PDA

View Full Version : Defending against Lasers


usaign
July 13, 2010, 11:15 AM
I was in line at the Home Depot when I saw a hybrid laser pointer/led flashlight for just $3.00. I couldnt help myself saw I got one. No idea what I will do with this, but it seemed like a guy gadget to have in the drawer.

These laser pointers can be fun to fool with people. I was thinking though, has anyone been shot as a result of shining a laser on someone? This laser could easily be mistaken as laser site...

DanThaMan1776
July 13, 2010, 11:30 AM
When I see a laser, I don't immediately think "someone who has a laser sight equipped to a gun is trying to kill me." I think, some dumb teen is fooling around. You could say anytime someone sees a flashlight, they might think its a gun light and start shooting away.

No responsible carrier would open fire on a target who he didn't identify as a threat.

Xfire68
July 13, 2010, 11:33 AM
I don't know about being shot but, in my old home town some kids were using these things to mess with the local police and just about got shot and were locked up for the weekend. There is now a ordinance banning these items in that town!

If I am not mistaken many towns have rules and regulations on them.

DanThaMan1776
July 13, 2010, 12:17 PM
Excitement where there needs not be anything other than laughs...

booker_t
July 13, 2010, 12:56 PM
They're great for Power Point presentations and keeping cats entertained, neither of which activities are related to firearms nor tactics/training.

Capt. Charlie
July 13, 2010, 01:30 PM
When I see a laser, I don't immediately think "someone who has a laser sight equipped to a gun is trying to kill me." I think, some dumb teen is fooling around. You could say anytime someone sees a flashlight, they might think its a gun light and start shooting away.

No responsible carrier would open fire on a target who he didn't identify as a threat.

Generally agreed, but be careful with blanket statements. The average person doesn't make a connection between a flashlight and a gun, but for a lot of us, that bright red (or green) dot on my body just screams "gun!". That in itself wouldn't prompt me to fire, but it definitely would kick my alert level up a notch or two.

You also have to take into account other circumstances. Is there enough light to see whether it's a laser on a gun or just a laser? Are the actor's actions in shining it aggressive in other ways? And the list goes on.

Other circumstances. A few years ago, one of my officers shot a guy pointing a cell phone at him. Both Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor cleared him on it. In itself, the shooting sounds bad, but the man was fleeing after committing a robbery, it was almost dark, and he turned and screamed "I'll &#%$ kill you pig!" as he pointed the cell phone. Turns out he'd just gotten out of prison and preferred "suicide by cop" rather than return to prison.

All in all, I think most of us would interpret being targeted by a laser as an aggressive action. Those other circumstances would determine whether or not deadly force is justified, even if, in the end, it turned out to be only a toy.

That would most certainly be a tragedy, but the real guideline is, can you articulate a genuine and reasonable fear for your life?

Kjackson35
July 13, 2010, 01:50 PM
I don't see kids carrying around lasers anymore like they used to. I guess it was about 10 years ago now that every kid and their dog had one to play with (annoy people with really). I know the op stated lasers but somebody else said something about flashlights, which I always carry. One dark night when walking to my buddies apt and through some tall grass seperating his apt and one of the parking lots, I had it out watching for snakes or any kind of tripping hazard. I hear a couple of kids kind of shout out "Cop!" and they all took off running. :eek: Kind of made me rethink how and when I use my light now.

Sorta similiar to a laser story :confused:

curt.45
July 13, 2010, 01:53 PM
I hate to post hearsay but I do remember a few years back, the police were called about a possable break in at a school, they responded, some kids were playing laser tag on the school grounds but the cops didn't know that till they shot one for "tagging" the cop with a laser the officer was cleared but I think he left the force because of it.

so short answer is yes at least one person was shot for pointing a laser at someone.

Skans
July 13, 2010, 02:01 PM
I've always wondered whether a powerful laser pointer can be used to disable a survaliance camera?

Glenn E. Meyer
July 13, 2010, 02:12 PM
Just google it. You find lots of stories about arrests and being shot by the law. Guy in Reno for instance.

