January 25, 2007, - 10:54 am
By Debbie Schlussel
The military’s newest weapon is space age and sci-fi.
It’s a ray gun, which shoots a beam that makes people feel as if their clothes are about to ignite. It’s a harmless way to get enemies to drop their weapons. And it can locate targets and fire beams upon them from more than 500 yards away, almost 17 times the range of existing nonlethal weapons (ie., rubber bullets).
Unfortunately, the ray gun–referred to as an “active denial system”–wil not go into production until 2010, even though all branches of the military have expressed an interest in it and a successful prototype–”Silent Guardian”–was displayed for the press. It was developed by the U.S. military and produced by Raytheon.
Why so long? Reuters reports that it’s already been tested for 12 years on more than 10,000 people. Our troops could surely use that weapon now in Iraq and elsewhere (ie., Somalia–where we have gunships off the coast). Given that timeline, by the time it gets produced, Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists will already have trained for extreme heat/burning sensations. Right now, they aren’t trained to resist. So now is the time.
Right now, AP reports, anyone hit by the beam immediately jumped out of its path because the sudden, intense blast of heat–130 degrees–is felt throughout the body.
The system uses electromagnetic millimeter waves, which can penetrate 1/64th of an inch of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, microwaves used in the common kitchen appliance penetrate several inches of flesh.
The millimeter waves cannot go through walls but can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to say whether the waves can go through glass.
The weapon could be mounted on ships, airplanes and helicopters, and be used for security or anti-terrorism operations.
“There should be no collateral damage to this,” said Senior Airman Adam Navin, 22, of Green Bay, who has served several tours in Iraq.
Navin and two other airmen were role players in Wednesday’s demonstration. They and 10 reporters who volunteered were shot with the beams. The beams easily penetrated various layers of winter clothing.
Rush this weapon out now to give our brave men and women the tactical advantage. Otherwise, it’s just plain stupidity to publicize it to our enemies and give them time to train accordingly.
They could have kept it a secret and then just started using it. Why telegraph our new weapons and what they can do? Is that dumb or what? There’s simply no benefit to doing that.
Tags: Adam Navin, Airman Adam Navin, al-Qaeda, Debbie Schlussel, Green Bay, Iraq, Ray Gun Weapon, Raytheon, Reuters, rubber bullets, Somalia, U.S. military, United States