Alternatives to guns, Tasers, and masks

Guns, Tasers, and masks have something in common: they are designed to protect but often don't. We need more effective alternatives with fewer drawbacks, so I created them. This was a monumental, multi-year effort working day and night to dream up hundreds of ideas, then build, test, and document them. A few flops, many successes, and some that worked better than I imagined possible.

Guns for self-defense: not good enough

NRA executive Wayne LaPierre famously claimed “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.Time magazine disagreed, writing “in the 10 years since, ‘good guys with guns’ have been present or quickly arrived at the scene of nearly every major mass shooting and failed to stop the gunman before he was able to take multiple lives.

True. Police were promptly notified during the 2023 Nashville school shooting and were widely praised for their rapid response and exemplary performance, yet three children and three adults were killed by the attacker. This underscores how even the best conventional responses leave too many victims.

Arming teachers and school safety officers could help, but as The New York Times reported in A Hail of Bullets, a Heap of Uncertainty, even police often don't shoot well in crisis situations. When they fire at dogs (who never shoot back), only about “55 percent of shots hit home.” Who do they hit? Too often bystanders. Or nobody: San Francisco officers fired 65 shots at a homicide suspect but hit no one. A RAND Corporation report found that New York police had a hit rate of 18% during gunfights and 30% “when suspects did not return fire.

A common gun misconception is that one hit ends the crisis. Not usually: it takes an average of 2½ 9 mm or .45 Auto rounds to stop an attacker — more if he is under the influence of certain drugs. Considering the average hit rate, stopping attacks requires many shots, often more than the magazine or chamber capacity of the gun. While delivering this extended fusillade of bullets (some that may strike innocent others), the person battling the aggressor is exposed to return fire.

Example: Aaron Salter Jr., an armed security guard and former police officer, fired at and struck the gunman (Payton Gendron) in the 2022 Buffalo mass shooting but did not stop him because of his body armor. Gendron then shot and killed Salter along with several others.

Instantly and reliably stopping criminals isn't possible with guns, but it is with technology I developed that poses little or no risk of injuring the attacker, who is instead safely incapacitated to protect responding police. Devices based on my novel technology will be offered for sale in states that have passed legislation protecting self-defense manufacturers from liability.

Here's why: although my innovations are more effective and less likely to injure than guns or Tasers, more than a few criminals use drugs making them physiologically fragile. Perhaps the most notorious case of this is George Floyd, who repeatedly complained that he couldn't breathe and was going to die (1, 2, 3) before Derek Chauvin arrived and put his knee on Floyd's neck. Floyd also said he recently had COVID-19, which heightens the risk of cardiac arrhythmia (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) — up to a “16-fold risk of life-threatening heart rhythm” in some cases. According to NPR, Floyd's autopsy revealed that “he was positive for SARS-CoV-2 … [and] had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death …

In my mind, developing alternatives vastly safer and more effective than guns and Tasers should exempt manufacturers from liability. If legislators agree, people in their state can be protected with my innovations that can be widely deployed, making crime so unlikely to succeed that criminals with common sense won't even try. If legislators in your state don't agree, the body count will continue to rise. This isn't a partisan issue, so all legislators should embrace technology that ushers in a new era of law enforcement and safety. I believe in targeting those who target us, but legislators must protect those who protect us.

My technology is suitable for use in:

Basically anywhere you go and almost anything you do:

Unmasking problems with masks

Current masks have several drawbacks in addition to their disappointing efficacy. The CDC reported that N95 masks are 83% effective — about as risky as playing Russian roulette (one bullet in six chambers = 16.6% risk). Contrary to the pervasive belief that COVID-19 is no worse than a bad cold, mountains of scientific evidence prove otherwise. Furthermore, increasing evidence indicates that even common infections slowly erode health, accelerate aging, decrease longevity, and trigger premature development of serious problems, such as dementia and mental illness. In short, ordinary infections are nothing to sneeze at.

Another frequently neglected hazard is air pollution, which decreases average lifespan by two or three years and much more in polluted areas and polluted times, such as with the recent influx of air pollution from Canadian wildfires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). But who wants to go through life with a mask on? Not me. You?

In response, I created many ways to safeguard from air pollution and airborne germs. I presented one solution suitable for static applications on a website that will be updated with some of my more recent developments.

I excel in conceiving ideas and prototyping them (introducing me on a conference call, my old boss at Intellectual Ventures said I think of things no one else does), but production isn't my forte. If you know how to turn prototypes into products, contact me.

Some of my other breakthroughs

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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