Not all bullets can go to Silicone Heaven, these can

What does non-lethal and less-lethal even mean?


This being only my second entry into the world they call the “blog-o-sphere,” let me add to my introduction. Combining editor to someone like myself creates a very unique geek. This type of geek enjoys the science behind … everything. While also appreciating the art of nonsense this type is partial to the overwhelming sound of a turbo-charged V6, the technology behind short lightning bolts striking at the pull of a trigger, as well as a good semantic debate on grammar.

I hope I made it apparent that I’m a geek – one for tech, gear, words and more. So allow me to connect the two, a word that I’ve always appreciated the confusion around: Less-Lethal.

Lethal has an ultimate tone to it. It typically refers to an end. With this item, with this act, a life has come to a conclusion. The term “non-lethal” tries to back away from this harrowing horror.

But what’s non-lethal?

The military uses this term. I think it’s to differentiate between the stuff that meant to be lethal and not. But, if you think about it, the failure there is nothing can be truly 100% not deadly.

In comes “less-lethal.” Here we include the possibility of danger. We recognize the risks, yet still need to classify it apart from straight-forward “lethal” items.

Previously mentioned, I spoke with the owner of SmartRounds Technology, Nick Verini. As a mechanical engineer, never having been an officer either we had a similar appreciate for the technology of law enforcement. He saw the less-lethal market and wanted to improve on reducing the risk of injury.

His SRT rounds (Smart Round Technology) include a microchip to expel a payload almost – and I mean almost – immediately upon impact. OK, it reacts about 1 to 2 milliseconds after hitting you, when I say almost I mean it.

The original launcher concept is modeled after a pistol in an effort to make it accessible and … well … fit into the “duty gear” classification. “We wanted [officers] to be able to carry it in a holster rather than the big M4-type launcher” said Verini. And I can appreciate that. Something less-lethal that fits in a holster to attach to your Batman duty belt.

I’ll admit though, the rifle-styled launcher is attractive. Modeled after the short FNH P90 bullpup, it gives SmartRounds a tactical angle that other longer launchers just don’t provide. These longer ones also make you look like you’re ready for crowd control which might be a bit too of an aggressive look. It seems everyone has their smartphones out, right?

What do you think, how might a “smart round” like this affect your patrol?

As always, stay safe.

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