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Chinese forces prepare to use 'giant fork' on Hong Kong protesters (mirror.co.uk)
47 points by onewhonknocks 64 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 42 comments

Politics aside. While seeming scary, this kind of device is actually widely deployed in China, especially in schools. It proves to be very effective for police use:

1. Dull tipped, won't penetrate bodies. 2. While in use, no direct body contact between you and the other. 3. Effective, since human doesn't really have much strength in the chest / stomach area.

I don't think Mirror chose a good picture for the use, this one's probably better: http://news.china.com.cn/txt/2010-04/30/content_19937607.htm

Honestly better than guns and more effective than shields.

They have these everywhere. I've seen them in malls, subways even hospitals. They work because the biggest weapon commonly available are knives and those are limited in size. I'm not sure what the biggest size you can get is but it is somewhere around 18 inch kitchen knives.

And that’s why people need guns. It’s easy to dismiss people getting pushed aside with forks as not a big deal. It’s easy for the police to keep ranks. It’s easy for people in other countries to ignore it. But if the people can start a shooting war, even they can’t win it, that changes the situation completely.

I don't really see how a civil war is in any way a good development. You think the Syrian civil war, the Iraq civil war, the Libyan civil war, the Yemen civil war, or indeed the more vintage Vietnam civil war are inspiring examples?

The US civil war was a good thing. The American Revolution was a good thing. Bangladesh’s independence war, the revolution that created the Portuguese Republic, the Finnish civil war, the Turkish war of independence, etc. Lots of democracies exist today because of people with guns.

The US civil war was a good thing? It was better than the extension of slavery through the whole country, it was better than secession, and emancipation was certainly a good thing. But it was massively destructive--look up Lincoln's letters giving the cost of war as against the cost of compensating slaveowners in return for emancipation.

Turkish war of independence from whom? Are you referring to the Balkan wars of independence from the Ottoman Empire?

Yes, the civil war was a good thing. The destruction was a necessary component of avoiding those things which you acknowledge would be worse. That’s how the world works. Sometimes you need to avoid the bad thing through a lot of destruction.

Guns are an escalation to which the oppressive government will answer.

If the people have guns, then the authority will say they have to resort to tanks.

If the people have tanks, the authority will say they have to resort to nukes.

If the American revolution was being fought today, could the British have just won by nuking America?

Depends on how many nukes France has...

^^ agreed, and a chuckle to spare .. so far I have never heard anyone seriously argue that the right to bear arms extends to atomic weapons as well as assault weapons ..

How else to depose despots

> It’s easy for the police to keep ranks. It’s easy for people in other countries to ignore it. But if the people can start a shooting war, even they can’t win it, that changes the situation completely.

What a confused, surreal train of though made you say that? Regular citizens with guns vs. one of the biggest armies in the world, which can reach them by ground and setup an endless supply chain while simultaneously blockading Hong Kong. That's just forfeiting whatever international political capital you have earned and trading it for misery.

Nothing would please more China than having those civilian protesters plausibly described as a military group.

I didn’t say Hong Kong was at that point (I don’t think it is—I was just commenting about the crowd control weapons). But say Syria? There is a point where it’s justified.

Do you really think the US citizens can win a war against the DOD? With handguns?

Assault rifles, which are protected by the Second Amendment. But that’s besides the point. Real revolutions aren’t like in sci-fi dystopias, with an unflinching authoritarian government and a military that obeys every order to mow down rows of civilians. There are competing political factions, and the military is just ordinary people who will do some things for the government, but who will break ranks if pushed too far.

For example, the French Republicans didn’t march into a field and square off head-to-head with the royal army. They stormed the Bastille to get the weapons there then caused a bunch of ruckus: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storming_of_the_Bastille. What followed was a complex mix of political events and violence that led to the downfall of the monarchy.

A more recent example: Bangladesh won its independence when fighting caused Bangladeshi members of the Pakistan military to defect. The hostilities then drew in military support from neighboring India. But you can’t start the war if all you have is kitchen knives.

> Assault rifles, which are protected by the Second Amendment.

