On banning guns:
“If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat,which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?” In a Radio 4 interview shortly after the Dunblane shootings in 1996. He said to the interviewer off-air afterwards: “That will really set the cat among the pigeons, won’t it?”
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM •
The U.S. military has a non-lethal heat ray. No details on what “non-lethal” means in this context.
EDITED TO ADD (4/13): Here’s an older article no the same topic.
Posted on March 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM •
Why does anyone think this is a good idea?
The police in Montgomery County – and area north of Houston, Texas – is the first local police in the united States to deploy a drone that can carry weapons.
He said they are designed to carry weapons for local law enforcement. “The aircraft has the capability to have a number of different systems on board. Mostly, for law enforcement, we focus on what we call less lethal systems,” he said, including Tazers that can send a jolt to a criminal on the ground or a gun that fires bean bags known as a “stun baton.”
“You have a stun baton where you can actually engage somebody at altitude with the aircraft. A stun baton would essentially disable a suspect,” he said.
I’m sure it works much better in the movies than it does in real life.
Posted on November 4, 2011 at 5:05 AM •
You can now get a Master of Science in Strategic Studies in Weapons of Mass Destruction. Well, maybe you can’t:
“It’s not going to be open enrollment (or) traditional students,” Giever said. “You worry about whether you might be teaching the wrong person this stuff.”
At first, the FBI will select students from within its ranks, though Giever wants to open it to other law enforcement agencies. Rather than traditional tuition, agencies will contract with the school, paying about $300,000 a year for groups of 15 to 20 full-time students, according to documents submitted to the board of governors of the State System of Higher Education.
Posted on July 15, 2011 at 6:31 AM •
It’s been patented; no idea if it actually works.
…newly patented device can render an assailant helpless with a brief flash of high-intensity light. It works by overloading the neural networks connected to the retina, saturating the target’s world in a blinding pool of white light. “It’s the inverse of blindness—the technical term is a loss of contrast sensitivity,” says Todd Eisenberg, the engineer who invented the device. “The typical response is for the person to freeze. Law enforcement can easily walk up and apprehend [the suspect].”
Posted on April 7, 2011 at 6:29 AM •
This is an interesting read:
It was a question that changed his life, and changed mine, and may have changed—even saved—all of ours by calling attention to flaws in our nuclear command and control system at the height of the Cold War. It was a question that makes Maj. Hering an unsung hero of the nuclear age. A question that came from inside the system, a question that has no good answer: How can any missile crewman know that an order to twist his launch key in its slot and send a thermonuclear missile rocketing out of its siloa nuke capable of killing millions of civiliansis lawful, legitimate, and comes from a sane president?
Any chain of authentication ultimately rests on trust; there’s no way around it.
Posted on March 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM •
Interesting reading, mostly for the probable effects of a terrorist-sized nuclear bomb.
A terrorist bomb is likely to be relatively small—possibly only a fraction of the Hiroshima bomb’s explosive power—and likely exploded at ground level. This means that the area totally destroyed by the explosion is likely to be much smaller than the area exposed to lesser damage or to fallout radiation (this nuclear weapons effects calculator from the Federation of Atomic Scientists will let you see the effect of different sized bombs burst at different heights). Because of this, Homeland Security people in the Obama Administration have been encouraging a duck-and-cover approach, followed by advice to “shelter in place” against fallout rather than trying to evacuate the area.
Posted on January 14, 2011 at 7:07 AM •
Back in 2007, I wrote an essay, “Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot,” where I said:
The JFK Airport plotters seem to have been egged on by an informant, a twice-convicted drug dealer. An FBI informant almost certainly pushed the Fort Dix plotters to do things they wouldn’t have ordinarily done. The Miami gang’s Sears Tower plot was suggested by an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the group. And in 2003, it took an elaborate sting operation involving three countries to arrest an arms dealer for selling a surface-to-air missile to an ostensible Muslim extremist. Entrapment is a very real possibility in all of these cases.
Over on Salon, Stephan Salisbury has an essay on FBI entrapment and domestic terrorism plots. It’s well worth reading.
Posted on September 6, 2010 at 7:24 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.