Here’s a great idea that will help keep us safe from trigger-happy police officers. “The Alternative” is kind of like an airbag for bullets. It slows a single round down to about 20% of its normal speed, making it non-lethal–although it could still take out an eye (just like supposedly-safe rubber bullets, which have themselves been banned in some countries).
It has already been nicknamed the “Clown Gun,” because the original design featured a big red ball on the front. When the officer fires, the bullet enters the ball, the two fuse, and the resulting projectile is slowed and enlarged, making it less likely to enter the soft tissues of a human body.
“When it hits the assailant or the suspect, it generally knocks them to the ground,” Bert Rhine of Alternative Ballistics told the Toronto Star. “Our human effect study has shown there’s less than a 2% chance of penetration.”
The happy result is “serious pain with less internal injury to the body than a conventional bullet.”
There are more than a few problems with this device. First is that it is not permanently attached. The Clown Gun is kept on the officer’s belt, to be fitted to the front of the gun when needed. This allows the police officer to exercise their clairvoyance training, an essential skill which lets them determine whether or not a lethal round will be needed while there’s still time to fit an accessory over the gun barrel.
Second is the likelihood of extra shots being fired, because the cop knows their first shot is unlikely to kill anyone. Have you ever seen riot police firing rubber bullets into a crowd? I have, and they get pretty trigger happy, shooting off rounds into public streets even when there’s no threat, like you or I might wave our hands to keep flies out of our faces.
The Clown Gun costs $45 per unit.