Stop Trying To Make The "Clown Nose" A Thing

Geeks weaned on Star Trek and other science fiction/fantasy shows are latching on to “The Alternative,” one of the most poorly thought-out attempts in “less lethal” technology that we’ve ever seen.


Tech Times gushes:

Alternative Ballistics has presented “The Alternative,” a pistol accessory that helps police officers fire the first round 50 percent slower, which hurts but avoids killing the suspect.

Experience shows that wildly shot bullets tend to go further than intended and can go as far as 1,000 feet. This realization and the unfortunate cases of lethal interaction between cops and innocent civilians convinced researchers that no effort is too much to keep that from happening.

“The Alternative” acts as a one-use bullet speed modifier and is small enough to be carried around at the belt of every police officer. It is easy to attach it to the barrel of the gun. The orange plastic support hooks up easily to the weapon. After installing it, the first bullet fired attaches itself to a ping pong-sized metal alloy ball that is propelled forward by the bullet’s force.

The good news is, the accuracy remains the same, but since the ball is far larger than the bullet, the impact on the suspect will not cause piercing wounds. Fractures and small depth traumas are still possible, but the reduced penetration guarantees an increased survival rate. In most books, “heavily bruised” is preferable to “dead.”

So these geniuses think that police “wildly shoot bullets,” but that the one crack officers get with “The Alternative” is going to make the difference?


Go back to fondling your replica phaser, Francis.

We called “The Alternative” the worse “less lethal force idea ever” when we first heard about it in 2014:

In other words, an officer in a deadly-force situation must take his support hand off his weapon, and, while keeping an eye on the subject, acquire The Alternative from a belt-mounted pouch, orient it in his hand, and then potentially muzzle his own hand (they claim otherwise) in a high-stress situation to put a device on his gun that looks like a toy.

Mounting the device during a high-stress, lethal force encounter requires the officer to affix the device by feel as he tries to keep his eyes on the subject, potentially muzzling his own hand on the process.

Once he has the device on his weapon he then fires a live round, hoping that the device works as designed and captures the bullet that he just fired. If it works, the projectile will capture the bullet and presumably strike the subject downrange. The docking station and projectile blasted free of the gun, the officer immediately reverts to conventional lethal force fired out of the same weapon.

I have grave concerns over any attempt to use the same device to deliver both lethal and non-lethal force.

I further have concerns that if there is more than one officer involved in the encounter, that the officer deploying the less lethal from a conventional handgun will create sympathetic fire from his colleagues, so that the suspect is struck in a fusillade of both lethal and less lethal fire.


Police officers are trained to fire two shots at a time in an initial engagement because handgun bullets are weak. They’ve been trained like this for decades.

You know what someone is eventually going to do with The Alternative? They’re going to use their duty weapon precisely as they’ve been trained to do their entire career, and that second bullet is going to arrive on target without the “clown nose” attached, and it’s going to make holes.

Quick trying to make this “a thing.”

You’re going to get people killed, careers ruined, and cities burned.

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