Retired15T
July 13, 2010, 02:28 PM
It's also illegal to shoot a laser pointer at an aircraft. Especially Military aircraft. When you're out flying around at night with your NVG's on, it's a real bummer to hear both of your pilots say they can't see because someone on the ground is shooting a red laser pointer at you.

Red colored lights are like HUGE spotlights under night vision devices. Even a small pen type red laser can illuminate something 500 yards away under NVG's/NVD's. I've been able to pick out bad guys from a mile away because there were three of them in a circle smoking cigarettes.

So be careful what you do with those things. Not to mention you can burn the retina of someones eyes if you're too close to them and shoot it at their face. Depending on the strength of the laser of course. But even pen-type lasers can burn your retina's at shorter distances. Once you show the kids how fun it is to make the dog or cat going chasing the spot across the floor, they want to play with them. And they end up doing permanent eye damage to themselves or their siblings.

ATW525
July 13, 2010, 03:01 PM
I hate to post hearsay but I do remember a few years back, the police were called about a possable break in at a school, they responded, some kids were playing laser tag on the school grounds but the cops didn't know that till they shot one for "tagging" the cop with a laser the officer was cleared but I think he left the force because of it.

so short answer is yes at least one person was shot for pointing a laser at someone.

A bit off topic, but Lazer Tag does not actually use lasers and won't project a visible red dot on someone. If somebody was shot it most likely because they pointed a gun-shaped object at a police officer.

usaign
July 13, 2010, 03:35 PM
I did google it and this is what I came up with.

http://www.laserpointersafety.com/laser-hazards_aircraft/laser-hazards_aircraft.html

Here are the conclusions I drew from the link:

- You can go to prison for a few years by aiming the laser at the wrong things. It can be a felony depending on the things you are aiming at like airplanes or cars.

- When the laser strikes an object at a 1000 feet away, it seems to be a lot bigger then that small point from a few feet away. The Home Depot laser flashlight at a 1000 feet away appears like this giant flash when reflected off of a windshield.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 13, 2010, 03:45 PM
The laserpointer web site has several stories of people shot for pointed lasers. One in Reno, one in FL.

macmuffy
July 13, 2010, 04:08 PM
I know the dangers of lasers, but damn what great fun for the cat.

Didn't realize just how big a hazard until I got a green one.

Good for night sky pointing of the stars. I then hit a stop sign from three blocks away and could not believe how much that thing BLOOMED!

Battery removed and now stored back of the sock drawer.








.

bcarver
July 13, 2010, 04:39 PM
kids and adults have been killed due to pointing toy guns and laser at cops.
Paranoid people think gun when a lazer is pointed at them. But being shot by a paranoid person still hunts.

It is illegal in Mississippi to point a lazer at a officer.(misdemenor).
My bet would be many states also have this law.

Most lazers are "optic safe" and will not hurt an eye.

ScottRiqui
July 13, 2010, 04:55 PM
Good for night sky pointing of the stars. I then hit a stop sign from three blocks away and could not believe how much that thing BLOOMED!

The lasers are powerful, but part of the "blooming" effect is because street signs have a "retroreflective" finish on them. No matter from what angle the incoming light hits the sign, it's always reflected back at the source of the light.

When the laser strikes an object at a 1000 feet away, it seems to be a lot bigger then that small point from a few feet away. The Home Depot laser flashlight at a 1000 feet away appears like this giant flash when reflected off of a windshield.

The inexpensive solid-state lasers that the public generally uses have a fairly wide "divergence" - on the order of a milliradian or two. So the spot will be 1-2 meters wide at a distance of 1000 meters. At 1000 feet, you can expect a beam width of 12-24 inches. This is also why the laser-scattering license plate covers aren't very effective. Even if the cop uses your front license plate as an aim point, the beam will be larger than the license plate cover at any distance greater than a few hundred feet.


Most lazers are "optic safe" and will not hurt an eye.

None of the visible-light lasers we're talking about are "eye safe". There really aren't any "eye safe" lasers until you get into the medium-wave infrared (invisible) lasers, and those aren't really "safe", they're only "safer" because the energy from the laser is absorbed in your cornea before reaching your retina.

