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  • States and countries all have their own laws, and many things are banned in one place or

  • another.

  • But some items have been banned in the whole United States - or even in the whole world.

  • Here are ten of the most illegal things ever invented.

  • #10.

  • Body Armor

  • Wait, body armor?

  • Why is the government banning an item designed to protect you?

  • After all, soldiers wear it all the time, and the protective gear has often saved them

  • from a fatal injury in combat.

  • And kevlar bulletproof vests have become standard issue for many police officers, making it

  • possible to survive a bullet to the chest with only some bruised ribs.

  • But for civilians, being in possession of a bulletproof vest or other items of body

  • armor could land them some serious jail time in the United States.

  • Why does the US government want to keep these items out of civilian hands?

  • The argument is simple - the average American is unlikely to need body armor.

  • Unless you're really paranoid, no one is walking through life expecting to take two

  • bullets center mass.

  • So the government assumes that if you want bulletproof vests or other body armor, you're

  • probably planning to commit a crime where you're expecting to be shot at.

  • That's why they made it illegal under federal law for anyone convicted of a felony to possess

  • a bulletproof vest, and anyone who commits a federal crime while wearing one will get

  • a longer sentence.

  • States have joined in with similar laws.

  • The law has been challenged under multiple grounds, but it stands to this day.

  • But even stranger, one of the most illegal items out there is...a toy.

  • #9.

  • Lawn Darts

  • If you're of a certain age, you probably remember those lazy summer days in the front

  • yard.

  • Dad was grilling, and you and your siblings and friends were playing a rousing game of

  • lawn darts.

  • A target would be laid on the ground, and the players would take turns tossing sharp-tipped

  • darts underhand.

  • The goal would be to get the darts inside the target ring and score a point.

  • Some versions had a bullseye ring that could be hit for bonus points, and the game became

  • popular due to how easy it was to set up and the low cost compared to other games.

  • And what could ever go wrong with giving kids some sharp-tipped darts?

  • The darts were legal until 1970, when the Food and Drug Administration classified them

  • as a mechanical hazard.

  • They were still allowed to be sold, but additional precautions were required and they were banned

  • from toy stores.

  • They remained technically legal for another eight years - until a seven-year-old girl

  • was killed by the darts in 1987, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission acted.

  • The darts had caused a whopping 6,100 emergency room visits in that eight year gap.

  • Canada soon banned them as well, and the deadly toy has not been on store shelves since.

  • Lawn darts are an accidental hazard - but this next item definitely intends to create

  • chaos.

  • #8.

  • Machine Guns

  • It's one of the ultimates in weaponry.

  • Machine guns are known for being two things - fast and powerful.

  • They're auto-firing long-barrel firearms that autoload - meaning you don't need to

  • do anything but squeeze the trigger, and you'll have a hail of bullets ripping at the enemy.

  • Unlike traditional assault rifles, the machine gun is designed for sustained fire and as

  • such is very popular in the military.

  • It's often mounted atop a tripod for easy maneuvering, and can be used by tank gunners

  • and shooters positioned above the fray as enemies approach.

  • But if you're a civilian looking for one of these powerhouse guns, you're out of

  • luck.

  • The US is often known as a bit of a wild west scene for guns, with most nations having far

  • stricter gun control.

  • But even in the United States, the machine gun is a step too far.

  • A law banning machine guns was actually tucked into a bill repealing most previous gun control

  • laws in 1986, making this one of the only laws banning a type of gun that the NRA actually

  • supported.

  • But technically machine guns aren't 100% illegal - the law only applies to guns made

  • after it took effect.

  • So if you can find a thirty-five year old machine gun, it's fair game - but otherwise

  • you might be facing charges for possession of an illegal weapon.

  • But some banned weapons are a lot smaller.

  • #7.

  • Switchblade

  • It's a weapon that hides in plain sight.

  • It looks like a simple handle, similar to the one you would see on a swiss army knife.

  • But the goal of this weapon isn't to contain many useful tools that you can use on the

  • go.

