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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sonic Child/Teen Repellent

According to the New York Times, a Welsh inventor has created a device that repels young people:

The device, called the Mosquito ("It's small and annoying," Stapleton said), emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that, he says, can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away.
Too bad they don't make other variants of this device effective on people such as:

  • Illegal Aliens
  • Beggars
  • Door-to-door sales people and flier distributors

Joking aside, I wonder what sort of legislation and law suits will be spawned by the deployment of such devices.

The article also mentioned the existence of another anti-teenager device that I had not heard of:

Mr. Stapleton, a security consultant whose experience in installing store alarms and the like alerted him to the gravity of the loitering problem, studied other teenage-repellents as part of his research. Some shops, for example, use "zit lamps," which drive teenagers away by casting a blue light onto their spotty skin, accentuating any whiteheads and other blemishes.
On one hand, I sympathize with business owners wanting to keep away rowdy teens and young trouble-makers. On the other, it seems woefully pacifistic to use such technology to repel human beings. Although it isn't the job of shopkeepers to parent wayward youths, I would think it is more beneficial to society if they warned away or reported troublemakers to the police (assuming the police bother to respond to such calls).

Teens are already somewhat made to feel like part of a criminal underworld in many areas, and this isn't a healthy societal attitude. I, for example, was a good, polite, well-dressed and hard-working teen, yet still occasionally felt unfairly discriminated against. I remember what it was like to not be allowed into a corner store without an adult (to prevent shoplifting by minors), or being chased off by the police for "loitering" while doing nothing more harmful than talking to a girlfriend in my car while legally parked at a public waterfront. Had I not been raised by good parents and had such anti-teen policies been backed by annoying sound/light technology, I might have been inclined to destroy the offending devices rather than let them get the better of me.

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