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Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Wednesday - June 03, 2020

That’ll leave a mark

Some pity and outrage generator on social media today. Some young woman was attending a protest - these are spectator events, right? - and got shot in the face with a rubber bullet. In Lexington. Supposedly. She’s all busted up, got a chunk taken out of her forehead. Yikes.

Thing is, Lexington cops say they don’t have rubber bullets and thus didn’t use any.

But there’s her video. Sure looks like some LEOs were shooting something. Pepperballs?

Whatever. I’d say the best place to be during a protest that just might turn into a riot is ... at home.

10 minutes on FB showed me again who the super Libs are among the people I’ve friended.

So anyway, you know me, Mr. Engineer. So I looked up rubber bullets. And while pictures of these things on DisgraceBook might show something the size of a cannon shell, the real ones are quite a bit smaller.

We’re talking about a 40mm diameter projectile that weighs 41-51 grams (632 -787 grains) launched at 200mph (~~ 290fps). It’s about as aerodynamic as a wall (BC ~= 0.1) so it loses speed really quickly, and the things are fairly squishy. But don’t confuse “less lethal” with “non lethal” or assume it means “annoyingly painful but not that bad”. Getting shot with anything, anywhere, can mess you up big time.

So I got to thinking ... maybe a tennis ball gun would be better? Or would that be too pathetic to garner any respect? A tennis ball weighs about the same, 58 grams, is half again larger in diameter, 66mm, and with the fuzzy surface has even worse aerodynamics. So even at the same initial velocity, air drag slows them down faster. If you fired them at 300mph, they’d sting like heck at 100 yards, and probably hurt like a mutha at 20 yards. But a tennis ball has a sectional density (mass/square of diameter) less than half of one of these rubber bullet things, and about 1/9 that of a varmint bullet.

I don’t have the answers here.

The less lethal you can make a projectile, perhaps the higher likelihood it will be used, and with less provocation? And perhaps the less respect and fear/aversion it will get? “Hey, let’s go riot; the cops are only allowed to throw My Pillows™ at us, underhanded” vs “Um, count me out. They’ve got heavy machine guns and flamethrowers.”

A truth is, that if you use violent methods to disperse a crowd, well duh, people are going to get hurt. That’s not right. But if your crowd is rioting, already being violent? Then maybe all (or most) bets are off.
What if the crowd is merely being disobedient, having decided that their right to assemble defeats the local gov’s power to demand permits, impose curfews, impose social distancing and so forth?  Respect for duly appointed authority is one thing, kneeling down before tyranny is another. And somewhere in between is your willingness to “do the right thing” for this pandemic emergency that we’ve all suddenly forgotten about. ( hey, if it’s ok for crowds of thousands to protest and riot for days, why do I have to stay 6 feet apart wearing a mask in the half-empty-by-decree grocery store for 10 minutes?)

In a better world, people would have the sense not to riot in the first place. It doesn’t prove your point or address your grievances. It merely makes you the enemy.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/03/2020 at 09:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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