very alarmed if the Home Office were to consider authorising this weapon to police officers in the UK."
Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle responded that the XREP would cause "less pain when it hit than other 'less lethal' impact munitions and was a safer way to immobilise someone than shooting them with live ammunition".
He explained: "The premise behind the XREP is not to cause or impart physical pain, it is to cause incapacitation. I'm not saying this is risk free: it will leave potential bruising and it could cause a contusion. But when you compare it to a traditional impact munition it will be significantly less likely to cause injury and much more accurate."
Whether belligerent UK crims will eventually enjoy the XREP experience remains to be seen. A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office Scientific Development Branch are considering it as part of their ongoing remit to evaluate new less lethal technologies."
Taser's XREP demo video is right here. ®
climate of fear
a shotgun firing blanks at close range can kill with ease. these new weapons are absolutely guaranteed to stop human beings in their tracks, whilst inflicting (just about) the maximum corporeal damage possible within the framework of the law. there is every possibility that these kind of cartridges will fall foul of the geneva convention, which a) proscribes the use of shotguns (using flechette or area-effect ammunition) and b) the use of torture against protected persons, i.e. non-combatants and civilians. this is an American weapon and the US don't give a flying fuck about this, of course: even their police go tooled up with these brutally inhumane devices. that this country is considering following American lead on this particular issue shows the depths to which this country's leadership has sunk and belies the total lack of regard in which they hold their population. i should imagine liberty international will be taking a very dim view of the above described weaponry, and rightly so.
it seems that we may now face a situation where the police may be carrying loaded shotguns on UK streets. how are civilians supposed to react to this overt display of force? not even our military use shotguns against enemy combatants. what the fuck are the government on? if these 'less-than-lethal' weapons are deployed, criminals will have to get actual guns and the police will have no-one to blame but themselves when they start getting pulped in their boots. no sensible career criminal will want to start carrying heavy metal, but by upping this particular ante the government will render very heavily leaded firearms the only remaining option to the serious outlaw. moreover, these devices, once in general use throughout the MET (for it will be they doing the testing) will, absolutely guaranteed, be used against innocents, peaceful protesters in the interests of 'maintaining order' - viz. repression.
the cops, like anyone trying to do a difficult job, will always moan that they don't have enough resources. this may be true in certain cases, but they don't need to be armed with shotguns loaded with high tech weaponry to protect the public from itself - they can already deploy lethal weapons when necessary, a truncheon should be more than sufficient when not. it is hard to admit, but when our establishment considers arming its civilian peacekeepers with weapons like shotgun fired electric shock ammunition, it only seems to be seeking the next step on the route to blur the line between citizen and criminal.
i read articles like the above and cannot help but think about civil disobedience. AC for very fucking obvious reasons.
"Less lethal" weapons are always deployed on the basis that "it's better than shooting them with a gun".
But the procedures in place for investigating a taser discharge are much much more relaxed than the procedures for investigating a fatal shooting. (And it seems even an unprovoked fatal shooting of an innocent man won't get a cop fired).
So the cops use them routinely for trivial things that couldn't possibly justify the use of a gun. They do this because it makes the cop's job easier and safer and they know there won't be repercussions. Cops have no incentive to care about the possibly innocent person they're tasering. (Of course, good cops will care and won't use tasers in this way. But in any job there are plenty of people who don't care, and need an incentive. The good cops might also get in trouble for spending an hour to talk down the guy with a knife, when they could've just spent 1 minute tasering him and then gone on to the next job).
The only solution is to refuse any deployment of tasers.
As I understand it...
...tasers employ Direct Current rather than Alternating Current, so it shouldn't be necessary to ground oneself to defend from them. All that would be needed is a preferred path for the electricity to the salt-water in human flesh. Metal mesh should do the job nicely--with lower resistance, the electricity should prefer the metal, giving you a much weaker shock should you still be contacted.
People have mentioned missed shots that hit innocents. I'm wondering what'll happen if said shot happens to go in the drink...or worse, into an occupied swimming pool.