The only reason we don't see more eye injuries from the common commercial lasers is that the most you generally get is a brief glancing exposure. A stronger laser or a longer exposure will fry your retina in short order.

booker_t
July 13, 2010, 05:24 PM
+1 on everything Scott said.

Recently in Bangkok, a protester was shot when thinking he was simply taunting riot police with a laser pointer.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1278378/Thai-protester-shot-head-taunting-armed-troops-laser-pointer.html

ScottRiqui
July 13, 2010, 05:41 PM
I realized I was a little strict in my definition of "eye safe" earlier. For Class II visible lasers, you can consider them fairly "safe" if you trust the eye's blink reflex to limit exposure.

This is still not failsafe, though - medical conditions, medicines, alcoholism, or even wearing contact lenses can slow down the blink reflex.

GM1967
July 13, 2010, 09:11 PM
One time in a mall I used to work at, a woman (who had just come out of a movie theater, seeing a movie that featured a gun with a laser sight) panicked when she saw the red dot of a laser cross her body. She screamed and hit the floor.

Turned out some kids had bought some cheap laser toys and were playing with them, thinking it was funny to shine them on people. Laser pointers were banned in that mall from then on, and I think the town may have enacted an ordinance.

They can be very useful (I have one myself, for when I give briefings)...but they can also scare people. I'm also not sure how safe they are -- coherent light from a laser can burn out the retina of your eye, causing blindness. Not sure what the power threshold is to do that, but I don't want to find out the hard way.

usaign
July 13, 2010, 09:15 PM
Brief periods of exposure wont hurt your eye. For example, lets say the laser pointer slips and it shines in your eye...the first thing you are going to do is look away, close your eyes or put your hands over your eyes. Total exposure time would be less then a second. A laser pointer wont do damage with that brief exposure time. The problem is that certain individuals, like children and foolish adults, who will challenge themselves to stare at the laser pointer for over 5 seconds. I read somewhere that some guy chose to stare at the laser for 30 seconds.

So the Home Depot laser pointers wont harm the normal person's eyes because the normal person will take action quickly and shield themselves. Total exposure time would be very minimal.

ranburr
July 13, 2010, 10:41 PM
I know of at least one nuke missle base that scrambled everybody with a gun when one of the guard towers was lasered.

Skans
July 14, 2010, 07:28 AM
Brief periods of exposure wont hurt your eye.

Oh, yes it will. I've read many accounts of people doing permenant damage to their eyes from laser pointers. FWIW, Some laser pointers are as powerful as 300mw and higher. But, even those 5mw lasers can do damage to your eyes. Perhaps a quick glance at a 5mw or less laser might not always do permenant damage - maybe that's what you are talking about.

teeroux
July 14, 2010, 07:36 AM
Around my parts it is a crime to shine a laser on any peace officer.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 14, 2010, 09:29 AM
I worked in a lab that studied light damage to retinas. I would sincerely avoid anyone shining one into your eye.

finz50
July 14, 2010, 04:34 PM
It's also illegal to shoot a laser pointer at an aircraft. Especially Military aircraft. When you're out flying around at night with your NVG's on, it's a real bummer to hear both of your pilots say they can't see because someone on the ground is shooting a red laser pointer at you.

Reminded me of a story: We had one of our USAF AC-130U Gunships about a year ago got lit up one night. Apparently they were on a training mission just near a range we have here in FL. Apparently someone from a local neighborhood thought it'd be funny to aim their laser pointer at one of the Gunships (really BAD idea).....the aircrew decided to get a fix on where the light was coming from and call in the GPS coordinates to the local "authorities". Sheriffs deputies show up around 20 minutes later and find some stupid teenage kids that had no clue who they were messing with. Supposedly when the kids found out they coulda ended up with a 105mm Howitzer up their ass, it scared the -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- out of 'em.....needless to say it the most memorable sortie debrief I've ever heard in my life.

Deputy Dog
July 14, 2010, 05:58 PM
Some states its Illegal to point a laser at a person due to the laser sight association.

DD

Crosshair
July 14, 2010, 06:19 PM
I've always wondered whether a powerful laser pointer can be used to disable a survaliance camera?
Temporarily disable, yes. The laser will overload the sensor and cause a whiteout as the camera tries to compensate.

