According to sources, the two men currently accused of building a portable X-ray weapon are … stupid. Perhaps, the fear is symptomatic of our culture’s newfound zest for superheroes, but the two alleged men of mayhem, Glendon Scott Crawford and Eric Feight, have been charged with conspiracy to support terrorism after they built a remote-control switch designed “to attach to a van-mounted, industrial X-ray machine to secretly radiate people who would get sick or die days later.” A lot of words in that statement made for good impression rates across news destinations, particularly when radiation safety experts called it “the stuff of comic books” amidst their analysis of such a laughable plan, but my how the papers do love evil geniuses and this poor story offered up the perfect patsies.
Depending on the source, the heights to the pair’s diabolical aptitude taps out anywhere from legitimate weapons of mass destruction to near laughable infeasibility. Still, we are a culture that demands fear mongering, so facts need to be checked and then neglected if otherwise unsupportive of the popular narrative. For me, I trust the radiation safety experts contacted by the Associated Press who claimed that the device would require massive amounts of electricity, cripple the truck under its weight, and still remain pretty much harmless.
What a courtroom defense? The design is too asinine to prove bad intentions. As it sounds, little separates this “death ray” from the counter-intelligence, drone-mountable tactical impeder I constructed out of toy bricks with my niece over the weekend. Completely her idea, I assure you. Unless the suggestion lands her on some sort of list before she graduates pre-K, in which case I’ll take the fall.