A survey commissioned by Infowars and conducted by Harris Interactive has found that 35% of American adults would be willing to wear an electric shock bracelet in order to fly, another startling example of how many Americans are willing to give up their rights in the name of safety.
The idea of mandating travelers wear an electric shock bracelet sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie, but the proposal was seriously considered and very nearly implemented by the Department of Homeland Security back in 2008.
As the video above highlights, not only would the bracelets have been used to deliver incapacitating electric shocks to suspected terrorists, they would also have contained tracking technology to spy on the wearer.
American adults participating in the Harris Interactive survey were asked the following question;
In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security expressed an interest in having travelers wear electric shock bracelets that would both track travelers through the airport as well as allow airport officials and flight crews to incapacitate potential terrorists. How willing, if at all, would you be to wear such a bracelet in order to fly?
An astounding 35% of American adults responded that they would be “completely” or “somewhat willing” to wear the shock bracelet. Republicans were more likely to be willing than Democrats, 41% to 34%.
Only a slim majority (52%) said they would be “completely” unwilling or “somewhat unwilling” to wear the shock bracelet. The rest (13%) responded “don’t know”.
The fact that a sizable portion of American adults are willing to wear a device that would allow a TSA agent or other airline official to arbitrarily deliver a paralyzing electric shock similar to a taser gun is a shocking indication of how much freedom and dignity Americans are happy to give up in the name of security.
Given how close the DHS came to actually implementing the plan, one wonders if it is likely to rear its head once more.
In 2008, the Washington Times reported on how DHS official Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, wrote to Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. indicating that the Department of Homeland Security was ready to purchase devices from the company that would be used to deliver incapacitating shocks to airline passengers, all of whom would be mandated to wear the shock bracelet once they checked in for their flight.
In his letter, Ruwaldt also noted how the bracelet could be used as a “method of interrogation,” in other words a torture device. He also raised the prospect of using the device against protesters to allow the temporary “restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers.”
The letter stated that the DHS was “interested in…. the immobilizing security bracelet” and that it was “conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.” Other letters made it clear that the DOD, the CDC, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture Forestry service, as well as unnamed law enforcement agencies were also keen on acquiring the device.
Following a wave of negative publicity, the DHS pulled the plug on its interest in the electric shock bracelet, and Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. set about removing the letters from Ruwaldt it had previously proudly displayed on its website.
As we reported yesterday, the Harris survey produced several other jaw-dropping results, the most notable being that almost a third of American adults would be willing to submit to a “TSA body cavity search” in order to fly.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Free Speech Systems from November 5-7 among 2,059 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.