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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/07/2017 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    I have been riding my kingsong 14c for a few months and It drove me crazy how tiny the pedals are. Obviously, I am not the only person who thinks this. Used 1/4 inch think redwood planks, VHB mounting tape, gorilla glue tape and covered it all with grip tape. It ride so nicely now. Center of gravity is a little bit high, but its not bad. Ankles do not hurt and its just great. Main piece of wood is 10 inches by 4.5 inches. I also made a video showing it all:
  2. 6 points
    While this forum is primarily for euc discussion and while nobody in this off-topic sub-forum thread has "violated anything" (yet), The moderator team and I can see this thread POTENTIALLY get out of control. Therefore, before anything bad happens, I'll paste the relevant paragraph from the forum rules here hopefully to prevent the "something bad" from happening. Be good to one another. Don’t insult anyone directly, including the staff. Don’t use hate speech of any kind, including (but not limited to) hate speech related to ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, religion, political inclination, or anything else deemed inappropriate by the moderation team.
  3. 6 points
    I want to see Trump take up our cause. Something like this:
  4. 5 points
    Just wondered if anyone had ever seen electric unicycles appear in a movie before? I don't recall seeing such a film. Getting EUCs featured in a big movie would certainly help to promote electric unicycling to the masses (which users of this forum may or may not appreciate)! I'd love to see a futuristic sci-fi film where they are used as a primary means of transportation, hopefully with some awesome chase scenes
  5. 5 points
    Although the device itself wasn't visible, I think a villain in one of the new Doctor Who episodes was riding either a hoverboard or an EUC with long cape... don't know if it's available in Youtube or something. EDIT: It's season 9, episode 1. The villain is "Colony Sarff". From behind the scenes -notes: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Colony_Sarff The character's 'slithering' walk was created by using a 'hover board' device which was hidden under his robes.[1] I burst out laughing when I saw the scene, as it was pretty obvious from the motion the actor's riding some sort of self-balancing vehicle
  6. 5 points
    Don't know about films but it's appeared in TV plays etc a few times: I never thought of @Jason McNeil as our resident couch potato, but he seems to spot them first ?
  7. 5 points
    The end of yesterday's ride through Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. We rode a few miles of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail trail, then explored the town and waterfalls. The GAP trail is hard packed dirt and easy riding, at least in this area. The only minor issue was a few muddy spots since it has been raining a lot lately. With a connection to the C&O Canal Towpath you can ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. That would be an epic multi-day ride with camping along the way. This trail will always be remembered by me as the first time I successfully rode on one foot!
  8. 4 points
    Who be hatin'? Actually I be hatin'! I hate the death and carnage that I see on the news caused by a few bad apples. Sure they might have their own justifications in their minds to do what they do, but I wonder what response can there be to help reduce the problem to protect the innocent. When I hear stories of a some young lady travelling with her fiance getting run down by a van in the prime of her life, it just makes me upset. Hearing that three men stabbed a helpless woman angers me. Listening to news about one policeman trying to take on all three attackers by himself without a gun kinda makes my stomach churn. 130 people killed in France by terrorists with machine guns and 86 run down by a guy in a truck? It's agonizing to hear about these events! I think we all know that it's not the religion, but the people twisting it's doctrines to suit their own agendas. I know plenty of very nice Muslim people, and I hear that a core value of their religion is against terrorism. It's like those Christian extremist cults in the US where certain people are able to influence others to follow how they want to interpret their religion. I don't think anyone should paint everyone that follows the same religion with the same brush as that would be a terrible mistake. The same goes for immigrants. American is a melting pot of immigrants, and Canada's diverse culture would not be the same without them. Am I enticing forum terrorism by discussing the subject? I hope not! In any case, I trust that the forum moderators are equipped with the proper means to stop anything in its tracks as they see fit.
  9. 4 points
    It's just "less stable" at higher speeds. I got the death wobble from them a few times (although I got them under control). My gf was behind and was thinking "wow neat trick!" as if I did it on purpose.
