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Microwaving rioters

Concerns have been raised about the US’s new crowd control “ray gun”.

The Active Denial System weapon, classified as “less lethal” by the Pentagon, fires a 95-gigahertz microwave beam at rioters to cause heating and intolerable pain in less than five seconds.

The idea is people caught in the beam will rapidly try to move out of it and therefore break up the crowd.

But New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday that during tests carried out at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, participants playing the part of rioters were told to remove glasses and contact lenses to protect their eyes.

In another test they were also told to remove metal objects like coins from their clothing to avoid local hot spots developing on their skin.

I’d say the best thing to do would be to fire it in very short bursts…but I’m leary of microwave rays in general, and unless the device was built so that it wouldn’t fire within a certain period, I’m not sure if it’d be a good idea to deploy it.