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Pentagon Developed 'Laughing Bullets'

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-must-not-have-a-hysteria-gap dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 286

plasmadroid writes "It might sound like a joke, but documents unearthed by New Scientist show that the Pentagon actually funded research into 'non-lethal' bullets that would also hit a target with a dose of laughing gas. That way, they'd not only be stunned but incapacitated by fits of giggles. Another idea was to put stink bombs inside rubber bullets. I guess it would work, but the idea of crowds of rioters giggling uncontrollably while being pelted with rubber bullets is truly bizarre..."

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Why do we need the gas? (5, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716421)

I know I laugh every time I pull the trigger.

That's just the way we roll, in my hood.

Re:Why do we need the gas? (3, Funny)

0olong (876791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716479)

And all your homeys also read /. in their parents' basements, don't they?

Re:Why do we need the gas? (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716515)

Actually, it's out on the front stoop since we got wireless and all. With our 40s of Bawlz. Yeah, booooooyy!

Re:Why do we need the gas? (2, Funny)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716545)

So, to incapacitate the enemy when you approach, you say "Two guys walk into a bar..."

Re:Why do we need the gas? (5, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716799)

Or alternatively

Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!...
Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.

Re:Why do we need the gas? (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716817)

*thud*

Re:Why do we need the gas? (1, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717023)

>"Two guys walk into a bar..."
And one says 'Ouch, that never used to be there!'

Re:Why do we need the gas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717199)

Am I the only one picturing the parent poster as Peter from Office Space?

first.... oh why bother (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716427)

i am so pathetic

freedom? (5, Insightful)

flar2 (938689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716441)

The freest and most democratic country on Earth spends far too many of its resources on novel ways to control people.

Re:freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716485)

The freest and most democratic country on Earth spends far too many of its resources on novel ways to control people.

Exactly. We should just roll like the other countries and kill protesters and other folks who resist us. Romans used to slaughter an entire town just to prove to the others you shouldn't mess with them.

Re:freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716833)

> We should just roll like the other countries and kill protesters and other folks who resist us

Have you heard of a country called Iraq ?

Re:freedom? (5, Funny)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716499)

The freest and most democratic country on Earth

LOL

Ok, then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716901)

How about the richest, most powerful, most diverse, most influential country in the history of mankind? Or the world's only superpower?

Re:Ok, then (2, Insightful)

estarriol (864512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716973)

I recommend researching more of the history of mankind before demonstrating your ignorance of it. Literally everything you said in two short sentences is highly debatable at best.

Re:Ok, then (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717089)

Ok, then how bout the country that god obviously loves the most.

Re:Ok, then (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717195)

Which God? I suspect they're one or two people on the planet that might have a different deity-or-prophet-of-choice.

Re:Ok, then (1)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717565)

That would be The Vatican, right?

Re:freedom? (4, Insightful)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716591)

Would you rather they just used lead bullets when rioters take to the streets?

Re:freedom? (3, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716647)

Obviously not, lead is toxic to the environment.

Re:freedom? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717515)

What happened to those wonderful water fountain trucks they used to use here? They were pretty efficient when it comes to cooling rioters down.

Re:freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716603)

I'd bet as a percentage of our GNP we do much less than most other countries do.

I know thats true of our military spending, at least among the countries that actually have to have a real armed forces (swiss, french, japanese, etc don't count)

Bullshit!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716773)

The US currently spends about 4% of GDP on defense. That is a lot lower percentage than during the Cold War days.

In other words, we have so many resources, we can spare it for military purposes. Don't forget, the US military is the de-facto security force for NATO, the UN, and countries like Japan and Korea.

Re:Bullshit!! (1)

cripkd (709136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716891)

How much does it spend on OFFENSE? Or all those post-cold-war wars come cheaper when bundled?

Re:Bullshit!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716917)

Um, hi....*waves*, remember us? Canada? "The worlds peacekeepers"? k thnx bye

Re:freedom? (0, Troll)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716925)

Wow you are right, we could save all kinds of money if we just eliminated police, the court system and the prison system. It's a free country anyway....if I want to rob the 7-11 at gunpoint, who is the government to try to control me otherwise?

(and especially this kind of research, which I'm sure is using up a massive chunk of our budget)

Reality (1)

dharbee (1076687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717049)

"The freest and most democratic country on Earth spends far too many of its resources on novel ways to protect rioters from themselves."