  10. 4 points
    @Jason McNeil of ewheels.com expects some KS18S in early July. If you can wait until then, I'd recommend getting the KS18S from @Jason McNeil. Also, if possible, I'd recommend getting the 1680wh version. Once you get comfortable riding it, you'll find that it's very easy to put more than 25 miles on it in a day. I weigh about 195lbs/6ft tall and I get about 55-60 miles with about 15% battery left (I have the KS18AY with a 1680wh Sanyo battery) . I do have a tendency to ride about 3-4 mph from the top speed whenever possible though. I'm sure that if I limited my top speed to about 15mph, I'd probably be able to add at least another 5 miles onto the range. Allen
  11. 4 points
    You might like to think about a slightly larger radius curve on the outer corners to reduce the likelihood of them grounding on sharp turns.
  12. 4 points
    @Scatcat Thank you very much for writing this advice and spent a lot of time. Updated firmware/app, where you can set the last alarm at a percentage of power. Like 80% of maximum available power. Audible temperature/overcharge/overcurrent alarms, to avoid stupid accidents. These two have been resolved. 2.5" tire, to heighten stability and comfort on long runs and in terrain. MOSFET 12x247 (Wierzę, że istnieją 6x247 teraz, ale nie sprawdzone osobiście) Design space is not enough, can not change.
  13. 4 points
    I think I just ran across a "Dudley Do-Right" type, or bored. Either that, or most cops don't know/care enough about the law. Either way, just let glide baby! Let a man glide!
  14. 4 points
    Don't ask me! I am barely cognizant of my current surroundings and state of mind . We love Amar'kans! Heya neighbour! We might not see eye to eye on all subjects, but that's fine. Trump is always entertaining to watch on the news to see what comes out of his mouth/Twitter/policy planning next. Makes for good TV! @Marty Backe is fine just the way he is. He don't need no stinkin' spelling, grammar, or grandma checker! I don't expect that everyone will always get along with each other on the forums, but I hope that most of us get along with the majority of others in a mature, respectful manner. We're all the same flesh and blood and share common interests. Why not make an effort to be friendly I always say? To each their own of course as not all Canadians are really Canadians.
  15. 4 points
    I knew a guy who was into processor duels. Always had a chip on his shoulder.
  16. 4 points
    Yes really helps a lot, I once wrote an entire user manual for a multiplexer in which I repeatedly mentioned "duel processors" Strangely enough my spell checker just didn't notice it, but my students sure did ?.
  17. 3 points
    I have been playing a bit with Freecad. Thougts about these pedals ?
  18. 3 points
    I had a Monster Energy drink this morning & so embarked on the ambitious project of completing the 'Choosing the Right Battery Pack' Blog article. Euphoria has since worn off, will adding additional text tomorrow... https://www.ewheels.com/choosing-an-electric-unicycle-with-the-right-battery-pack-for-you/ There are now dozens of different battery cells being made by the big manufacturers LG, Samsung, Panasonic, & Sony. For use in an application like an Electric Unicycle, the two qualities that make a particular cell more suitable over another are it's power output (Amps) & energy density (Ah). Until fairly recently there was an inevitable trade-off between either high-powered cells (e.g. Sony VC3/A123) and energy dense cells—there's the example of the Panasonic NCR18650B, which had capacity, but could only deliver 2-3 sustained Amps. What has been one of the key drivers in powering the Personal Electric Vehicle revolution, is the introduction of >3Ah (>10Wh) batteries which can ALSO capable of sustaining high currents above 10 Amps. The Battery cells which are most commonly found in Electric Unicycles are shown above. Although lacking in capacity & somewhat outdated, the Samsung 22Ps are still quite common for many Self-Balancing devices because the cost per cell is very low. Ideally, a smaller battery pack (<32 cells) would have more powerful cells, like the HG2 (found in our small 12" IPS a130s) or the VC3 (used in the Solowheel) to provide the necessary sustained power even, if the speeds are modest. Because the cells are nearly all capable of the same 10A power output, the calculation then becomes one of how many battery cells you need for your requirements of speed & Rider weight—hill climbing expectations are also important factor for power, but to keep it simple, it's has not been shown here. These figures are probably on the conservative side, but for a device where getting enough power is the vital for survival, erring on the side caution is preferable. This next illustration shows how the battery cells are configured, their capacity & power outputs in several popular Electric Unicycles. There are two defacto standardized voltages for most Wheels: 67.2v, which is comprised of 16 cells in a series & 84.2v, with 20 cells in series. Good arguments exist for both voltages, but for higher performance Wheels, the increasing trend is converging towards the higher 84.2 voltage. This is mainly on account that motors of higher voltages are capable of higher speeds with better brown-out safety margins.
