The army will pretty much hurl money at you if you even kind of want to hurt somebody, and they’ll hurl a shit-ton if you happen to have a new and novel means to do so. The Variable Velocity Weapon System is certainly that. The VVWS is pretty self explanatory; it is a new type of gun that fires using pockets of gas ignited behind the projectile, rather than the conventional powder reaction. This method allows different amounts of the gas into the chamber, in order to vary the speed of a bullet and thus, its lethality. That’s a pretty straightforward explanation, but there’s an even better way to explain the VVWS: It’s a pump-action pellet gun that goes all the way up to 11.
You see, Gentlemen…that’s one more.
Any weapon using the VVWS would have the ability to switch – on the fly – from ‘lethal’ rounds, to ‘wounding, incapacitating’ rounds, all the way down to just ‘bruising’ rounds. Essentially, you can now carry around one device that is capable of murdering all potential assailants, crippling a man for life, or just punching a dude in the beanbags from across the street for looking like a bit of a douche.
This…this is too much power.
But why would I say that, when it’s actually a lessening of lethality? How could that possibly be “too much power?” Well, try to imagine the moral dilemma that firing a gun now poses. With a normal rifle, you have two options: Possibly kill a guy, or don’t shoot. It’s literally a life or death situation. This, at least, gives you pause. With a VVWS weapon, you now have the option to just tell the enemy to go fuck themselves, and you can let them know exactly how hard they should do it by adjusting the strength of your shot.
What?! What did he just say to me?! That’s it! That’s fucking it! I’m setting this thing to ‘Yo Momma.’
While the optimist in me thinks that this could be a great development – imagining future battles that are like the denouement of a G.I. Joe episode, where everybody just gets a stern talking to by the hails of gunfire – the pessimist in me cannot help but envision a dystopian, nightmarish future: One where all negative interactions in day-to-day life are communicated solely by the strength of one’s gunfire. No longer would I have to argue with my girlfriend about whether or not she should turn up the volume on her Youtube videos while I’m trying to watch Futurama (which, in all fairness, was an episode that I had already memorized and could simply recite to myself sotto voce to achieve the same effect.) No, in the future I would simply turn to her and fire a ‘Minor Annoyance’ bullet into her thigh. At which point she would return fire with ‘Justified Indignation,’ and our dispute would be resolved. Unless I had a bad day…then I might retaliate with ‘It’s Just Common Courtesy,’ and she with ‘Whatever, I Do What I Want.’ Eventually this minor squabble could escalate out of control; finally culminating with the two of us crouched in the street behind the burning wreckage of automobiles, our respective weapons set to ‘Super Murder’ and ‘Fine Pink Mist.’
Because they don’t just “go to 11,” like I implied earlier. They go far, far beyond it. Bruce Lund, the CEO of Lund and Company Invention (the toy company responsible for the development of VVWS,) says that they expect an individual weapon will be able to scale “from handgun to howitzer,” and that “with modifications, it could achieve greater range than most conventional sniper rifles.” So theoretically, the same weapon could:
1: Flick you in the ear
2: Punch you in the guts
3: Knock you unconscious
4: Bring down a damn fighter jet
That kind of control is going to lead to some awkward moments for the major metropolitan police forces in most American cities. They’re already Tasering people to death on a bi-hourly basis, and those were never even supposed to be lethal. The next time there’s a ‘crowd control situation,’ just try explaining why all the white people have rose-tinted slap-marks on their tummies, while the one black guy is a new coat of paint across downtown. There’s going to have to be some pretty impressive new answers to justify the higher ratio of dead black dudes now that your firearm is capable of everything from Spring Breeze to Cautionary Slap.
“He was black as night, Your Honor! It’s like natural camouflage! If the sun went down he’d have been nigh invisible! HOW DO YOU FIGHT A THREAT YOU CANNOT SEE?!”