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"Pain gun" gets Air Force green light

Evan Blass

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Despite the fact that the Air Force's Active Denial System has yet to be deployed against unruly domestic mobs as Secretary Michael Wynn would have liked -- seems like they missed their opportunity prior to the PS3 launch -- Wired is reporting that the branch's so-called "pain gun" has been certified as "safe" by scientists and "excruciating" by the soldiers and monkeys it was tested on. For those of you who don't follow the latest developments in non-lethal weaponry, the ADS -- which has been in development for over ten years -- shoots a 94GHz millimeter wave that triggers an immediate flight response from anyone in its path within 500 meters; although the majority of military test results are classified, it's said that even the toughest subjects can only endure five seconds of the intense burning before running like hell in the opposite direction. Just because the weapon has been green lit for combat, however, doesn't mean that we'll see ADS-equipped Hummers rolling around the streets of Baghdad anytime soon: as Secretary Wynn suggested, international backlash could be significant once photos of beet red, blistered victims start hitting the internet and 24-hour news networks. Still, with the military stuffing this technology into weapons of all shapes and sizes (plane-mounted versions will soon bring the pain from above), it probably won't be too long before these devices become so mainstream that you'll be able to pick one up at Wal-Mart bundled with a free tube of burn cream.

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