Funny how the perspective changes when you keep in mind what the real motives are, and discount the dystopian propaganda.

Re:freedom? (2, Interesting)

Undefined Parameter (726857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717113)

I think you would find it interesting were you to read more on the Delian League (aka the Athenian Empire) [wikipedia.org] . There are some interesting parallels between the ancient Delian League and the post-Cold War United States of America, especially regarding political power structures, foreign policy, and economics. If you can get your hands on Thucydides' History, and read through the first half, you might find that especially educational.

...Oblig (5, Funny)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716443)

You can't have manslaughter without laughter!

Re:...Oblig (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716889)

Actually,

You can't have manslaughter without "man's laughter"

I feel safer already (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716459)

Between stuff like this and a CIA who wasted millions of $ over 25 years on a program employing psychics [wikipedia.org] (I kid you not), don't you feel so much safer?

I wonder who the lucky contractor is who is going to be making a fortune off this one? Must be nice to make big money and never have to deliver anything which actually works. We have a military that was having to jerry-rig their own humvee armour and raise money from their parents to buy decent body armour--while contractors like this play around with nitrous bullets and loudspeakers.

Would it even work? (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716967)

The question is: would it even work? Or would those contractors get big bucks for possibly the dumbest idea in history?

Laughing gas not only doesn't make people actually laugh, and certainly not in the minute quantities you can fit in a rubber bullet (doubly so considering that you'll aim at the chest, not pump the gas over their nose), it gets people euphoric (a sort of high, basically), might even cause slight halucinations, and it dulls the sensation of pain.

So shoot enough of these in an angry crowd, and now you have a crowd that's (A) angrier, since you just shot at them, (B) manic enough to do dumber things than normally, and (C) a lot less sensitive to pain. Just so, you know, they won't be as deterred by further rubber bullets or tear gas or a police batton. It sounds to me like just what you need to turn some unruly demonstrators into an outright riot. Or an outright riot into hell broken loose.

Especially B scares me. Being high even on nitrous oxide might just impair people's judgment just that tiny little bit needed to do something really dumb. Like "heehee, let's throw a big rock at the cops." Or "heehee, let's get their guns and shoot a bystander." Sure, it's no LSD, but we're talking the kind of situations where it often takes just a spark to go downhill fast. You might need just one guy getting over his inhibitions or thinking he saw or heard the awfully wrong thing, to spark everyone else into going berserk.

Re:Would it even work? (1, Informative)

isdnip (49656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717081)

Not only would it not work, but recall nitrous oxide's other chemical properties.

It's a nitrogen compound. Lots of explosive potential. Indeed it can be made by carefully heating ammonium nitrate (see McVeigh, Timothy). But if you apply too much heat, the nitrous oxide can blow up too (see Oklahoma City). How you'd get that stuff to survive a bullet-ride intact is a bit of a mystery to me.

You're an idiot (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717225)

Nitrous Oxide is non-flammable, and that "explosive" reaction you're running your yap about is when the AMMONIUM NITRATE explodes, not the Nitrous Oxide.

Read about how wrong you are here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide#Aerosol _propellant [wikipedia.org]

Re:I feel safer already (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717041)

Between stuff like this and a CIA who wasted millions of $ over 25 years on a program employing psychics (I kid you not), don't you feel so much safer?

Non-lethal weapons are hardly a waste of money. Nor are they really intended to protect anybody but the people they're being fired at. That's the point - society has all the "protection" it needs provided by police and military using lead bullets, but are we still so barbaric that we want police to shoot lethal weapons into a group of college kids who had a little too much to drink while celebrating their team's championship victory one night and end up a little too rowdy in the streets? Should the penalty for that be death?

People here should be encouraging the development of non-lethal weapons, not making jokes about it or calling it a "waste". If you want a less abusive government, the way to get it is to promote things like non-lethal weapons.

Not to mention both the article and article summary here seem to have been written by junior high schoolers - that's around the age when we all learn that "laughing gas" doesn't really make you laugh. Apparently somebody still hasn't figured that out. Nitrous oxide is an anesthetic and a sedative. Shoot a bunch of it at a rampaging crowd and you'll probably end up with a mob of lazy sunbathers instead of bottle-throwers.

Re:I feel safer already (1, Flamebait)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717229)

Non-lethal weapons are hardly a waste of money. Nor are they really intended to protect anybody but the people they're being fired at. That's the point - society has all the "protection" it needs provided by police and military using lead bullets, but are we still so barbaric that we want police to shoot lethal weapons into a group of college kids who had a little too much to drink while celebrating their team's championship victory one night and end up a little too rowdy in the streets? Should the penalty for that be death?

