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Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 17:52:51 -0700
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From: Michael Novick <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: tecUK07-Scientist develops "stun or kill" gun for cops
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Scientist Designs Stun Gun

 A scientist in London, England is creating a new type of gun that can be
set to either stun or kill, Reuters reported July 6.
"I've always been a huge fan of Star Trek and wanted to see if the
knowledge I have of energy systems could make a gun that a police officer
could set to stun, just like Captain Kirk does," said Professor Rusi

The new gun will feature a switch on the side of the firearm which would
determine how fast the bullet is fired. The firing mechanism would rely on
a more controllable chemical reaction of aluminum and water, which
Taleyarkhan said would control the speed of a bullet leaving a gun.

"Getting the whole thing going with just a low-voltage battery is the key
to this process," added Taleyarkhan. "Anyone could do this with a few
thousand volts, but we reckon our secret technology could do it with a
couple of normal 1.5-volt batteries."

The technology is being tested on prototype guns at the U.S. government's
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee. Scientists also are
working on building a laser sight into the gun, which would measure the
distance to the target so the gun could decide how powerful the bullet
needed to be propelled.

"If you put yourself in the shoes of a police officer or soldier, it's not
very nice to have no option but to risk killing someone," said Taleyarkhan.
"It's bad for the reputation of the police in a neighborhood or a soldier
on a peacekeeping mission to kill someone. It's the same for anyone who has
a gun at home for security. If you find intruders, you don't really want to
kill them -- just incapacitate them so they can't harm your family. That is
what these guns will do if they make it to the market in a few years' time."

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