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News Link • Police State

LRADs: Another Step Toward a Police State

• John Birch Society
Monday, 05 October 2009 14:00 LRAD or Long Range Acoustical DeviceWe’ve all heard the expressions “mission creep” and “slippery slope.” But a front page headline in last week’s Washington Times, "DHS helps local police buy military-style sonic device," brings new meaning to these terms.  If you’re an aficionado of spy thrillers and sci-fi novels, you may already be aware of Long-Range Acoustical Devices. LRADs are used to disperse militant crowds and enemy squadrons by emitting a piercing sound dangerous (and painful) enough to permanently damage hearing and temporarily distort vision.

Most people familiar with this high-tech instrument assume that its use is confined to violent mobs, looters, and enemy combatants in war zones.

Not any more.

Thanks to Department of Homeland Security grants, local police departments around the country are ordering these devices, and they have already been used at some of last summer’s more spirited town-hall meetings on health care. According to the manufacturer — American Technology Corporation (ATC), based in San Diego — they exist solely to “influence [people’s] behavior and gain compliance.”

Well, that’s comforting.

Using a military-grade weapon that permanently damages hearing to “influence behavior” and “gain compliance” is a far cry from crowd control.

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