You have grown adults acting as barbaric as the society you claim us to be. These are people who know the difference between right and wrong, yet they choose to destroy property and hurt people. All it takes is one drunk getting the grand idea to start kicking someone, and now you have a mob of drunken idiots beating people for the fun of it. I don't know about you, but I'd rather the cops shoot the mob than they beat me.

Personally, I support napalm in these situations.

Re:I feel safer already (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717623)

"Captain Picard, I sense he is full of doubt...., and he may be hiding someething he doesn't want us to know"

Safe for entire range? (5, Interesting)

borizz (1023175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716463)

The article claims that the bullets would be safe over the entire range. I wonder how they made the bullets strong enough to survive the force of being fired, but weak enough to disintegrate harmlessly when striking flesh at point blanc.

Re:Safe for entire range? (2, Insightful)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716531)

maybe they are only safe for the shooter, not the target...

Re:Safe for entire range? (3, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716581)

Perhaps it's like a Simunition FX [wikipedia.org] .

And please, don't misunderstand the non-lethal aspect of the technology. Non-lethal doesn't mean harmless. These rounds would likely cause bruises and sometimes breaks of the skin. I guess it's still better then being dead.

Re:Safe for entire range? (3, Interesting)

apparently (756613) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716763)

And please, don't misunderstand the non-lethal aspect of the technology. Non-lethal doesn't mean harmless. These rounds would likely cause bruises and sometimes breaks of the skin. I guess it's still better then being dead.

Acquantances of Victoria Snelgrove [wikipedia.org] might disagree with your definition of non-lethal.

Re:Safe for entire range? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716897)

The moral is to always wear safety goggles when you're out rioting!

Re:Safe for entire range? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717207)

it'd be easier just to make it illegal for pigs to carry weapons.

Re:Safe for entire range? (5, Insightful)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717417)

A baseball could cause the exact injuries that the pepper spray dispenser did to that poor girl.

If we were to define non-lethal as not possible to kill someone with, we couldn't even define marshmallows as non-lethal due to their choking hazard.

I would still rather get shot by a bean bag or teargas dispenser than a bullet or lead slug. Sure, it could kill me, but it is much less likely to.

Re:Safe for entire range? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716713)

They probably haven't. The supposedly safe rubber bullets which were used extensively in Northern Ireland as partof crowd/riot control measures still managed to kill quite a lot of people, particularly those shot in the head or at close range, not to mention all the serious injuries caused.

Re:Safe for entire range? (1)

mitashki (1116893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716739)

That's where the real shocking power of these bullets is: You will lie down in pain coming from ur broken ribs and yet you will giggle ur a$$ out. Besides... in the hospital you'll really brighten up the day of those doctors with ur uncontrollable sense of humor :)

Re:Safe for entire range? (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716851)

That's why the project died in 2002. This is old news. Anything fired from a rifle at close range is likely to have some lethal characteristics.

Re:Safe for entire range? (1)

weeb0 (741451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717005)

But at close range, even if it's lethal, you will be laughing dead ... Not a bad death

Re:Safe for entire range? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716923)

Almost all bullets have a 'jacket' which protects them from deforming during the discharge and focuses the explosion. It gets cast off almost immediately.

Also the range could be set as 10 meters to 200 meters...

Also 'harmlessly' does not mean 'without effect'. You can propel anything at 100 MPH and it's going to cause some damage....

Re:Safe for entire range? (1, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717245)

Almost all bullets have a 'jacket' which protects them from deforming during the discharge and focuses the explosion. It gets cast off almost immediately.
OK, I just burned 5 mod points by responding to this, but, What the Hell are you talking about? Jacketed bullets don't "cast off" anything. The copper jacket is to keep it from deforming in the barrel and in flight, and to control expansion when it hits the target.

The only thing you could possibly mean is a "sabot", which is a usually plastic "shoe" type thing that is very occasionally used to protect the bullet from the rifling of the barrel, and that does fall off early in the flight of the bullet. But that's rarely used, and not by any means an "almost all" so, I think I have to back to "what the hell are you talking about".


Also 'harmlessly' does not mean 'without effect'. You can propel anything at 100 MPH and it's going to cause some damage....

