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  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Have even a trace of gunpowder on you from a shooting range? You may be in for a "deep frisking"

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is tasked with fighting "the war on terror", but of late it has been accused of creating more terror than it prevents, with invasive frisking of childrens' genital areas and a proclivity for mocking passengers' bodies sexually behind closed doors.  But all that may be but a teaser for what is to come, according to a piece by Gizmodo.

I. Prepare to be Scanned and Detained

The piece details new "molecular scanners" which work something like Big Brother's wildest wet dream, detecting each an every chemical substance on your body.

The scanners are being commercialized by Genia Photonics and employ terrahertz speed laser pulses.  The laser hardware is capable of detecting -- even through clothing or windows -- the slightest trace amounts of chemicals on the human body.  Genia claims the scanner is ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than any other scanner -- such as the millimeter wave-based detectors.

Genia scanners
The DHS is eyeing new laser scanners to scan and detain "suspicious individuals" at police checkpoints in public locations. [Image Source: Genia]

Genia writes that the scanner can "penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances."

Thanks to the speed, the DHS is reportedly looking to deploy the scanners secretly at inter-state borders, international borders, and in airports.  

The deployment raises some thorny issues, given the scanner's ability to detect such small traces of compounds.  For example, smoke a bit of marijuana in a region where it's decriminalized or legal for medical uses, and you may now be arrested by DHS officers at the state border.  Alternatively, you might go shooting at the gun range, but the trace amounts of gunpowder left on your clothing might earn you a date with "Mr. Happy Hands" of the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) or DHS.

TSA pat down
You match the profile, prepare to be frisked. [Image Source: The Denver Post]

II. DHS Eyes Plotting Scanners in Shopping Malls and Other Locations

In fact, DHS agents are eyeing the possibility of rolling the devices out all across the country, scanning everyone in any public location possible for signs of suspicion.  

In-Q-Tel, the DHS contractor who is subcontracting Genia writes, "an important benefit of Genia Photonics' implementation as compared to existing solutions is that the entire synchronized laser system is comprised in a single, robust and alignment-free unit that may be easily transported for use in many environments… This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence."

A scan takes only picoseconds and can be performed at distances of up to 50 meters, making it big brother's dream device.

III. Deployment is on Pace for 2013-2014

The creators are confident they can deliver on their objectives of ubiquitous privacy intrusion.  Founded by a group of laser and fiber optic Ph.D specialists, Genia is among several Universities and firms worldwide making similar ambitious claims of laser scanners with molecule-level sensitivity.

Shooting range
A trip to the shooting range could soon make you wind up in federal custody.
[Image Source: Flickr]

In Congressional testimony the DHS revealed that deployment was only a year or two away, meaning the devices could start popping up in 2013.

From there, there's no telling how far down the dystopian things could go with molecule scanner.  The scanner can sense signs of fear -- such as adrenaline -- even through car windows or in crowded shopping malls.  The DHS has already acknowledge publicly experimenting with such "future crime" profiling efforts.  In those projects the DHS expressed a desire to detain individuals in public locations who fit certain profiles that indicate they might be ready to commit a crime.  

Will anxiety about a big deadline at work lead you to be handcuffed in front of your children at the shopping mall?  There's no official word yet on such uses, but the hints are there, and the possibilities are frightening.

Sources: Genia, In-Q-Tel

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RE: here we come!
By Hyperion1400 on 7/11/2012 7:17:26 PM , Rating: 3
Pfft, if you thinks it's bad for you, what will they do to me? I shoot Com-bloc surplus almost exclusively. What will they think when I walked around covered not only in Soviet! gunpowder, but also potassium chlorate?!

RE: here we come!
By Camikazi on 7/11/2012 10:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
You would probably get shot on the spot so make sure to scrub up real well before going anywhere.

RE: here we come!
By futrtrubl on 7/12/2012 12:37:54 AM , Rating: 2
And wear clean underwear, be kind to the coroner.

RE: here we come!
By Natch on 7/12/2012 9:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
Don't think that will matter much, since it's not just the soul that "vacates" the body, upon death....if ya know what I mean??

RE: here we come!
By MrBlastman on 7/12/2012 11:19:52 AM , Rating: 2
Those steel casings will eat away at your chamber and bore though, man. The rounds might be copper coated, but a lot of them are steel cored as well.

Only brass and lead for my 5.56 mm. Gotta keep it purring. :) (and an occasional steel penetrator)

RE: here we come!
By Hyperion1400 on 7/12/2012 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 3
Oh Jesus, not this crap again...

The steel they use for the casings is incredibly soft and and poses no danger to your chamber or extractor. What does happen, is that when the chamber pressure drops, the case will contract and allow a little bit of powder blow-back in the chamber. But that just requires cleaning.

As for the bullet tech, the steel used in the bullets is almost as soft as copper, and produces very fine fouling instead of the large chunks that normally break off with copper. The actual construction of the bullet is as follows:

The bullet jacket is bi-metal and has a thin copper outer-layer followed by a soft steel inner jacket; the completed round is copper-washed, which is what you are thinking of. Underneath the jacket is a layer of lead that is used to suspend the steel core - when the bullet strikes the target, the core shifts inside of the jacket to destabilize it and create erratic wound patterns - and gives the bullet the proper plasticity to form to the bore without causing increased wear.

The Russians have been putting steel through their firearms since shortly after WW2...which reminds me, some WW2 vintage ammo came up for sale...I think they have pretty much perfected the art! Besides, I'm using a 6.5lb Chrome-Moly chrome lined bore on my Mosin. If I manage to wear it out in my lifetime the Russian gun gods will have to descend from the heavens to shake my hand! :P

RE: here we come!
By Sazabi19 on 7/13/2012 11:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
Same here :( for my PSL, Mosin-Nagant (corrosive ammo, so yes Windex down barrel at the range, and Brake Free at home), and Ak47 D: My Saiga 12 chews on Winchester rounds though, slugs and Federal buck.

P.S. Brake Free burns like hell when you get it in your eye.

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