  19. 3 points
    I have send the drawing to a local cnc machine shop for a price estimate.
  20. 3 points
    I think it was the movie Tomorrowland (2015). It bombed. But the scene you might be thinking of shows a guy pulling up at train station in an EUC where the wheel was digitally erased so it looked like a sort of hover-EUC.
  21. 3 points
    There is some kind of low battery warning on my GT16 857Wh 80V. I am not sure how it works exactly, but when battery is getting low, you can ride only at very low speed, otherwise the wheel starts to tilt back, beep and flash with the built-in battery indicators.
  22. 3 points
    I find the perceived difference between 20km/h and 25km/h huge. I felt myself somewhat limited on the MCM2s which goes maybe a little over 20km/h before to complain. Now, I have set the max speed of my V8 to 24km/h and I don't feel particularly limited. Of course on a straight flat and long street it's getting old easily (still the tiltback gives a little bit of spice then), but then I also don't like the risks involved in going much faster.
  23. 3 points
    Some? I only now one Person how is complaining about the Speed reduction over and over again... On the Original Firmware (1.00) there is no Speed Limitation on low Batterie! on 1.01, as i understand it, there is a Speed Limit, Setting in on about 40%/58Volt ....can be here you have directly full Speed reducement, i dont know exactly. As i know it on 1.02 they make this more progessive, going down progessivly when the Batterie gets lower....like 29,28, 26, 24 to 20..... The update to 1.01 and 1.02 warns the updater exxplicitly as it says "Speed reducement on low Batterie optimised"...... The 14D i rode was on originally FW...so no Speed reduction....... The 14S allready available here on ali: (as i think to a good Price seeing Transport and taxes included): https://de.aliexpress.com/store/product/GOTWAY-18Msuper-680WH-880WH-blance-car-Electric-unicycle-Martian-car-Somatosensory-car-Thinking-vehicle-Speed-40/1908673_32374488450.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.0mK3nt
  24. 3 points
    I installed this semi-automatic anti-theft device on my EUC. In fact I have installed two of them. Only drawback is that I must carry the EUC with me - but on the other hand these devices hav a function for that too.
  25. 3 points
  26. 3 points
    To be honest with the ability to travel anywhere now, our world is a mixed up place of all cultures and tolerance has got to be way way better than guns. For example the translation that has been added onto this Bollywood video has really helped me understand why Bollywood movies are so popular. In fact, I'm suprised it isn't @Hunka Hunka Burning Love's theme tune:
  27. 3 points
    I think the only time you would consider any wheel as "too fast", Is the day after you face plant on it. Or possibly the split second someone comes around a corner and you just know you are not going to be able to stop in time. And there by hangs the formula for whether a wheel is "fast enough". How much protective gear do you want to be using when you ride and how open are the paths and trails you are going to be using. If you will be riding in wide open spaces and willing (IMHO) to wear pretty much full motorcycling gear then get a faster wheel, if not, in my opinion you should find 30km/h plenty fast enough. What I do know for sure is you will find 30km/h significantly faster than 20km/h.