Oh, I dunno, I get hit by photons at light speed all the time, and doesn't hurt a bit. Without knowing the energies involved, speculating about what is and isn't lethal is just speculative handwaving.

The Joker (5, Funny)

boristdog (133725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716471)

The Joker is working for DARPA now?

Shoot Up (1)

Gojaroo (987220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716475)

Probably an easier way to shoot up for a good time. Just shoot yourself in the foot, laugh all day. Ha.

Paintball fills (3, Interesting)

Baljet (547995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716481)

I thought the use of paintballs filled with CS gas and permanent markers was already fairly wide spread by law enforcement...

Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (5, Interesting)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716489)

Now THAT had me laughing ... except for the price tag - $7.5 million. I guess they wanted to add a whole new meaning to the term "comrades-in-arms."

http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_159222541.h tml [cbs5.com]

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

(CBS 5) BERKELEY A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb. Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviewing the documents.

"The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.

The Pentagon told CBS 5 that the proposal was made by the Air Force in 1994.

"The Department of Defense is committed to identifying, researching and developing non-lethal weapons that will support our men and women in uniform," said a DOD spokesperson, who indicated that the "gay bomb" idea was quickly dismissed.

However, Hammond said the government records he obtained suggest the military gave the plan much stronger consideration than it has acknowledged.

"The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," he said. "In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."

Military officials insisted Friday to CBS 5 that they are not currently working on any such idea and that the past plan was abandoned.

Gay community leaders in California said Friday that they found the notion of a "gay bomb" both offensive and almost laughable at the same time.

"Throughout history we have had so many brave men and women who are gay and lesbian serving the military with distinction," said Geoff Kors of Equality California. "So, it's just offensive that they think by turning people gay that the other military would be incapable of doing their job. And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."

Re:Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (1)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716765)

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another,"

Why would that change anything? Seems that someone at Ohio Air Force lab hasn't heard of Alexander the Great or The Sacred Band of Thebes [wikipedia.org] . Now IF a gay bomb could be developed, I think the resulting gay army would probably be more effective against those homophobes in Pentagon than anything else.

"The homosexuals are coming. Ruuuun!"
"Oh God, I think he looked at my weenie!" *breaks down and cries*

Re:Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716999)

Why would that change anything?

OMG! I can't shoot him. He's beautiful!

Re:Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717051)

This is what came to mind for me to well, as well as the also previously mentioned forays of the CIA into physic espionage, the MKULTRA efforts at brainwashing and mind control, etc.

I see it as a symptom of the scientific illiteracy pervasive in our culture, which apparently penetrates the military and our "intelligence" agencies to some degree.

We pay for an educational system does tries only weakly to teach of vital critical thinking skills and the basic methodologies and facts of science (and in some ways, these things are actively stifled in the system) in the form of squandered tax dollars on dubious projects such as these and our costly militarism in general (see the various pretenses employed in the run up to the war in Iraq, and the credulous acceptance of them by our representatives in Congress and in the public at large).

Re:Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717215)

Think of the stakes involved. I'm sure some portion of their budget is slated for "very benefical but very unlikely" projects. For instance, if they thought they could make a satellite that could read thoughts from space, and it only cost $15 million to run a feasibility study, what % chance do you think they would need to make it a wise investment?

I'd probably say that ability is worth (depending on the accuracy) at least $60 billion, so at least 0.025% chance of success. When you think like that, it's easy to see how some truely random projects get funded. Heck, I can probably convince most people here they stood a 0.025% chance of almost anything.

Re:Reminds me of the gay bomb they wanted to make (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717203)

They also had a confetti howitzer round, whoopee cushion humvee seat, and google eyes nightvision goggles in the works. A certain Gen. Cheaplaffs was in charge of DARPA at the time.

I Laugh Uncontrollably Ever Time I File My (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716503)


U.S. Federal Taxes for the U.S. Military-Industrial-CONGRESSIONAL Complex [whitehouse.org] .

P.S. Fuck Joe LIEberman

Laughing Gas is a misnomer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716511)

"Laughing Gas" won't incapacitate you from fits of laughter. It's a hypnotic agent.

Actually quite a good idea for a payload if the delivery system works.

Re:Laughing Gas is a misnomer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716579)

Lauging bullets and gay bombs. What could possibly be next?

Re:Laughing Gas is a misnomer (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716867)

If the delivery system is a can of Reddy Whip, I can tell you from experience that it works. Well, actually not me, but I knew these guys in school that used to sneak in the cafeteria cooler...

