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Subject: Why isn't there more discussion about non-lethal alternatives to guns? rss

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Andy Szymas
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I'm honestly curious about this. It seems like in these discussions it's either "no guns and live in fear of those with guns, Sandra-Bullock-in-Demolition-Man style" or "own your own armory and be prepared to defend your home against any and all intruders, Michael-Gross-in-Tremors style."

Isn't there a middle ground of non-lethal weapons that you could use in these situations? Tasers, for example? I know they have a limited range, but it's not like you are repelling burglars from 300 yards away anyway.

ETA: I should add that I generally know very little about this subject and am legitimately curious.
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Chad
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Because the largest amount of gun usage is not for home defense - but hunting, target/range shooting, pest (vermit) elimination.
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My impression is that any non-lethal alternative is not a 100% solution. Heck, even a gun is not a 100% solution, but your odds of successfully defending yourself against a violent assailant are higher with a gun than a taser. In that scenario where you are defending yourself and your loved ones, you want the most effective defense possible. In order to make the case for non-lethal alternatives, you have to show that they neutralize the threat more effectively than explosive driven projectiles that cause bodily harm.

Expanding on that, some people also think they will need to use the weapons against the government in the future and want weapons that are effective in that scenario also. So guns are actually multi-role tools. I'm not in this camp, but I do sympathize with my first paragraph.
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First off, there is nothing non-lethal. Less-lethal sure.

Things like sprays have as much chance of affecting you as they do the guy you're trying to get away from. And they don't always work.

Of course, as one of the other posters pointed out, a gun isn't 100% effective either.

If you are generally curious, read In the Gravest Extreme

I'm sure can find a copy somewhere. It's really good, with a lot of useful information, and really should be required reading for anyone who wants to carry, or those who think they know better.
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Also, employment of most 'non-lethal' alternatives is predicated on the target not being armed with a firearm! I'm certainly not going to volunteer to use pepper spray on someone armed with a firearm! surprise
 
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Damian
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AndySzy wrote:
Isn't there a middle ground of non-lethal weapons that you could use in these situations? Tasers, for example? I know they have a limited range, but it's not like you are repelling burglars from 300 yards away anyway.

What are you going to do after you Taser someone? Tasers are a very short term disabling device (anywhere from about 10-30 seconds depending on the device). They are designed to briefly incapacitate someone who can then be subdued by traditional means.
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Justin Wertz
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Utrecht wrote:
Because the largest amount of gun usage is not for home defense - but hunting, target/range shooting, pest (vermit) elimination.


Obviously for hunting & pest elimination one would need something that fires at a velocity quick enough to be lethal. I never understood the target shooting argument, however.

Why do target pistols need to fire at the velocity they do? If the goal is to prove accuracy on targets, than having a non-lethal velocity is totally something that is viable. Why does the target pistol need to "pierce" the target? Couldn't target shooting be done equally well with ammunition that does not pierce the target?
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damiangerous wrote:
AndySzy wrote:
Isn't there a middle ground of non-lethal weapons that you could use in these situations? Tasers, for example? I know they have a limited range, but it's not like you are repelling burglars from 300 yards away anyway.

What are you going to do after you Taser someone? Tasers are a very short term disabling device (anywhere from about 10-30 seconds depending on the device). They are designed to briefly incapacitate someone who can then be subdued by traditional means.


I would guess then that you subdue them...
 
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Andy Szymas
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damiangerous wrote:
AndySzy wrote:
Isn't there a middle ground of non-lethal weapons that you could use in these situations? Tasers, for example? I know they have a limited range, but it's not like you are repelling burglars from 300 yards away anyway.

What are you going to do after you Taser someone? Tasers are a very short term disabling device (anywhere from about 10-30 seconds depending on the device). They are designed to briefly incapacitate someone who can then be subdued by traditional means.


Thanks - I didn't actually know that. I assume it would be bad form to just re-tase someone every thirty seconds?
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Damian
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weezknight wrote:
Why do target pistols need to fire at the velocity they do? If the goal is to prove accuracy on targets, than having a non-lethal velocity is totally something that is viable. Why does the target pistol need to "pierce" the target? Couldn't target shooting be done equally well with ammunition that does not pierce the target?

What is a "non-lethal velocity" and do you understand how ballistics and gravity work?
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damiangerous wrote:
What is a "non-lethal velocity"


Nerf.
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damiangerous wrote:

What is a "non-lethal velocity" and do you understand how ballistics and gravity work?


Yes, I have a working knowledge of ballistics and gravity. But, my question still stands. Isn't target shooting about accuracy, and not destruction of the target?
 
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I think the disconnect here is thinking one needs a reason to own a gun and that reason needs to be justified. It doesn't.
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weezknight wrote:
damiangerous wrote:

What is a "non-lethal velocity" and do you understand how ballistics and gravity work?


Yes, I have a working knowledge of ballistics and gravity. But, my question still stands. Isn't target shooting about accuracy, and not destruction of the target?


