Tags: army | shoulder-fired | weapons | unsafe

Army Shoulder-Fired Weapons Said Too Powerful to Shoot Safely

Army Shoulder-Fired Weapons Said Too Powerful to Shoot Safely

US Amy soldier with AT4 rocket launcher. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 30 April 2018 01:01 PM

Some of the Army’s shoulder-fired weapons are said to be too powerful to be shot safely, with experts believing military personnel could be damaging their brains every time they pull the trigger.

Certain shoulder-fired weapons powered by explosions near the operator's head could damage a person's brain without leaving any visible sign of injury, said a report released by the Center for a New American Security on Monday, per National Public Radio.

Researchers theorize that the blast waves emanating from certain weapons could cause an array of injuries and affect the brain.

There has been growing interest in blast-induced traumatic brain injury caused from larger weapons such as bombs, but now it is believed that all high overpressure weapons including the recoilless rifle and the AT4 anti-tank weapon could cause significant harm, per Science Direct.

The study's co-author, Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger who directs the technology and national security program at the center, said these weapons produce strong explosions close to the head, and could lead to short-term problems related to memory and thinking

"If you're exposed to these weapons throughout the course of your military career, this might have some subtle and insidious long-term effect that doesn't materialize until later," Scharre said, per NPR.

It may take years for experts to conclusively prove whether there are major risks involved in firing these weapons, but the report has advised that the military take steps to address the issue.

Kyle Sims, a former Special Forces medic who helped deploy blast gauges in Afghanistan, agreed with Scharre.

"It's not that one time that the guy got knocked unconscious, it's the 500 times that the guy got hit prior to that," he said, according to NPR.

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TheWire
Some of the Army’s shoulder-fired weapons are said to be too powerful to be shot safely, with experts believing military personnel could be damaging their brains every time they pull the trigger.
army, shoulder-fired, weapons, unsafe
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2018-01-30
Monday, 30 April 2018 01:01 PM
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