Re:Laughing Gas is a misnomer (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716935)

What. You didn't inhale?

Re:Laughing Gas is a misnomer (1)

PhrankW (1077411) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717287)

"...if the delivery system works" As my grandfather used to say: "If Queen Victoria was a man she would have been a king" Phrank

Hee Hee Hee (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716517)

crowds of rioters giggling uncontrollably
They're called "Jokerz [wikipedia.org] ".

Exactly what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716519)

Imagine a whole army of soldiers laughing their asses off holding the riffle rather than shooting!

This is not a laughing matter... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716539)

See... this is why the terrorists will laugh in your face!

If they use this, FOX will finally be able to show all those crowds of happy Iraqis it always brags about...

Tranquilizers (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716553)

I don't know if any other /.ers have been dosed with the stuff, but nitrous oxide didn't make me laugh. Rather, I just felt like I was wrapped in cotton batting and floating, yet fully awake and able to move[1]. Maybe the dental assistant just did a good job of getting the level right.

[1] Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike being drunk.

Re:Tranquilizers (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716707)

Well, presumably uncontrollable laughter in a patient would make it rather hard to operate delicate instruments in their mouth...

Re:Tranquilizers (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717639)

"laughing gas" is kind of a misnomer, it won't give you a fit of giggles, as anyone that's ever done "hippy crack" out of a balloon at a dead concert can attest to. It's a serious mind numbing, almost complete euphoria.

Hazardous (1)

NeoTerra (986979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716571)

Two big advantages were claimed for these bullets. Firstly, that they would be safe over their entire range, compared to existing rounds, which can be hazardous at close quarters.

Can be hazardous? I didn't know bullets were "potentially harmful" if fired at short range. I will have to study this.

On second thought...I'll just look it up.

Re:Hazardous (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716809)

Why don't you try it at home?

Re:Hazardous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716835)

"existing rounds, which can be hazardous at close quarters."
"I didn't know bullets were 'potentially harmful' if fired at short range."

No, you idiot... existing non-lethal rounds!

Joker Brand (1)

civik (244978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716613)

New and improved Joker products! With a new secret ingredient: Smylex.

Vik..vik...Viki Vale.

"Laughing gas" isn't (5, Informative)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716625)

Nitrous Oxide, also known as "Laughing gas" does not make people laugh. Read more here on WikiPedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"Laughing gas" isn't (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716679)

Glad someone said it. God damn, people get far too much of their knowledge from television and movies.

Re:"Laughing gas" isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717111)

Sure made me laugh.

When I've been participating in all births of my children I've sneaked an inhale or two (or twenty) of laughing gas when the nurses are looking the other way. Every time I've inhaled it I have started to hear horses galloping in my ears which has made me smile uncontrollably and snicker.

Failed Stink Bomb Bullets (5, Funny)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716717)

The Stink Bomb Bullets Project was scrapped because of the ineffectiveness against Hippies.

As long as it gets fired at WTO protestors... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19716731)

...I'm all for it. If there's anything that makes my morning, it's a nice cup of coffee and watching some douchebag college anarchist in a Che t-shirt take a pepper ball round right between the eyes. I don't trust the government and I damned sure don't condone police violence, but I make a blanket exemption for any violence aimed at student groups whose names consist of any combination of the words "socialist," "people's," "workers," or "revolutionary." One of my only goals in life is to be able to someday utter the words "YOU STOP HITTING THAT GIRL!... The stick for her "power to the people" sign is totally blocking your swing. And let me hold her hair back so you can tag her one right on her "free Mumia" bandana."

Heath Robinson invented this in 1914 (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716743)

The celebrated British artist drew one of his comic sketches exactly about this during the 1914-18 war.

BTWC (1)

0dugo0 (735093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716757)

Looks like there are some gaping holes in the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention..

Rather than laughter (1)

stormi (837687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716795)

picture the crowd becoming confused, unable to move, dizzy and falling over, hallucinating... and that lucky few who are allergic to it, vomiting and such. Not such a fun picture as a riot overcome by giggles. It may or may not be better than just pelting them with rubber bullets to disperse. It's intresting that this way more people would probably be detained rather than having a chance to run away.

Re:Rather than laughter (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716875)

and that lucky few who are allergic to it


Yeah because experiencing anaphylactic shock is something that always happens to me in Vegas. That's why I'm banned from all the casinos.

Alternative to gas bullets... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716825)

Cast Tasha's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter.