Perhaps that's your interpretation, but the second amendment doesn't specifically allow or disallow any particular type of armament (an armament being defined in the dictionary as "military weapons and equipment").

Reasonable people agree that not all military weapons should be able to be owned by civilians - I don't think anyone serious is coming out in defense of civilians owning intercontinental nuclear missiles, for example. Where the line is drawn is a matter of opinion (and disagreement).

Around 1800, private citizens owned cannons, which were pretty much the top-of-the-line military technology at the time. (At a minimum, there were privately-owned merchant vessels with cannons.) So at least at that time, there were no limits.

This does not mean that I am in favor of private citizens today having nukes, or even howitzers. I'm just saying, at the time of the Second Amendment, it was more or less unlimited.

What the Second Amendment protects isn’t a matter of opinion and abstract line drawing. The Second Amendment by its terms protects the right to “bear arms.” It precludes banning “arms” as a category. Now you can draw lines about what is or is not an “arm” that someone may “bear.” (You probably can’t bear, i.e. carry, a nuclear weapon. On the other hand, the Constitution expressly contemplates private ownership of warships.) But you’re stuck drawing lines with respect to that term. And its hard to draw a line where handguns are “arms” but assault rifles are not.

I'm not sure I understand your argument. I assume you mean "assault weapons" because actual "assault rifles" (capable of automatic or burst fire) are not generally legal to own in the U.S. But your argument would apply equally well to these banned assault rifles (they are clearly "arms"), so doesn't that mean your argument is wrong?

If fully automatic rifles are “clearly ‘arms’” (as you put it) then a blanket ban on them is unconstitutional.

Presumably, so would a ban on shoulder-launched nuclear weapons?

People need guns so the police gets trained to use deadly force anytime they feel "threatened".

People pinned down by these things could have their heads slammed against pavement.

The police can slam your head against the pavement just fine without tools, and in any case usually carry sticks that can achieve much the same effect.

Potentially. I really don't see that being conducive from the forks. It would still involve more than one police, one to pin, one to slam the head into the pavement.

Do those versions electrically shock people?

Edit: This was an unfounded question, see below.

No, they are just steel rods...no fancy stuff.

You are thinking of tesla troopers in RA2?

I feel silly.

For some reason, when I read the article, I got the impression the "forks" delivered an electric shock. I went back and re-checked, and it says no such thing. I have no idea where that came from.

It does say that multiple times:

> It is believed that some of the crowd control devices are capable of emitting electric shocks in a bid to neutralise any perceived threat...

> The control weapons, which potentially have the ability to shock people, have been part of the training...

> Amnesty added that it has information that more than 200 shock capturing forks were sold to the Linhe District Public Security Bureau back in 2014.

The second sentence of the article says: "It is believed that some of the crowd control devices are capable of emitting electric shocks in a bid to neutralise any perceived threat."

It kinda implies these devices could deliver an electric shock without actually stating so..

The sub-title suggests this "Amnesty International has criticised the use of the "electric shock capturing fork" against protesters".

also in the text

"It is believed ... some .. devices are capable of emitting electric shocks... "

It's a strange way to write an article. Unless you are doing it for the clicks.

.. also feeling silly .. I had imagined the fork to be so giant it would at least require some sort of militarily actuated forklift if not a small crane .. and more prongs, way more than the regular old 4 or 5 ..

Maybe a tool like two sticks that can pin down rioters in the neck hold them there would be more effective.

>giant fork

Not a man catcher?


ugh, and i was just looking up the 5e stats, too.

> Potential injuries include burns, puncture wounds and welts


> repeatedly do this without long-lasting identifiable physical traces, makes them a favoured tool of torture

if i understand this correctly it seems that the risks are either pretty low or the artifacts don't last very long.

anyway, is the mechanism similar to e.g. Taser? if so seems much ado about nothing here, American cops have been getting off on using those for decades

I wonder if these might be safer than e.g. American crowd control tools.

I think the bigger news is that China state media actually mentioned Tianamen Square yesterday and how the response to Hong Kong won't be a repeat because they have better tools now

and this is the tool?

what a twist!


Why not? There are links to buzzfeed, nytimes, vice, etc all the time on the front page.

None of those are tabloids.

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