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Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes 391

Posted by samzenpus
from the hero-on-a-budget dept.
cylonlover writes "Yes, there are real-life superheroes. And no, we're not just referring to firefighters, paramedics, and other heroic people whom we're used to seeing come to the rescue of others. We're talking about costume-wearing, identity-concealing, cool-name-having people who fight crime, pollution, or other evils in their own communities, on their own time, and at their own risk. Many of them actually patrol the city streets, ready to intervene if they see trouble brewing – and being ready includes having the right tools. Given that none of these people have Bruce Wayne's budget, Gizmag takes a look at some of the real-world gadgets they use as they go about their crime-fighting duties."

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Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

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  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @04:47PM (#34178822)

    It really does!

    I'm from Canada.. and I've never been in the situation, but as I understand it even if someone breaks into your living room, WHILE YOU ARE THERE, you can still get in trouble for using "excessive force" if you seriously injure the person. If you have a gun (for say, hunting).. even pointing it at the person will land _you_ in trouble. The laws are even murky is he has a gun (did you really think he was going to use it?). It's quite insane!

    The criminal.. well he's just a missunderstood victim of society, we can rehabilitate him with your tax dollars!

    Personally I think once someone decides to break into your home, you have every right to bludgeon him to death with a crow bar. Maybe if that was a potential outcome of breaking into someones house, people wouldn't do it so often.. ..I'm not bitter or anything..

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThePlague (30616) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:01PM (#34179002)

    Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by kwbauer (1677400) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:08PM (#34179080)

    How do you know they are not there to do bodily harm? Most non-violent criminals won't bother entering an occupied home so you should assume that someone breaking in to an occupied home will do harm to the inhabitants.

    Of course, we can always just wait for the police to "protect and serve" us.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:13PM (#34179152)

    None of those in the article go out looking for trouble, they go out looking for people in trouble. Generally none of them have ever used their offensive equipment, they rely on contacting the talking problems through, being a witness to any criminal events, scaring the bad guys away by (literally) shining light on their crimes, and, if necessary, contacting the police.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tarsir (1175373) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:15PM (#34179168)

    According to some very quick research [self-defender.net], you're allowed to respond with as much force as is required to defend yourself (presumably enough to halt the assault), including lethal force if you have reasonable grounds to believe you're at risk of death or 'grevious bodily harm'. You might call that a murky area, but it seems quite reasonable to me.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:19PM (#34179228)

    If you're so afraid of civilisation and see every threat in terms of OH GOD SOMEONE'S ABOUT TO RAPE ME AND KILL MY FAMILY then perhaps you ought to move to Texas rather than dragging Canada down with you.

    Actually more a fear of lack of civilization that fear of civilization. The odds of raped and killed in a state bordering Mexico is probably, what, a hundred, maybe a thousand times higher than in a more civilized area like Canada or some place in Europe.

    Also our mass media "news" is primarily focused on keeping us scared to keep us under control. Works great w/ respect to starting wars and stuff, but there are side effects like this.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@nOSPam.lynx.bc.ca> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:36PM (#34179458) Journal
    You are still permitted to defend yourself from physical assault in Canada. But Canadian law requires that a person retreat from a person who has unlawfully entered your home, to the extent that such retreat can be accomplished safely. Possessions, even ones own home, however valuable such things might be, are ultimately replaceable. People are not. There is no statistical evidence to support the idea that attempting to stop a burglar oneself will reduce the chance that somebody gets hurt - in fact, there is is an abundance of evidence to support exactly the opposite notion.
  • Re:Feel safe now? (Score:1, Informative)

    by sachamm (924766) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:39PM (#34179498)

    You must be right, because anecdotal evidence is so valuable. Oh wait, a 2 second google search turned up this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17922-carrying-a-gun-increases-risk-of-getting-shot-and-killed.html [newscientist.com]

    Quoting:

    Overall, Branas's study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.

    Good luck with that gun.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:15PM (#34180032) Journal

    This actually isn't true for all jurisdictions, so depending on what state you are in, you might wind up with criminal charges. Certain states (for example, New York) impose a duty to retreat upon parties in danger. That is to say, if you are being attacked, you have a duty to retreat to a safe place. Only when you no longer can retreat (i.e., you are either cornered or you are in your home) can you resort to self defense.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:41PM (#34180386)

    You mislinked, the El paso numbers are here:
    http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_08_tx.html [fbi.gov]

    Homicide rate in El Paso in 2009 is 1.9 per 100,000 versus a range of 0 to 6.5 for the various canadian provinces (in 2006).

    Furthermore, both violent crime and property crime rates have been steadily falling in all of the southern border states. And not just by a small amount, mostly double-digits with some states seeing more than a 50% reduction in certain types of violent crimes over the past decade. Sorry, I have no links handy to a formal analysis but anyone can take the UCR numbers from the FBI site above and do the math themselves to verify. (Something I did by hand a couple of months back in another web forum).

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by argmanah (616458) * <argmanah@ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:11PM (#34180782)

    I'm referring to the people saying "anyone breaks into my house and I will straight up shoot him in the face." Basically, unless the person is actively trying to kill you, you can't murder him because he broke into your house as, from what people seem to be saying, America (Texas at least) allows.

    States with Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground laws:
    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming

    Keep in mind this includes very liberal states such as California and Illinois, so this does in fact show a general consensus among most of America. Even in states without such laws, convictions for people defending themselves in their own home are very rare, assuming who they shot was a stranger and not someone they knew.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:16PM (#34181374)

    Basically true, if you are taken by suprise with no warning, carrying a gun won't save YOU.

    Concealed carry is for saving OTHER people.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by baKanale (830108) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:16PM (#34181818)
    True, and I agree with you. But in the end your definition of reasonable might not be shared by the police and the prosecutor's office. And if they convince the jury to see it their way, well, you're in trouble.

    For example [cbslocal.com], the guy in Long Island who, back in September, was confronted at his home by 20 or so violent gang members threatening to kill his family. He fired four rounds into a lawn from his legally owned AK-47, scaring the gang members away. He was initially charged with felony reckless endangerment, as the law only allows a proportionate response (ie. he could only pull a gun if they pulled a gun first). (Caveats: I don't know the current status of the charges. Also, none of the reports mention any witnesses besides the family, and at least one report has him firing into both the lawn and the air.)
  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @12:58AM (#34183072)

    Unless you can prove, without a doubt, that you are acting in self-defence because there is actual, imminent and certain life-threatening events, you should not be firing a gun at someone with the intent to kill.

    They've broken into my home, and that is all I need for proof. What the hell else should I do to confirm they desire to kill/rape/attack me or my family? Ask them politely?

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