  • It only has one item - a razor-sharp blade that slides out automatically when a button

  • or switch on the handle is pressed.

  • This hidden weapon makes the switchblade easy to contain or slip into clothing and get past

  • security - which made it a very popular choice for criminals who wanted to rob or attack

  • people.

  • And after a wave of switchblade-related crime, the government sprung into action.

  • During the 1950s, there was a lot of alarm over a switchblade crime wave.

  • While there was no real evidence that an army of young delinquents was cutting people with

  • switchblades, it didn't stop Congress.

  • In 1958, the US Congress passed a law prohibiting the sale, manufacture, or importation of switchblades

  • across the United States.

  • Most states soon introduced their own laws banning the personal possession of switchblades

  • and harshly punishing anyone who used them in a crime.

  • Most of the rest of the world soon followed, with dozens of nations declaring themselves

  • switchblade-free zones.

  • But if you're a fan of this old-timey weapon, places like Poland and Mexico are still havens.

  • It's not hard to see why this next item is highly illegal.

  • #6.

  • Nuclear Material

  • The use of nuclear energy was a game-changer in many ways in the 1940s and beyond.

  • Nuclear plants became one of the most efficient ways to produce energy for a growing nation

  • - although fears of deadly meltdowns were constant.

  • And of course, scientists figured out how to unleash the devastating power of nuclear

  • energy in the last days of World War 2, with a pair of massive nuclear detonations over

  • Japan.

  • The proper use of nuclear energy became a hot topic across every country, but there

  • was one thing just about everyone agreed with.

  • This was not something that should be in civilian hands.

  • Obviously, no one wants civilians to have nuclear bombs - that would certainly bring

  • a new dimension to neighbors feuding over their fence line - but the United States has

  • banned all unauthorized possession of nuclear material or byproducts.

  • That's because nuclear material can be highly toxic, and should only be handled by people

  • who are well-trained in handling and disposing of it.

  • Not only could one mistake kill the handler, but it could contaminate the entire area and

  • poison countless people if it leaks.

  • The government isn't playing around - illegal possession could carry up to twenty years

  • in prison, or up to life if it leads to someone's death.

  • But some items are so dangerous, the entire world agreed to ban them.

  • #5.

  • Poison Gas and Chemical Weapons

  • World War I turned into a horror show for its soldiers, who not only faced high-intensity

  • trench warfare, but a new and deadly type of weapon - chemical weapons.

  • Starting with respiratory agents like chlorine gas, these weapons could poison an entire

  • company - but they were risky.

  • They would drift with the wind, and could even turn around and hurt the army that just

  • shot them.

  • One of the early attacks using Chlorine gas killed five thousand soldiers, and the world

  • was horrified by these new advances in warfare.

  • So, with a united voice, they took action.

  • In the aftermath of World War I, nations got together and prohibited the use of chemical

  • weapons.

  • Multiple future treaties would update these bans, ultimately banning five types of chemical

  • agents - blood agents that cause a slow death from poisoning, blister agents that cause

  • chemical burns to the skin and eyes, choking agents that affect the respiratory system,

  • nerve agents that shut down the body's organs and neurotransmitters, and nettle agents that

  • cause severe skin irritation.

  • The world has largely abided by these regulations and WW2 saw minimal use of chemical weapons

  • - but even today, certain rogue actors like the Syrian government continue to terrorize

  • civilians with these banned weapons.

  • Another weapon was banned for being too sneaky.

  • #4.

  • Non-Detectable Fragments

  • It's one of the deadliest, most deceptive weapons around.

  • A bomb goes off, spraying shrapnel around the battlefield.

  • A soldier is hit and seriously wounded, and the medical convoy manages to get him off

  • the field to surgery.

  • The surgeon takes x-rays to determine where the fragments are located - and comes up empty.

  • Nothing is showing up on the x-rays, and the soldier soon dies of internal bleeding.

  • But it's not a tragic equipment failure - it's by design, and it was quickly becoming

  • a plague in warfare.

  • What is the secret of these weapons?