  28. 3 points
    I sure wouldn't want to have to tame multiple assailants, or a zonked out druggie, or a guy with a broken bottle or knife with only a baton .... and of course all of Britain is famous for knife crime. A knife is as good as a gun in many situations. I think asking police to put themselves in mortal danger for what could otherwise be fairly routine arrests does them a disservice. And i wouldn't be surprised if it results in what we see here in America, too, sometimes ... police often don't come to violent scenes for a long time. Safer that way, or just pure coincidence? And more importantly ... safer for whom? Don't give people the tools for the job, you can't be surprised if they don't do the job. On the other hand, police in the USA are so reluctant to engage in a scuffle that tasers and taser use have become ubiquitous. If you give people a weapon but give them tremendous leeway in how to use it, citizens can become targets and the police an occupying force rather than people who are there to serve and protect ... two enormously important words fundamental to the very concept of policing. If the type and severity of violence one can lawfully inflict on the citizenry increases, oversight and accountability should increase in tandem with it. I don't believe it is in the public's interest to guarantee the police an overly safe job. It is an inherently risky job partly because of the restraints necessary to keep policing itself under control. But I don't believe we should give police no option of last resort -- that is, no gun to protect themselves against the situations that they may encounter. And I think people in general tend to underestimate the deterrent effect of a gun. It won't always have that effect and shouldn't be used as a crutch in situations that might be more safely defused. But I believe a gun's threat of serious force is capable of bringing order to some situations without it ever having to be drawn.
  29. 3 points
    Mosfet can be upgraded to IRFP4468PBF, 2 mohm vs 3.7 mohm for existing version. Thicker wire between motor and battery should be an easy improvement for heat reduction. Using better capacitors will also help. Should be possible to make all those improvements for maybe $20 per unit.
  30. 3 points
    I shop at Walmart Neighborhood Market almost every week, and I place the wheel in my cart while in the store. The store personnel have always reacted very positively. Customers say things like, "I saw you roll into the parking lot! How does that thing work?" I recorded one of my grocery trips:
  31. 3 points
    Best advice IMO, is the dominant foot on the pedal, and just take a step with the grounded foot, but don't mount. Just take a step and let the mounted foot move forward that tiny bit till you set your grounded foot down. Repeat. Similar to pushing off on a skateboard (very lightly), just take a controlled step with the grounded foot. Forget mounting for a while and simply learn to have one foot mounted, while taking one step after another with your grounded foot. What this does is train your body and dominant (mounted foot) where the balance is in tiny bite sized chunks. You'll find you can take a longer step before putting the foot down and longer. Eventually, you will be amazed to find you can raise the grounded foot and basically take all the time you want to place it on the pedal because you can balance so well with that dominant mounted foot. You'll be dong a smooth, beautiful controlled mount/dismount in no time, but you just have to train a bit. Once the ball gets rolling though, you'll progress in leaps and be trying to ride backwards, trust me. Gliding is simply too fun, too addictive to stop once you get that first controlled ride-feel in your bones. Edit: Oops, Carlos covered it earlier.
  32. 3 points
    Me too, though I'm too ignorant to share in the knowledge. That leaves me just appreciating the enthusiasm! Now if you folks were discussing things on the level of rolling some dough into a ball or stirring sugar into iced tea, I could follow no problem.
  33. 3 points
    That's a pet peeve of mine. I ride lots of trails and sometimes a person will say that I shouldn't be there, like I'm some big nuisance. Meanwhile I have to spend time dodging horse crap on the trail - not pleasant when you mistakenly roll over one, and particularly bad when you're riding an MSuper or Monster (you fellow travelers know what I'm talking about).
  34. 3 points
    I saw no apology in that post...faker! No Canadian can type that many words and not apologize somewhere! ...Aww, I'm sorry aboot that, damn my Canadian anger!. Cheers!
