It makes sense that the Pentagon "wants to equip select National Guard units with new non-lethal weapons." Troops along the Mexican border and in hurricane-prone regions could use something more than an M-16 to help keep crowds in line. But boy, are the tin hats gonna freak, when they find out that sonic blasters are part of the non-lethal toolkit."This move stems from a key lesson -- that an exclusive reliance on lethal force is inappropriate -- learned by the Pentagon following last summers deployment of active-duty and National Guard forces to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina," Inside Defense reports.
These equipment sets consist of items that many law-enforcement organizations currently use and represent a small slice of the Defense Departments growing effort to make use of technologies that can be used to control crowds and thwart actions of individuals without applying lethal force...The kits, according to the Pentagon official, include non-ballistic face shields; expandable riot batons; non-ballistic body shields; non-ballistic riot shin guards; plastic flexicuffs; Tasers and Taser cartridges; FN-303 launchers, which are paint guns; and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun for firing beanbags. It also includes riot baton training suits, riot strike pads, high-intensity white lights and containers to carry the full ensemble.The $8.8 million request would also buy 47 Acoustic Hailing Devices, a collection of generators, amplifiers and speakers that concentrate and project sound waves -- both warning tones [often-painful warning tones - ed.] and voice commands -- to distances beyond the range of small-arms weapons.Troops in Iraq have been dipping into the toolkits since '03. And the "hailers?" They've been used to keep the peace at the '04 political conventions, ward off Somali pirates, and shout out to Gulf Coasters after Katrina.