Nonlethal weapons are potential middle ground

To the editor:

This election season, we will repeatedly hear the angry voices on the gun issue, pro and con. The usual arguments are a stalemate. A third view is overdue, based on a focus on lethal and nonlethal weaponry.

Consider the humble beanbag-firing knockdown guns. Maybe hand them out to civilians in stadiums, theaters and nightclubs and to schools and colleges. They could stun and disarm terrorists or insane shooters while avoiding tragic crossfires. Picture this for Paris, Tel Aviv and Orlando.

As a larger scale example, picture nuclear nations negotiating a changeover of their aging H-bombs to nose cones refitted with less lethal tools such as electromagnetic pulse weapons. This would be less genocidal than a world scorched over by multiple Hiroshimas.

The typical pro-and-con arguments will fire up voter groups going into the election. Any third way featuring nonlethal weaponry can be a vote loser among a conflict-prone species that relishes two-way competition, whether harmless sports or harmful competition through wars, commerce, group pride and dominance on the part of seven billion humans now overstressing their planet.

Richard David Greene, North Adams