There seem to be endless cases in which American police address a threatening person and simply kill him as their first and only option. There are plenty of tools to avoid this. Here are some that are used in various countries, and a few from my own fevered brain.
Tool #1: Wrapping Up the Perp
Police confront a confused man waving a knife around. He hasn’t hurt anyone so far, but is disoriented and angry, and the knife presents a danger. One cop is assigned to keep his gun focussed on him. One cop, not an armada.
Two cops take out the “wrapper”, made of plastic netting that has been folded accordion style. With one cop on either end, they stretch the net out and slowly approach to each side of the man. The officer with the gun also approaches, behind the net. At a signal, the two officers rush past the subject, go behind him and entangle him in the net. At the moment they meet, they reach across to the other end of the net, feed the opposite loose end through their own end, and pull built-in straps that collapse the wrapper and close it tightly about the man, who then can’t move. The police can now safely confiscate his knife and restrain him as needed. If the attempt fails, the officer with the gun can shoot him in the thigh from close range without killing him.
Police elsewhere have addressed the same situation by surrounding and closing in on the man with vertical plastic shields. Once the man is surrounded, he has no target for his knife, and can easily be disarmed and subdued.
Even simpler, police officers can simply toss a blanket or two over the threatening person, followed by holding him with arms or a rope until he is disarmed.
Tool #2: Net Losses Can Be Good
Some Japanese inventors devised a simple plastic gun that shoots out a net for ten feet or so. Two or more of these devices can be used at once. They trap a threatening person in loose nets that cannot quickly be untangled.
This is much simpler than the device I thought of, which is a device that shoots a bigger and heavier net, which automatically tightens once it has been deployed. But the Japanese device is better because it is inexpensive, simpler, and more lightweight. Several can be used at once. Both devices allow a person to be taken into custody without excessive danger.
Tool #3: The Gun Cruncher
This is a robotic device that captures a threatening person’s handgun by immobilizing his arm and clamping onto the gun barrel. It consists of a large “mitt” mounted atop a rolling robotic device that moves toward a person who is armed with a pistol. It is semi-controlled by a shielded operator from a distance.
The “mitt”, or pouch, is roughly three feet deep and about 18 inches in diameter when open. The material is bullet-proof, with thick padding. Inside the front end are two strong but bendable rods that will clamp an arm.
The device approaches the armed person at a leisurely pace, the mitt closed. The natural reaction of the armed person will be to aim his pistol at the closed end of the mitt, and maybe to shoot at it. When the robot reaches a critical distance from the gun, the mitt apparatus suddenly shoots forward, at the same time opening the mitt. If the person’s shooting arm is extended this is automatic, if not, the operator waits to deploy it. Deployment will be too rapid for the person to react, so his gun and arm will go inside the mitt.
At the instant sensors inside the mitt register that the gun has reached the right depth, it releases a strong clamp that immobilizes the gun barrel. At the same time, the mitt snaps shut tightly on the person’s arm, so that he cannot extract either the gun or his arm, thus immobilizing him. After the police reach the gunman, the operator releases the arm clamp, allowing the gunman’s arm to be removed and handcuffed, while the gun remains tightly clamped inside the mitt.
Tool #4: Barfworthy Face Glop
In this instance, a quantity of foul sticky glop, perhaps in a balloon, is fired at a person’s front or face. It smells bad, tastes worse, and stings the eyes and nose. No one with a faceful of this awful crap will be able to concentrate on causing trouble, and rather simple techniques should quickly immobilize him.
Perhaps this stuff already exists, but if it doesn’t almost any crew of junior high boys would love to work on it as a science project.
Tool #5: Sun-Screamer
This device is simply a very bright light, either a steady, very bright light, or a very bright flash. It must not be bright enough to cause permanent eye damage, but must be strong enough to cause temporary blindness and confusion.
It is used to capture someone who has no gun. It requires at least three officers. One keeps a gun trained on the threatening person. A second turns the light on at a signal. The additional officer or officers rush the person and immobilize him with nets or blankets.
Police services around the world routinely disarm and arrest people without killing them. Single cops are able to stop a dangerously disoriented person with a single pistol shot to the thigh, followed by standard disarming procedures. This is in contrast to the standard American procedure, which is for several cops to kill a threatening person, even an unarmed person, with a fusillade of bullets within seconds of encounter, a practice which must end.