  35. 3 points
    This thread is a wealth of knowledge. I too am a new user and have found my beginnings to be quite difficult. I started by taking my wheel to the local best buy parking lot(out of business) and riding along the walls so I could start without mounting. After about a half hour got to the point that I could go back and forth across the parking lot(maybe the length of a football field) and very shakily make a super wide wobbly turn and return to the starting point. The next day the board blew up on my MCM4 and this totally stopped me from doing anything. Took a week to get the board back and installed. After this back to the road(or driveway in this case). Started circling around the cars in the driveway and just trying to perfect speeding up and slowing down. Got to where I thought I was pretty good and the next day proceeded to the street. I could successfully mount(very shakily) and go a short way down the street(very shakily as well). Got a little too confident and started increasing my speed(not recommended). Anyways did a full face plant on concrete after losing control going down a slight hill. No major injury from this except my ego and my wrists have been sore for a week from catching myself. Following that was going slightly uphill and lost control again. No face plant but stepped off the wheel wrong and must have pulled something in my right calf. I couldn't walk for a day and have had soreness and pain ever since, so I took a week off. Now ready to get on again(I'm sure I forgot everything by now lol) and it rains every day =(. Here's to figuring this thing out without breaking my leg first! Thanks to all who have helped in this thread.
  36. 3 points
    I think he didn't like my comment regarding pushing wheels past their advertised speed, so he hit me back because of some spelling errors. I'm going to have to use a spell check now because I don't want to come across as an imbecile. No worries, it's all in jest
  37. 3 points
    I thought this forum was immune to criticisms of spelling/grammar/usage, etc, and focused its energy instead on ideas and constructive conversation, for the most part. This is the first criticism I've seen based on spelling since I've been a part of the Electric Unicycle Forum for the last year and a half or so. I hope it is the last, since it adds very little to the merits of a discussion, unless the spelling/usage error makes the question or a response impossible to understand.
  38. 3 points
    Dear @LanghamP, I guess it won't surprise you that I beg to differ. Being German, we tried a few of those recipes of separation inside our country with infamous consequence. We're cured from that (at least I desperately hope so). We also went through the experience of getting rid of a border lately. Before you protest: both East and West Germany were home to an entire generation of peeps growing up in isolation from another. Same language, but considerable differences in social behavior, economic rules and things taken for granted. Happy to say: we're pretty much over that, too, albeit many experienced a bit of "friction warmth" to get there. When economic conditions required it, Germany saw a highly requested and welcome influx of "imported labor", i.e. Italiens, Portuguese, Greek, Spanish and Turks added to the continued presence of allied military in country after WWII, many of them with family and kids. We have been an immigration country long before it was officially recognized, those "guest workers" came here to stay. Could we have managed integration better than we did? Of course! But I yet have to be robbed or shot at as a result from mixing so different cultures in country. Then, with considerable contributions by "The West", Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria were bombed to pieces, displacing millions. About one million of them found their way to Germany. Some dumb like bread, some highly educated and anything in between. Quite a few traumatized and presumably several hundred incurable fanatics. No argument there: that's a risk. Unfortunately, the "German generosity" towards refugees which made news in 2015 trickled away half way in the process. We let'em in, but now we 'administer' them with all the red tape, German bureaucracy has to offer. Most are not allowed to work, constantly threatened with deportation to the countries they fled from, sheltered with little regard for cultural incompatibilities, supported with food and clothing but little cash and pretty much left to wander around and admire our wealth. Yepp, that's asking for trouble. The question at hand, what to do with "those people", polarizes all across the west. Surprisingly, with the fiercest reactions from those countries, accepting the least refugees in. When you look at the UK, you'll find negligible numbers of recent refugees, but a large muslim population as a heritage from their colonial ties to Pakistan, often living on the island for generations. Either way, treat'em as second class citizens long enough and some of them will likely start to become trouble. Bomb the countries or religious brothers they feel connected to and you may be breeding militants in your backyard. And if there wasn't a religious book justifying massacre readily at hand, somebody would write one (Germany, remember? Been there, done that). You guess, what I'm heading to: strengthening borders will lead to fenced in ghettos and I strongly refuse to accept that as progress in civilization. 80 million Germans can afford to integrate 1 million refugees. And the UK has to find its ways to come to terms with all communities inside its population. @Hunka Hunka Burning Love: for all I know, French police is armed. Your turn
  39. 3 points
    i have taken a short ride on the 14d and owned a 14c (for about a year) before. the difference is like night and day....the 14d pedal responsiveness is as hard as steel and its agility/answering on feet movements is really fantastic. its from all 14inch wheels the best i have riden, that have been Mcm2s, Mcm3, Mcm4 HS, Ks14c, ks14d and a generic clone the quality of the included trolley is better than on the Ks16 as the grip itself is metal also. the Leds are brighter and that was also first time i got into the new KS pedals with rubber and grip type thing, having a more V positioning a bit also. This thing is a hit for a 14inch wheel, and as it now should also come with higher possible batterie configs (14s with 680 or 840wh) is from my view the best 14inch wheel. Naming is a bit missunderstanding as the 14d for me is allready a "S" version, from drive feeling/firmware. i can and do criticize Kingsong the whole day long for some of there decisions on the 16. Even more critics on the 18 inch wheel or for general business decisions...but here this 14inch thingie is a winner! if you want something special to know...i will try to answer :-)
  40. 2 points
    interesting, so looks like the new i5 has no traditional pedal mounting brackets, that's how they shaved off quite a bit of the traditional EUC weight.
