How will the development of energy weapons change the gun control debate?

There. There's an original spin on this topic. And no, I don't want this turning into a straight gun control debate, so please, stay on topic.

So, how do you think that the introduction of handheld laser weaponry will change the gun control debate? Do you think that they will be classed as guns or something else? Would you be scared of the thought of someone pulling a laser pistol on you? Will the NRA run a smear campaign on the new weapons? Tell me both what you think reactions should be and what you think that they will be. Do you think that they'll make a more effective deterrent for crime? Opinions, people, bring me your opinions.

Also, put it here due to science-fictiony subject matter, but if any mods think that it belongs in R&P, by all means move it there.

I would be very very very very surprised if they were allowed use in private hands. We can't own tanks (...wait. CAN I own a working and loaded tank? If I can, that's going to adjust my answer) and I imagine that energy weapons will become a classification of their own.

EDIT: Magenera says we can own tanks and who are you to call him a liar!?! Also, I did Google it and it is indeed legal in the US of A for private citizens to own a tank. If I can go buy one of those, I'm guessing energy weapons will also be legal.

Although with that said, it be argued that Tasers are energy weapons and we're allowed to use them (don't even need a license or anything for those things). The "you'll take my guns when you pry them from my cold dead hands" crowd could use that as precedence once we start busting out energy weapons.

Another EDIT:
Now that I think about it, if storing the item is question is safe, I'd figure they'd PUSH for us to own these versus regular weapons. I imagine you could set an energy weapons powers so that I wouldn't have to worry at all about collateral damage (bad guy breaks into a families house; Dad shoots him but the bullet goes through and takes out his wife in the bedroom kind of situations would be eliminated). Hell, could you set it to "Stun" like Star Wars?

That seems like it would be pretty freaking useful.

tippy2k2:
The "you'll take my guns when you pry them from my cold dead hands" crowd could use that as precedence once we start busting out energy weapons.

Well, for once that saying will become obsolete and probably replaced with "charred, burning hands".

It's like the assault weapons, its design to make you think of assault rifle. With what the media portrays guns, it'll be the same thing.

tippy2k2:
I would be very very very very surprised if they were allowed use in private hands. We can't own tanks (...wait. CAN I own a working and loaded tank? If I can, that's going to adjust my answer) and I imagine that energy weapons will become a classification of their own.

You can own a tank, in America. Cost $300,000 though.

Magenera:
snips

A working and loaded tank!? Like, I could fire explosive things at other things!? Seriously!?!

I know what I'm asking for next Christmas!!!!!

tippy2k2:
A working and loaded tank!? Like, I could fire explosive things at other things!? Seriously!?!

I know what I'm asking for next Christmas!!!!!

Well, have fun with your fuel bill and when you need to take it in to service... I can imagine you'll be collecting a lot of insurance details at first... _

OT: Energy weapons won't really catch on I don't think, mainly because of price and the fact that material projectiles will always be considered to be superior (stopping power and all that jazz).

Replace 'energy weapon' with small-arms railgun or coil gun, then we'll talk (especially the former).

tippy2k2:
We can't own tanks (...wait. CAN I own a working and loaded tank?

I have seen people who privately own tanks in the UK, a couple with them parked on their drive way.

However they are not fully operational.

Last I heard, they can be operated (but not fired) on private land but not on the roads as the road will be ruined. All guns are stripped down though, the only thing left is the outer casing so it still resembles a tank but will never fire again.

However, out of the 5 that i've seen, only one of them still worked enough to move. The rest were just show pieces.

By the time they invent energy weapons, ones that can blow a hole in someone big enough to kill them; not just a tiny pin-hole sized wound that is cauterized by the lazer so the person barely bleeds (useless)- there won't be any more guns in private hands anyway if globalization plays out and there's a one world government.

If it doesn't play out, there probably wouldn't even be a society, just a smoldering desolate wasteland.

Say someone invents something like this for military use TODAY. It still takes the private sector 30-40 years to adapt the technology for civilian use, then a few more years for civilians to figure out how to convert household items back to their intended military configuration... by that time, I'm too old to care.

Then I'm wondering if the kind of technology that depends upon energy weapons being useful in the first place means we pretty much have our impending energy crisis solved. If that's the case, it would usher in an era of peace and prosperity- probably still controlled by a one world government formed by whoever initially controlled that tech. Whoever controls such technology could easily make people fall in line; force people to disarm and governments to submit- as a condition of sharing the secrets.

Human beings crave power, that's not gonna change. That's why people will say no you can't have that, only the military can have that because they do our bidding and protect the power elite. Because again, you don't need an energy weapon to massacre unarmed people or school aged children, I'm pretty sure an axe would be sufficient for someone with physical prowess to hack up a dozen people in short order. What if someone abused and starved a bunch of dogs to turn them vicious, and then let them loose in a public place? My point is the public is not safe, never was, and nobody is banning threats to public safety, they're banning threats to power.

So yeah, energy weapons would probably be banned.

I'm more interested in how non-lethal weapons will affect the gun control debate. When technologies like tasers and noise weapons are used by the military more than conventional weapons, will gun owners change their weapons voluntarily or hold onto them? And would it even be legal to own this sort of weapon under the second amendment?

Well that would really depend on how the energy weapons would work. How fast would they be able to fire, how quickly they would be able to kill, whether or not the energy beam would be able to penetrate through a human body, would there be disintegration involved? All of these would have to be known before any laws about these kinds of weapons could be made.

Dirty Hipsters:
Well that would really depend on how the energy weapons would work. How fast would they be able to fire, how quickly they would be able to kill, whether or not the energy beam would be able to penetrate through a human body, would there be disintegration involved? All of these would have to be known before any laws about these kinds of weapons could be made.

I'm assuming that they would be relatively powerful, normally pistol sized, imparting 10 kJ per shot, with around 25 shots per power pack. This would create in the human body (shamelessly stealing these figures from Atomic Rocket) 'a hole 53 cm deep and 2.2 cm across. Note that a typical person will be about 20 cm to 30 cm through the torso (depending on orientation), so this pulse would not only shoot through a person, but through the guy behind him as well'.

Froggy Slayer:

Dirty Hipsters:
Well that would really depend on how the energy weapons would work. How fast would they be able to fire, how quickly they would be able to kill, whether or not the energy beam would be able to penetrate through a human body, would there be disintegration involved? All of these would have to be known before any laws about these kinds of weapons could be made.

I'm assuming that they would be relatively powerful, normally pistol sized, imparting 10 kJ per shot, with around 25 shots per power pack. This would create in the human body (shamelessly stealing these figures from Atomic Rocket) 'a hole 53 cm deep and 2.2 cm across. Note that a typical person will be about 20 cm to 30 cm through the torso (depending on orientation), so this pulse would not only shoot through a person, but through the guy behind him as well'.

Are you from the future because thats a very specific assumption with decimals? Id imagine it would be like how in the 1800's everyone had a horse, because you needed it to get around, then when cars were invented only people who liked and wanted horses had them. A lot depends on how restricted guns might become in the usa as well, which we dont know yet, but assuming that theyre never banned like in australia then only people who like guns are going to have them, whilst the day to day killing will be left to plasma rifles.

Personally I do not see man portable laser weaponry ever taking the place of projectile weapons. They will likely be adopted for certain vehicles and aircraft though.

 

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