Axon, known for producing TASERs, repsonded to the latest school shooting with a new idea. If arming teachers isn’t on the table, and laws limiting access to high-powered rifles can’t be passed, the next step, CEO Rick Smith argued, was to go less-lethal and higher-tech. His company’s ethics board walked out over the plan.
Children in the United States are dying for gun access — literally. While right-wing politicians continue to block every effort to keep weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people, mass shootings continue. So, an Axon CEO released a proposal.
CEO and founder Rick Smith released this, saying that after every school shooting, the same “unworkable” proposals are discussed and dismissed, including gun laws and arming teachers. His proposal is here, and an archived version is here in case the original is taken down.
“Put together, these two technologies [non-lethal energy weapons and drones] may effectively combat mass shootings. In brief, non-lethal drones can be installed in schools and other venues and play the same role that sprinklers and other fire suppression tools do for firefighters: Preventing a catastrophic event, or at least mitigating its worst effects.”
You can see the proposed use for the TASER drone below.
Axon, the company known for developing the Taser, will halt development of Taser-armed drones after a majority of its ethics board resigned over the project.
The company said the weaponized drones could fly in schools and “help prevent the next Uvalde, Sandy Hook, or Columbine.” pic.twitter.com/EG1OJBqDF1
— The Recount (@therecount) June 6, 2022
However, according to NPR, the company’s ethics board couldn’t let this slide, and voted against it, 8-4, weeks ago. They worried that the product would be employed in communities of color that are already over-policed, causing new problems. It has also been pointed out that the drone could not pass through closed doors.
After Uvalde, Smith decided to go public with the idea anyway — and nine of the 12 ethics board members handed in their resignation.
Smith now says that Axon is “pausing work on this project” and “refocusing.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com