Silent guardian

Non-lethal weapons are big right now. In theory, if not in practice. Think of Tasers, but also microwave guns, like the Silent Guardian™. The point of the latter is to induce so much pain in your opponents, that they will be forced to run away. The effect goes away as soon as you are out of the range of the bomb (or so they say). Leave no trace.

The argument in favor of such weapons usually goes something like this:  look, if we hadn’t used the non-lethal weapon, we would have been stuck with a lethal weapon, and maybe we would have had to kill somebody, even an innocent bystander. Isn’t it much better to just induce pain?

Opponents usually raise worries like the following: how non-lethal are these weapons really, wouldn’t they be used in many more situations than just the ones where lethal weapons would have been appropriate, couldn’t they be used for torture? –

But even opponents agree, usually, that it is better to ‘just’ induce pain, even really bad pain, if that means nobody gets killed. But is that really so? If you run away from a gun because you are afraid you might get shot, you have a choice: risk your life, or run. There is no such choice with the microwave gun.

Isn’t it deeply dehumanizing to be forced to run from the enemy because you are in so much pain that you cannot help it? Hasn’t some crucial choice been taken away from you, namely to die for the cause you believe in, if necessary?

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