Accuracy at a distance. To get that distance, you need a very high velocity to prevent the bullet from dropping. That velocity (and I would guess even 1/10th of that velocity) could kill someone.

People are all soft and squishy. It doesn't take much to pierce us.
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weezknight wrote:
damiangerous wrote:

What is a "non-lethal velocity" and do you understand how ballistics and gravity work?


Yes, I have a working knowledge of ballistics and gravity. But, my question still stands. Isn't target shooting about accuracy, and not destruction of the target?


And what exactly is the maximum range for target shooting?

How do you think the bullet travels 500 meters, or more?
 
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AndySzy wrote:
Thanks - I didn't actually know that. I assume it would be bad form to just re-tase someone every thirty seconds?

I suppose you could. Seems risky for both parties though, as you're interfering with involuntary muscle control. I also don't actually know how many charges the batteries will deliver.
 
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COMPNOR wrote:


And what exactly is the maximum range for target shooting?

How do you think the bullet travels 500 meters, or more?


I guess that is why I'm asking the question. I don't know much more than what I see in the Olympics. There it seems the distances (biathlon for instance) are short enough that the guns could still be made to fire non-lethal forms of ammunition.
 
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Andy Szymas
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MWChapel wrote:
I think the disconnect here is thinking one needs a reason to own a gun and that reason needs to be justified. It doesn't.


Do you frequently buy items for no reason without any justification? Are those items potentially lethal?
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Damian
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weezknight wrote:
damiangerous wrote:

What is a "non-lethal velocity" and do you understand how ballistics and gravity work?


Yes, I have a working knowledge of ballistics and gravity. But, my question still stands. Isn't target shooting about accuracy, and not destruction of the target?

Yes. But considering the target is typically paper, I don't know what velocity would be required to not "destroy" it. A standard velocity .22 LR round drops too much after about 150 yards to compensate for. That's about 1100fps or so. How slow would you like to go, and how useful would that be?
 
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damiangerous wrote:
AndySzy wrote:
Thanks - I didn't actually know that. I assume it would be bad form to just re-tase someone every thirty seconds?

I suppose you could. Seems risky for both parties though, as you're interfering with involuntary muscle control. I also don't actually know how many charges the batteries will deliver.


High capacity battery magazines will be sold until they're outlawed.
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weezknight wrote:
COMPNOR wrote:


And what exactly is the maximum range for target shooting?

How do you think the bullet travels 500 meters, or more?


I guess that is why I'm asking the question. I don't know much more than what I see in the Olympics. There it seems the distances (biathlon for instance) are short enough that the guns could still be made to fire non-lethal forms of ammunition.


There are longer range target shooting competitions. Simply in terms of the distance a projectile can travel, once you reach 45 degrees elevation you've max'd out - and perhaps you can imagine the technical challenge in trying to accurately aim a firearm at anywhere near 45 degree elevation. Then there's the wind drift issue. The longer the range, the more velocity will be lost and wind drift will tend put the POI all over the place.
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Geosphere wrote:


Accuracy at a distance. To get that distance, you need a very high velocity to prevent the bullet from dropping. That velocity (and I would guess even 1/10th of that velocity) could kill someone.

People are all soft and squishy. It doesn't take much to pierce us.


I remember reading a magazine at the Dentist's a year or 2 ago where they were talking about gas combustion rifles, or something like that. They were able to scale the velocity up and down to fire non-lethal forms of ammunition (I guess like rubber bullets for riots) at various distances.

The idea was that at certain distances the bullet would be fired fast enough to reach the intended target, but slow enough to be non-lethal. The combustion chamber would be able to scale itself down, so at closer distances the bullet would still impact at a "safe" velocity.

This sounds like something that target shooters could conceivably use, as opposed to true guns. Again, assuming the aim of the sport is for accuracy.
 
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AndySzy wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
I think the disconnect here is thinking one needs a reason to own a gun and that reason needs to be justified. It doesn't.


Do you frequently buy items for no reason without any justification? Are those items potentially lethal?


Sure. I have three swords from Lord of the Rings....For no reason other than to look cool on the wall.

I may buy guns to hunt, protect my home, skeet shoot, kill varmints, or just look cool on my wall. It's my right, and no ones business what I use them for. So why do I need to justify "why" I own whatever I please, as long as it's a protected right, and I am lawful in their use?
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weezknight wrote:

I guess that is why I'm asking the question. I don't know much more than what I see in the Olympics. There it seems the distances (biathlon for instance) are short enough that the guns could still be made to fire non-lethal forms of ammunition.


Do a Google image search for "rubber bullet." You'll see that they are racquetball sized objects that do significant damage to those they hit. If you were hit by one the wrong way, it could potentially be lethal.

To accurately hit a target at 50-100m by something that doesn't look like a gigantic hand cannon, the ammunition will, by definition, be lethal.
 
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weezknight wrote:
This sounds like something that target shooters could conceivable use, as opposed to true guns. Again, assuming the aim of the sport is for accuracy.

They could shoot paintball guns or BBs if that was what they were interested in. So what?
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