  • They're made with plastic.

  • While plastic is allowed to be used in weapons design today, the Convention on Certain Conventional

  • Weapons banned the use of any weapon that is designed to spread plastic shrapnel or

  • other non-detectable fragments.

  • The reasoning is that regardless of the reasoning behind the conflict, actively making it harder

  • to save the lives of wounded soldiers is inhumane.

  • The 1979 treaty has held, and the use of these weapons has been drastically reduced.

  • The main purpose of this treaty is to eliminate weapons that cause unnecessary pain - and

  • this next one is a doozy.

  • #3.

  • Cluster Munitions

  • Cluster bombs look like any other bomb - at first.

  • They're dropped from a plane or launched from a ground-based battery, and deliver an

  • explosive payload when they hit.

  • But they don't stop there.

  • When they hit, they launch countless other mini-bombs contained within, spreading their

  • payload over a wide area.

  • This was considered a great way to damage large collections of weapons, disrupt infrastructure,

  • and take out whole groups of soldiers at the same time - and they are very effective at

  • devastating enemy areas.

  • Maybe too effective.

  • Bombs don't differentiate between enemies and civilians, and the more bombs are distributed,

  • the more likely civilians are to get caught in the crossfire.

  • But the problem with cluster bombs isn't over after the battle.

  • It's common for mini-bombs to fail to explode when they hit, staying on the ground - until

  • a civilian comes across them days, weeks, or even years after the fact.

  • When it gets dislodged and accidentally triggered, it can kill someone.

  • All these reasons led to the passing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the

  • bombs, and it's since been ratified by 120 nations.

  • But what cluster bombs do occasionally, this next weapon does by design.

  • #2.

  • Land Mines

  • Few weapons cause more damage - intentional and unintentional - than land mines.

  • When enemy tanks roll into the battlefield, few conventional weapons can stop them.

  • That's why land mines were indispensable in many 20th century wars.

  • Buried underground with a trigger near the top, they get triggered by pressure atop the

  • mine - and deliver an explosive payload that can stop a tank in its tracks and spray the

  • area around with shrapnel.

  • When a battlefield is laced with mines, any step could be the last for a soldier.

  • But the mines don't go away when the war does.

  • During brutal wars, it's common for the country to be littered with landmines.

  • Egypt has a shocking 23 million unexploded landmines after several brutal conflicts.

  • And landmines can keep functioning years or even decades after being planted, meaning

  • it's common for civilians out for a walk to trigger one and lose a limb or worse.

  • The stories of horrible carnage from old land mines led the world to pass the Ottawa Treaty

  • in 1997 banning landmines - although China, Russia, and the United States have not signed

  • it.

  • But no weapon has the potential to create a butterfly effect like this one.

  • #1.

  • Biological Weapons

  • Viruses are unpredictable things.

  • They get into the population, spread from person to person - and begin to mutate.

  • Cures and vaccines that might have worked on one version of the virus might not work

  • on a variant, which means countries work hard to contain their spread.

  • But that didn't stop countries from experimenting with spreading disease as a weapon.

  • From rudimentary versions like blankets laced with smallpox being distributed to indigenous

  • populations, to weaponized modern weapons containing anthrax or even plague, these weapons

  • could decimate a targeted population.

  • But diseases rarely behave predictably.

  • That's why in 1972, the world got together for the Biological Weapons Convention, which

  • banned the development, use, or stockpiling of bioweapons of any kind.

  • This covered countless disease vectors, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxins, and insect

  • vectors like mosquitos and fleas used to deliver them.

  • This treaty became one of the most ratified in the history of the world with 183 state

  • parties joining up and only a select few nations around the world holding out.

  • Because everyone has reason to fear a biological weapon gone wrong.

  • For some more unexpected things that were banned, check out “20 US Foods You Never

  • Knew Were Illegal To Eator watch this video instead.

States and countries all have their own laws, and many things are banned in one place or

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The Most Illegal Things Ever Created

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    Summer posted on 2021/10/31
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