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Old 08-09-2007, 05:01 PM #1
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Default So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Laser pointers have been getting much negative publicity in the press lately. Apparently quite a few fools shining them at aircraft, etc.

Check out the LC forums. Been a number of topcis there on this. I've been trying to defend < 100mW pointers as being harmless, aside from the retina hazard up close. However a lot of members over at LC think they will be banned shortly. One user, 'gottaluvlasers', was foaming at the mouth over this. He apparently makes a living from laser shows and does not like the fact whippersnappers don't have to fill out lots of paperwork ("variance&quot to (illegally) get their lasers, like he does.

Call me paranoid but I feel there might be an organized campaign trying to ban the things. Just how some of these 'incidents' feel to me. Apparently someone in Oz was shining a multi-watt DPSS lasers at aircraft, which would take some planning as pilots are only vulnerable during takeoff and landing.

Personally I think it's hysteria and it would be a pity if pointers were outlawed.

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Old 08-09-2007, 05:06 PM #2
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

i doubt theyre going to ban pointers up here in canada =]
you guys on the other hand...
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:19 PM #3
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

They tried banning them in the UK years ago, but it was seen to be a joke from everybody so it never came into force. Plus, it was only bored nuisance teenagers who were using them as "weapons". The fad came and went within about 6 months of the first crappy red keychains, and hardly anythings been said since!

The high power pointers have so far escaped media attention over here.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:32 PM #4
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Same goes for The Netherlands, officially the limit is set to max. output of 1mW. Everything beyond that may only be used in labs and test facilities by people who studied for it, and specialists in optics.

However there is no law that binds concequences on selling/buying or owning a higher powered laser with power over 1mW.

If you abuse the high powered lasers and endanger others with it, you'll most certainly be punished in court for using weapons or "certain items" with the purpose of hurting / damaging something or someone else.

But thats the same with hammers and knives :-?



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Old 08-09-2007, 05:50 PM #5
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

I remember when the first media stories came out, and looking back on them, they were hilarious!

Every day for a while there was someone claiming compensation for ill health and psycological abuse from having a <1mw laser pointer aimed at their back or something crazy.

Imagine if they got hold of a >500mW laser that lights cigarettes! I can see it now: "green laser of death blew me a new ***hole"!
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:17 PM #6
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Fortunately high powered lasers are rare as rocking horse shit here Not many people believe that you can get them easily. I'm not saying that people here in the UK don't buy them and fortunately our hobby is safe from stupid irresponsible kids aiming at planes on a regular basis...
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:34 PM #7
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Another good relief is high powered lasers are way too expensive for most kids to do mischief with. Also if someone is smart enough to build a high powered laser they should be smart enough to not point it at things they shouldn't. If any group trys to ban lasers in the US I bet you it will be the CPSC.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:07 PM #8
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Styropyro - I would normally agree with most of what you said, except for an idiot on LC a while back (who said he was 39 years old, by the way) stated he did not KNOW that it was unsafe to point lasers at moving cars.....Uhm....yeah....anyways, hopefully that moron will never show his face here - if he does it will be a one time post, that is for sure ! oooooo - Carmangary, that was his name ! LOL....I see him on CPF once in a while....
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:34 AM #9
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

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Originally Posted by styropyro
Another good relief is high powered lasers are way too expensive for most kids to do mischief with. Also if someone is smart enough to build a high powered laser they should be smart enough to not point it at things they shouldn't. If any group trys to ban lasers in the US I bet you it will be the CPSC.
I have to agree with SenKat. I have seen some pretty obnoxious posts regarding laser safety and what not. You would not believe how ignorant some people are, but it is because they are not educated. Fortunately you are educated, so you know to be careful. I do respect people that take the time to read up and inform themselves on the dangers of lasers. On the other hand, when I read things like someone recommending sun glasses or welder goggles to another forum member because they should provide some protection, I have a fit. You would think people would know better, but I realize the crap they are spewing out is because they are not educated. People like this can be just as dangerous as the laser.

Asking questions if it is OK to use sunglasses or whatever is good. But advising someone it "should" be OK, really ticks me off.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:40 AM #10
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

YES -- Laser pointers will be banned ------------- Along with all firearms, knives, golf clubs, base ball bats, cars etc.
The "At Risk Falacy" dictates that all potentially dangerous items must be taken from the lambs (taxpayers) to protect the government and other idiots.
On the + side, your 5 mW pointers will be worth a bunch more ;D

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Old 08-10-2007, 06:24 AM #11
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

i have no doubt that there will be some VERY harsh rules over here in australia where allot of incidents are occurring..... seems that there have been people targeting low flying aircraft that are trying to land or take off....... its really disappointing and annoys the crap outta me! and unfortunatly in my area there are allot of 12-13 year old people who have plenty enough money to buy items like this over the internet. i mean theres bout 4 people at my school with relitivly high power lasers (5-50mW) already and i see them shone into eyes and faces all the time... thank goodness they're all cheap scammy eBay lasers putting out way under spec amounts of light.
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Old 08-12-2007, 04:23 AM #12
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

I'm fairly certain Congress has more pressing matters to attend here in the USA.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:17 AM #13
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

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thank goodness they're all cheap scammy eBay lasers putting out way under spec amounts of light.
maybe thats a good thing for that reason??not many kids will go out and buy a $500 GOOD laser if they can go on ebay and get the same Looking thing for way cheaper, but they are way underspec?
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:13 AM #14
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

im just wondering, dont flame me for being inexperienced or anything, i have to learn somehow. but what can happen if you shine one of these high powerd lasers on the undercarrage of an aircraft? or are they shining them inside cockpit windows as they take off?
here in aus recently there was some artical on the news about people shining laser pointers into the eyes of football players during games. not sure what kind of laser they where or anything but i think they mentioned banning them.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:34 AM #15
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Default Re: So are laser pointers going to be banned?

Sherro - valid question ! The issue arrises during take off or landing - the green (typically) laser gets shone into the pilot's eyes - or at least the cockpit, and it distracts them and could possibly have disastrous side effects ! The greenies REALLY light up things well - I forget where the thread was located, but there was one where someone did a DEMO with a car - shining a green laser at a great distance into the windshield - and the effects were stunning - totally lit up the interior, and could have caused a nasty crash !
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