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Thread: Morons with laser pointers - awesome takedown...

  1. #1
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    Default Morons with laser pointers - awesome takedown...

    Great ending to another story of morons with high-power laser pointers:

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...346317872.html

    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  2. #2
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    "opinion removed because everybody knows laser pointers are safe to look into while piloting an aircraft and it would be wrong to make the punishment severe enough to actually deter a dangerous crime"
    Last edited by Laser Wizardry; 11-13-2015 at 16:24.

  3. #3
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    These idiots are NOT "terrorists". That word's impact should not be diluted, and reserved for scum like the guy who shot up the church in S. Carolina. They're just stupid, and obviously there was no risk to the pilots in the helicopter. We all know how spread out the beam from handheld lasers are, even at the typical altitude of news helicopters. Unless the laser is on a tracking platform like a telescope, the scanning from a hand held device will result in very brief exposure. Distracting, yes. Lethal, no. There's a difference between someone aiming an industrial pulsed YAG toward the cockpit of a passenger aircraft landing in San Diego, and someone pointing a visible laser pointer's beam at an aircraft at 35000 feet. That difference needs to be addressed in any laws regarding lasers and aircraft. One size does not fit all. Teach this guy a lesson? Yes! Make a public example? Yes. But let's not equate a couple of watts of visible laser beam with the reality of laser weapons in the hands of those really out to hurt people. If this laser wielder (and all those like the idiot) was out to hurt people, he'd have been on an overpass lasing drivers in the face who are at speed on a freeway.

  4. #4
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    ( including violating the UN treaty on handheld laser weapons)
    You just try to enforce a UN treaty by penalizing a US citizen within the sovereign US territory and you will see just what a non laser weapon can do.

    That being said, I agree with strict and consistent enforcement of US laws to stop these criminals. Be careful however, if the laser is presented as this horrifically threatening device akin to a Stinger missile. It is not and if it is portrayed as such there is the real possibility that any possession of such a dangerous machine, for any reason will be so restricted that show and hobby lasers will become unavailable. If a pointer is the same as a missile then the inventory of lasers owned by a typical show company would be overwhelmingly dangerous and Rumsfeld will be called back for some Shock and Awe. I understand your frustration. It isn't fair. But, the approach has to be stable. Class them as weapons then the second amendment comes into play. Class them as radiation generators and the FDA comes into play. This is what confuses me. Why is there a nuclear regulator agency if "radiation generators" fall under the food and drug agency? Food and drug (and lasers?)???

  5. #5
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    I have some issues with the posts here. I didn't want to respond after the first post but the rest got me more upset.

    1. You do NOT wish to have someone sacrificed for your career, hobby, or to serve as a public example. That's not the purpose of criminal law in a civilized country. We do not hang the bodies of executed criminals for public display anymore for a reason and one of them is that it doesn't help reduce the crime rate.
    2. Terrorist and terrorism have been defined in international law. These people, even if they know the dangers of what they are doing and doing it purposefully cannot be described as terrorists.
    3. Labeling them criminals is also pretty rough, even if they are by definition commiting a crime in your country. You do not know whether these people in particular knew how dangerous laser pointers could be. For all we know they could have bought the laser pointer from ebay with zero knowledge of lasers and with no description in the ebay listing of the dangers of lasers. Since safe laser pointers have been used for so long you cannot blame them for not knowing and assuming these laser pointers in particular were dangerous. It's not as evident as fireworks,etc. I'd consider it natural to point lasers on far objects and especially moving far objects if you're not aware it's dangerous compared to the safe laser pointers used in classrooms, because it's fun. So even calling them idiots without knowing the situation is pretty rude. They could be our brothers or sisters.
    For same reason I find calling cops on someone using a laser pointer in your open air party to be very rude, even if there's a clear sign. There can be a clear sign that smoking and using cell phones is not allowed, these signs give no idea of the actual consequences of lasers. I don't believe any person will assume breaking the rules on these kind of signs could get them into major trouble.
    Unless you are near an airport, the divergence will make the beam harmless as Eidetic pointed out. Maybe noticeable, but nothing else. If you think getting someone's daughter or son in jail is the right thing to do because he/she didn't know what he got from ebay was capable of for the sake of supposedly saving your hobby/job then I wouldn't want to ever deal with you.

    If you believe this hobby/job/industry needs saving, raise public awareness and contribute to development of better regulations. Getting people in jail who probably just didn't know better is not the right way to do it. Morality of it aside, statistical data shows it never works.

  6. #6
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    If there is a law against illuminating an aircraft with a laser then if you break it you have committed a crime. You can challenge the law or the penelty. If the sign indicates the result then it's fair to follow through. Otherwise, I generally agree.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghosttrain View Post
    ...

    Labeling them criminals is also pretty rough, even if they are by definition commiting a crime in your country. You do not know whether these people in particular knew how dangerous laser pointers could be. For all we know they could have bought the laser pointer from ebay with zero knowledge of lasers and with no description in the ebay listing of the dangers of lasers. Since safe laser pointers have been used for so long you cannot blame them for not knowing and assuming these laser pointers in particular were dangerous. It's not as evident as fireworks,etc. I'd consider it natural to point lasers on far objects and especially moving far objects if you're not aware it's dangerous compared to the safe laser pointers used in classrooms, because it's fun. So even calling them idiots without knowing the situation is pretty rude. They could be our brothers or sisters.
    For same reason I find calling cops on someone using a laser pointer in your open air party to be very rude, even if there's a clear sign. There can be a clear sign that smoking and using cell phones is not allowed, these signs give no idea of the actual consequences of lasers. I don't believe any person will assume breaking the rules on these kind of signs could get them into major trouble.
    Unless you are near an airport, the divergence will make the beam harmless as Eidetic pointed out. Maybe noticeable, but nothing else. If you think getting someone's daughter or son in jail is the right thing to do because he/she didn't know what he got from ebay was capable of for the sake of supposedly saving your hobby/job then I wouldn't want to ever deal with you.

    ....
    Yeah, heaven forbid we actually hold someone accountable for their actions...

    Common sense aside, there are enough of these well-publicized incidents that anyone with a brain should figure out that pointing a high-power laser pointer at low-flying aircraft is not only incredibly stupid, but illegal as well.

    While trying culprits as terrorists is probably a bit extreme, holding then accountable is definitely not -
    And the two dumb-asses in the video were obviously not young kids, and should have known better.

    For your reading pleasure:

    http://www.laserpointersafety.com/la..._aircraft.html

    And discussions from an earlier thread (several good points of view throughout that thread):

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...070#post165070
    Last edited by Stuka; 11-12-2015 at 11:33.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eidetic View Post
    ...obviously there was no risk to the pilots in the helicopter. We all know how spread out the beam from handheld lasers are, even at the typical altitude of news helicopters...
    Really?
    How much time have you spent flying helicopters low-level at night around urban areas, aided or unaided?

    I'm guessing that it's probably not a lot...
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
    Yeah, heaven forbid we actually hold someone accountable for their actions...
    Looks like my points went over your head. I guess I'll go fuck myself then.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghosttrain View Post
    Looks like my points went over your head. I guess I'll go fuck myself then.
    No, your points were read loud and clear -
    Sorry dude, but when it comes to idiots shining laser pointers at low-flying aircraft - especially when these same idiots are doing so repeatedly, as in the video - there are very few good excuses for doing so.

    As far as what you decide to do based on my initial reply to you -
    Well, nothing was implied on my part, but have fun!
    Last edited by Stuka; 11-12-2015 at 12:09.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

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