Laughing Gas Does Not Generally Make You Laugh! (2)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716915)

If a person breathes Nitrous Oxide mixed with air, he generally neither laughs or loses consciousness. A combatant would have to get several unadulterated lungfuls of N20 to pass out, and then would recover within a minute. How useless would this be as a weapon? How stupid can some in the military be? (I suspect the answer to both questions may be the same.)

By the way, in light doses N2O is an analgesic. That's right, help the enemy endure their aches and pains!

Geez we are talking bright here.

Ob(ligatory) Monty Python (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19716991)

From the "Killer Joke" skit:

"All through the winter of '43 we had translators working, in joke-proof conditions, to try and produce a German version of the joke. They worked on one word each for greater safety. One of them saw two words of the joke and spent several weeks in hospital. But apart from that things went pretty quickly, and we soon had the joke by January, in a form which our troops couldn't understand but which the Germans could".

Re:Ob(ligatory) Monty Python (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717695)

I read that the german was
"My dog has no nose"
"How does he smell?"
"Badly!"

Oh great (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717045)

I can just see the hippies have one more reason to want to start a protest. Can't you just picture them fighting to see who can be in front when the police start using those! We might as well be pummeling them with baggies of mj and poppy seeds!

moD 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19717055)

open p7atform,

Ahh.. Slashdot viral marketing.. (3, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717057)

Can't you see the rioting/giggling meme is just part of the viral marketing for the next Batman movie!?!?

mppph. (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717065)

Too bad "laughing" gas doesn't make you bust out laughing, rather than makes you tingle or black out.

It would have to take a massive concentration of Nitrous to take down a person in the open air. And if a threshold is broken, it would deprive your brain of oxygen and kill you. I've seen it actually happen to a friend under different circumstances.

I'm sure they found out the hard way, though. There's a reason it wasn't mainstream.

I has to be said (0)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717077)

Getting shot is no laughing matter...

I submitted a similar story that got rejected (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717175)

http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_159222541.h tml [cbs5.com]

The Pentagon sought to build a "gay bomb" that would turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and thus reduce a potent military force into a twisting pile of sweating, spurting young men.

Anyone else seem concerned that the Pentagon is hitting up the Joker for ideas?

Prior Art (4, Interesting)

delete (514365) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717371)

Conclusive proof, as if it were needed, that Monty Python were ahead of their time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IysnS5wO60g [youtube.com]

Stop that project! Killing people is GREAT!????? (2, Insightful)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717469)

That project needs to be stopped right away. What's the use of just temporarily incapacitating people? We need to make sure that anyone on the other end of the gun is dead, dead, dead, so we can forever enjoy the sorrow of their wives, children, and parents! Weeee! (boggle!)

For the sarcasm-impaired: The previous paragraph is obviously lunacy. Since it's lunacy, I think having non-lethal alternatives is a GOOD idea. Foes of yesterday may be friends tomorrow (think Japan of WW II, etc.), so even if you're in a war, you may NOT need to kill your foe. It'd be great to avoid killing in many cases. Wouldn't it be great if there were LESS carnage in the future, not MORE? Wouldn't it be great if after a confrontation, most wives / children / parents got their loved ones back?!?

Now this particular approach may not be very effective; maybe another one needs to be investigated instead. The term "non-lethal" is misleading; they DO kill occasionally (they just kill less often), and since they kill sometimes, they need to be reserved for serious situations the way lethal approaches are. That said, if you do not NEED to kill all your foes, having a "mostly non-lethal" alternative would be WAY better than the "mostly lethal" approach we have now.

Yes, there's a risk that non-lethal approaches would be employed to create a police state. But you can have police states with lethal approaches too, and in fact, I'd argue that lethal approaches are more effective at countering civilians. Dead civilians don't try again. If there's a non-lethal approach, the civilians can try again later, something you can't say about lethal approaches.

In addition.... (4, Funny)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717559)

to the laughing gas version, they're also working on a bullet filled with laxatives - but that story was probably started for shits and giggles. *** I'll get my things ***

Hard to control dosage (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717659)

I would think there would be a risk of overdose.

Disappointment awaits. (1)

stokes (148512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19717679)

Someone should tell them that Warner Brothers' cartoons lied to them. 'Laughing gas' doesn't really work that way. I'd think they'd have gotten less naive about drug names after all those years of disappointment with the anticlimactic effects of sodium pentothol 'truth serum'.
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