  41. 2 points
    I think it means put the EUC upright, like standing up.
  42. 2 points
    Had a spontaneous night ride yesterday and since it was raining during daytime, there were some frogs and I almost ran over one (luckily it was frozen in place which allowed evasion).Close but no EUC roadkill yet. But this should work on frog guts too...
  43. 2 points
    How about this piece.
  44. 2 points
    Actually, in the KS18, the batteries are rather easy to replace once you have the side covers off and it's just a matter of getting another 840wh battery and plugging it in. @Jason McNeil has a very good description on the KS18S on the ewheels.com website: https://www.ewheels.com/product/king-song-18s-840wh-1680wh-1500w-motor/ Allen
  45. 2 points
    I had to get a set of triple square drive sockets just to get to the battery under the seat on my VW Touareg V10. Unfortunately I couldn't find them sold individually anywhere but I did find I needed two other sizes in other parts of the car. Why oh why can't these manufacturers stick to standard fixings???
  46. 2 points
    I want to set up a computer backpack so I can use my Vive while riding. You could play a Virtual Reality EUC game while commuting to work! It would be like you were actually riding!
  47. 2 points
    When I was learning I put my kids soccer shin pads on the side of my ankle to protect it from bruising by the euc, that may help you.
  48. 2 points
    Nice of you to translate it Yes, if they fixed all that, they would become a real contender. A company even Kingsong and Gotway had to look out for. The GT16 is in many ways a spectacular wheel. I am very glad that I have it. It is amazingly nimble, reasonably stable at speed and strong as a bull. I can roll at slow walking tempo avoiding pedestrians, then turn sharply and accelerate to 30kph like shot out of a cannon. But in some ways it is really craptacular... The body has too many dirt traps, and far too small tolerances to the tire. The sides are flared in the most unfortunate places, just where the balls of my ankles reside. The padding is narrow and rather hard. The mud-flap is so bad I've finally taken it off permanently. The pedals grind on the body, and they are too small. They're also a bit hard to get tight enough to make them stay in upright position. There is a lot of noises, squeaking, grinding and so on, mostly because parts that shouldn't touch does. Taking off the wheel seem to require the hand of God - or just total dismantling... So if they make a V2 with all the bad stuff fixed, then WOW.