Permanently disable, not really. not with today's cameras. If you had enough wattage you probably could, but most everything nowadays has a fast acting auto-iris lens and the sensors themselves are quite durable. I've had cameras, without the lens assembly, powered up in direct sunlight and the sensor was undamaged.

If you know the camera is monitored in some way it's a REALLY bad idea. When you have 32 cameras at your desk it's really easy to miss something. Having a camera suddenly whiteout like a nuke has gone off is going to attract attention.

Even hitting the camera with a laser is problematic because you have to hit the lens itself and then keep it there. (Can you hold a laser beam on a 1/2" target at 50 yards?) Just shooting the camera with a 22 would be more stealthy and reliable. You can obscure your face at night by making an "IR LED Hat". That works good too.

usaign
July 15, 2010, 11:20 PM
I went outside with my new toy and was able to illuminate a no parking sign which was probably a quarter mile away. Then when it illuminated it looked like it was a construction warning light...very bright and obvious. These laser pointers have some power.

MO. Shootin
July 16, 2010, 01:10 AM
might be good for dry firing exercise. I guess the front sight would tell you the same thing though.

godot
July 27, 2010, 01:15 PM
I live in a middle to upper class area, and one night I noticed a red dot flashing on my chest. For a minute, I got a little paranoid and then saw it was coming from two pre-teen girls who were just having fun.
I think it's a dumb idea.

jglsprings
July 31, 2010, 09:32 AM
The TSA seemed to think my green laser was going to shoot down an airplane or burn through the cockpit door or vaporize a flight attendant.

I disappointed them by mailing it back to my home and not handing it over.

Avenger
July 31, 2010, 07:01 PM
Three cases in Ohio recently spring to mind: Two idiots in a mullet-era Camaro lasing a police helicopter through their sunroof...both arrested.
One idiot lasing a helicopter from his balcony with a green laser mounted on his (non-present) roommates Steyr AUG...idiot arrested, roommate loses a $1,500 rifle due to idiot.
One idiot green lasing a medical helicopter as it passed over-head...he didn't notice the police helicopter following behind it, they gave him a little taste of his own medicine with their spotlight at low level along with hovering over his car at low level until the ground units arrived...one idiot arrested, one idiots car pretty well sand-blasted.

T. O'Heir
August 1, 2010, 12:05 AM
"...Defending against Lasers..." A mirror.

obxned
August 1, 2010, 12:39 PM
It's dark-thirty, you are minding your own business, suddenly a red dot appears on you, and you see a shadowy figure pointing something at you that projects that red dot. No matter what you do, you are probably wrong.

If it is a bad guy and you hesitate, you are likely dead. If it's a kid playing a game and you shoot, you will probably end up in jail. Now that kid knows exactly what that red dot represents; they have all seen laser sights used on TV and in the movies. The fun of the game is scaring the heck out of people, and it works because many people immediately think they are now a target. If the results are not pleasant, that kid really has no one to blame other than himself. The courts, however, will probably still fry you.

Once again, life isn't fair.

FreakGasolineFight
August 1, 2010, 01:23 PM
A decent pocket mirror would probably do the trick.

Sport45
August 4, 2010, 08:49 AM
I've been "lased" by a construction level and even though it was a very short exposure I can attest that it hurt for a while. I hope the damage was temporary. I imagine most laws against pointing a laser at someone are meant to protect vision rather than teh assumption a firearm is being directed toward you.

I don't spend a lot of time looking at my chest and none at my back do I doubt I'd even know someone used a laser pointer on my unless someone else brought it to my attention.

Old Wanderer
August 16, 2010, 01:43 AM
One of the things I have adopted for my HD is military grade green lasers on several firearms.

I found the check points were using these quite successfully in Iraq for vehicles that were not slowing coming up to check points. The green laser resulted in the loss of vision for 10 to 20 minutes, with no permanent damage. It also give you some vision in a very dark room

In my HD, I would rather temporarily blind a person, zip tie them, and call 911, than work for a week trying to get blood stains out of my while carpets.