ADS Ray Gun – Final Post

It’s been a busy summer — between my Monroe research and another internship I had this summer through William and Mary — but I learned a lot over the course of this project about ADS ray guns, as well as about the policy implications and ethical concerns surrounding the introduction of new military technology.

To conclude my research project, I looked into how the US should proceed with the development of ADS and other non-lethal weapons. Moving forward, the technology must definitely continue to be researched and contained. Further research is necessary to make sure there aren’t any adverse long-term health effects on targets and containment is necessary to prevent illiberal regimes or other groups with poor human rights records from getting ahold of and abusing the weapon. As the PIPS white paper (2013, 20) explained, technological diffusion can’t be prevented altogether, but the US should still do what it can’t to slow down the proliferation of ADS and set up rules for its engagement through international regulatory organizations.

Another way to address potential misuse, even within the US armed forces, was to equip ADS lasers with cameras, similar to police dash cams, that record its use so that users can both be held accountable for their actions and protected from wrongful prosecution (PIPS, 2013, 21). By making the footage available to the public, it would work to soothe worries people may have about the technology.

Overall, this project was a great experience that allowed me to conduct independent research on a topic that I found interesting. I was able to use a lot of the skills I learned in my research methods class last semester (shoutout to Prof. Doherty) such as finding and narrowing down sources (of which there are an infinite amount). Though I won’t know for certain until the next few years come and go, I think that the Freshman Monroe Project did a great job in preparing me for a future featuring more academic research.


  1. Hey Christina! Your research is very intersting! I agree that preventing mistreatment of ADS and other non-lethal weapons is important. Public footage is an intesting idea, but I could definitely see it creating problems down the road. How would the armed forces ease the public without possibly revealing top secret technology to enemies of the United States? Great job on your project!