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Sound Cannon?

Is that a thing? Apparently so

The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a speaker system and sound energy weapon developed in the early 2000s for use by the U.S. military. It renders sound in directional focus and at extreme volumes, allowing the user to make sound audible over greater distances, and with more geographical precision, than an ordinary loudspeaker. According to a 2004 ABC News report, LRADs have a viewfinder and crosshairs which officers can use to specifically target the location of a sound, through a process the device’s inventor compares to using a lens to magnify a beam of light. These audio devices, colloquially known as “sound cannons,” can be used either as conventional public address speaker systems or to generate extremely loud high-frequency sounds specifically intended for the dispersal of crowds, which can also cause pain, disorientation, and injury to those exposed to them.

I guess, happily, I haven’t found myself or anyone I know in direct line of LRAD fire… But it seems that Mark is familiar with the technology…

So no, no bullets, just eardrum-melting, brain-scrambling levels of sound. Seems a bit cruel and unusual, doesn’t it? And while I have steered clear of the political in this blog, clearly another example of the militarization of the police. Yet another reminder of toothpaste that we can’t get back into the tube, the Genie we can’t coax back into the bottle.

Happy Trails, indeed!!

2 thoughts on “Sound Cannon?

  1. Sound cannon: Consider me educated!

    Well, while this story goes totally off the skids, I have to admit that Jules’ artwork shows a provocatively energetic sense of adventure and crisis. The compositions and visual elements are quite compelling, even if one is otherwise appalled at what happened to the old Mark Trail. You really don’t get this kind of layout and detail in daily comic strips these days. It reminds me of some of the older adventure strips, such as Milton Caniff”s “Terry and the Pirates” and “Steve Canyon”, though more simplified because of publishing size limits.

    • I mean, just look at the way that the “PYOOO” sound effect hits Mark like a scythe trying to behead him. And in the second panel, all of that aural energy emanates from his body like radiation coming from some poor slob who fell into the cooling tank at a nuclear energy plant. Great stuff, I think.

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