It just isn't possible to tough it out.This machine has the ability to inflict limitless, unbearable pain.What makes it OK, says Raytheon, is that the pain stops as soon as you are out of the beam or the machine is turned off.One thing is certain: not just the Silent Guardian, but weapons such as the Taser, the electric stun-gun, are being rolled out by Britain's police forces as the new way of controlling people by using pain.And, as the Raytheon chaps all insist, you always have the option to get out of the way (just as you have the option to comply with the police officer's demands and not get Tasered).But there is a problem: mission creep. This is the Americanism which describes what happens when, over time, powers or techniques are used to ends not stated or even imagined when they were devised.With the Taser, the rules in place in Britain say it must be used only as an alternative to the gun.

And, as the Raytheon chaps all insist, you always have the option to get out of the way (just as you have the option to comply with the police officer’s demands and not get Tasered).

But there is a problem: mission creep. This is the Americanism which describes what happens when, over time, powers or techniques are used to ends not stated or even imagined when they were devised.

With the Taser, the rules in place in Britain say it must be used only as an alternative to the gun. But what happens in ten or 20 years if a new government chooses to amend these rules?

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