We humans are infinitely crafty and curious. It’s in our nature to discover how things work and how they can be used to our benefit. Unfortunately, many inventions meant to make life on Earth better in some way often turn out to have unintended uses or consequences that cause their inventors to completely regret having ever started tinkering. The Vintage News has compiled some of the most infamous examples of inventors who completely soured on their own creations.
Most of us are well aware that J. Robert Oppenheimer realized the fatal error of his ways after seeing what his destructive brainchild the atomic bomb did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said the United States “should have acted with more foresight and clarity in telling the world and Japan what the [bombs] meant.” Neither is he the only inventor of a weapon to later have second thoughts about his creation. Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, said he wished he’d have invented something like a machine to use on the farm, instead of the machine gun that has made its way across the globe. Even the Wright Brothers regretted inventing the airplane after they saw its application in combat. And Kamran Loghman, inventor of weapons-grade pepper spray, also disagrees with how his invention has come to be used.
Kamran Loghman doesn't approve of how police use pepper spray
An expert in warfare and weaponry, Kamran Loghman worked with the FBI in the 1980s to create weapons-grade pepper spray. But after an incident at the University of California Davis campus in which officers sprayed nonviolent protestors of the Occupy Wall Street movement who were seated peacefully on the ground (seen above), he changed his tune about his invention. After the incident, he spoke with Democracy Now! to denounce how his creation had been misused. Loghman decried the controversial use of the spray as “out of the ordinary, and … not in accordance with any training or policy of any department that I know of.”
And Loghman knows quite a few. He personally trained and certified as many as 4,000 police officers in the use of pepper spray as he intended it in the 1980s and ’90s, and never did he tell an officer to use it on nonviolent protestors. “And that’s why I was shocked,” he said. “That’s why … I feel it’s my civic duty to explain to the public that this is not what pepper spray was developed for.”
After the crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street protests in several cities in late 2011, The New York Times published a photo epitomizing Loghman’s complaint: the red, swollen face of 84-year-old Dorli Rainey, who was sprayed by police during a peaceful protest in Seattle.
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