Sensing a threat to their bottom line, gun manufacturers and the NRA have lined up against new EMPs or electro magnetic pulse guns, specifically targeting those devices made for the consumer market.
An EMP gun ranges in size and shape from a TV remote to a bullhorn, and they can disrupt and even permanently destroy any and all electronics, with a maximum range of up to 25 yards in the larger models.
Wayne LaPierre, Vice President and spokesperson for the NRA, holds up an EMP that looks like a dildo with a pistol grip and trigger, and tells the assembled crowd and press, "This is the new face of death in America."
And true enough, one journalist was killed while LePierre gave a demonstration of a TAC450 model, inadvertently damaging the reporters pacemaker. The NRA spokesman was showing how an EMP can dangerously disable a moving vehicle, when Tulsa Olahoma reporter, Imani Culpren, who was standing nearby, collapsed and was later pronounced dead.
Saying the death was vindication of his assessment, LePierre went on to say, "These things could kill tens of thousands a year, just as you saw here, the inadvertent consequences of careless use of these death rays can be very harsh, imagine when terrorists and criminals get a hold of these things."
Previously only sold for military and police applications, the new EMPs range from military/tactical looking designs to female and kid friendly versions.
Bryce Steele, owner of Ax-Ion Electronics, touts the family friendly line his small factory in Strong Oak VA produces. "The EMPath is geared toward women for the projected use of protecting their own families and others," He hands me a pink Hello Kitty themed device that would look perfect in or on many a woman's purse, including this reporter's tote bag.
Next, Steele shows me a glowing plastic sword emblazoned with "Disney" on the hilt. "I'm really proud of our design team for coming up with the Star Wars EMPeror Light Saber for kids and adults of all ages. The parental controls give you an adjustable range of four inches to four feet. For an added element of fun and danger, you can switch it to competition mode: that turns off it's internal shielding around the handle and it's then susceptible to damage from another EMPeror."
Consumer safety and advocate groups, and the NRA, are for once on the same side, all calling for regulation and licensing of the new devices that could disable speeding highway vehicles or planes in flight. Countering his critics, Steele says, "We're the good guys, we took the kill out of guns." Making a final point he says, "EMPs don't kill people, crashing buses and planes kill people."