  49. 2 points
    Canada's a pretty safe country for the most part, but we do get our share of shootings. Someone got killed the other day at some community area here, and it's almost daily you hear about people dying. Would there be less crime if the police were unarmed? I'm not so sure of that. All of our police carry guns, and they are well trained to use them and on how to avoid using them. We do have a fair share of shootings by officers which have to be investigated so it's always a double edged sword. I don't know if Canadians are just rowdier or more dangerous, but guns seem to be out there in the wrong hands. I can't imagine a police force without guns at the ready. I'm sure my neighbors to the south in the US would think it quite risky for police not to carry some sort of firearm to protect themselves and the public. Sure it does add in a whole slew of other problems with accidental and unjustified shootings, but overall I believe it can be an effective deterrent and means to an end. I don't think of it as an arms race, but more of a possible solution to minimize carnage brought on by others. Imagine if the terrorists had access to guns. A police officer with a gun could have made a huge difference. I don't think there's any easy way to end this cycle of hate, terror, and revenge, but I think there should be some changes made to help reduce the problem. Maybe install crash proof reinforced concrete bollards along crowded and popular areas to prevent wayward trucks. Whether Bobbies are armed or not doesn't seem to be an important symbol to me at least for the world I want to live in. I'd rather have them armed and be able to be an effective force in stopping these awful deaths. That's the world I want to live in if I was visiting Britain and in the crowd being attacked by knife wielding maniacs. Quaint traditions are nice to reflect upon, but the bloody reality sometimes has to take precedence I think.
  50. 2 points
    In the wake of such an event, arming up seems like a no-brainer, does it? Being a (legal) gun owner myself, I cringe at the thought of possibly witnessing such a stabbing and not being able to help as my guns are safely locked away at home (as German law requires). After all, the attack on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin happened not a mile away from where I lived. German police is armed, but your ordinary cop on the street is not exactly known for his precision shooting skills (SWAT teams is a totally different ball game). Fortunately, German police is also not known for being "trigger happy". So, in any typical year, Germany sees less than 10 people shot by police. Being around for a while, I remember the 70's. Germany had a terror thread then, called the RAF. And all of a sudden, our friendly neighborhood cops carried MP5s. Being a student at the time, I drove a very studently car (if you can call it that):(not exactly this one, but you get the idea). That looked extremely suspicious to police as apparently it fit their concept of what terrorists drive and look like (only later they found out, that the real ones were laughing their butts off as they drove by in posh AUDIs, wearing a suit). So, I was stopped practically at every street corner and looked into the barrel of an MP5 poking through the cars side window in my face. Behind that, a policeman, who was at least as scared, as me. See those side windows? They are flipped up to open. And they are held in this open position by a flimsy wire spring. Or not. They were notorious for flipping down randomly without as much as a gentle brise for a reason. Luckily for me, that did not turn into a test, whether the safety was on with the MP5s. What I am trying to say: think twice before stepping up the arms race. Unfortunately, I don't see any means of preventing a person accepting his own death to take some randomly chosen innocents with him. We can't ban cars and the attackers proved frighteningly flexible to adapt to any given condition. So, under ideal circumstances, a faster armed response may be able to save lives, but sadly not all of them. In less ideal situations, the increased presence of arms may create a hazard on its own. And with any armed response from civilians, police will go through hell to tell the good from the bad guys. Not all terrorists look like police think they do and civilians wiling to help come in all shapes and colors. While the risk of becoming a terror victim appears all too present these days, the overwhelming media coverage may also distort our perspective on risks of life a bit. Looking at Berlin, we lost 12 people in 2016 due to the senseless attack on Breitscheidplatz. Also in Berlin 2016, we lost 17 bicyclists in traffic accidents in this city alone. It is not cynical but rational to warn people in Berlin from cycling first and terror second. Don't get me wrong with this seemingly heartless "numbers game" - I am well aware of the tragedy and suffering in any single case behind those numbers. I just find it hard to accept, that one cause of senseless tragedy even makes us second guessing fundamental rights and the other is hardly making it on page 2 of the local news, let alone triggering any activity to prevent it. The other part that scares me about the way we respond to the present terror threats is, that we focus so much on battling the symptoms. Just as much as the never ending "war on drugs", I am convinced, the "war on terror" cannot be won by means of force alone. Making it next to impossible for terrorists to kill people, sadly also means the end to the free lifestyle we treasure. Albeit oversimplified, this circle needs to be broken: What does all that have to do with the simple question of arming British police or not? Well, the unarmed "Bobby" is one of the lighthouse symbols for a world I want to live in. Giving them grenade launchers to stop renegade trucks without any credible plan to break that circle does not make me optimistic for a bright future or feel safer.
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