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Sledgehead

First 'Legal Highs', Now 'Corrosive Substances'

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News out today:

Six-month minimum sentence proposed for repeat acid offences

I can't really think of a more vindictive, odious, easily perpetrated crime than an acid attack. And the general public seem to agree:

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So full marks for good intentions.

But will that be all we can say about this proposed change in the statutes? And has the public mood once again served to deliver more unenforceable laws?

Here is how the Guardian reports this:

Quote

Anyone caught twice possessing corrosive substances without a good reason will automatically face a prison sentence of at least six months under government proposals to counter the threat of acid attacks.

One is reminded of the questions raised over banning so called 'legal highs'.

Looking at the above quote raises similar questions:

"Anyone" - will this be an offense for which "joint enterprise" is relevant, or will gang members simply pass substances to those who have yet to be caught in possession?

"Possessing" - will this be confined to public space possession ("carrying") or will it encompass substances found in the home? If a perp makes it back to his / a mates home before apprehension, how will enforcement prove he was carrying the substance in public?

"Corrosive" - a term we learn will have to be "defined in law", as warning labels simply don't cut it in court. And this will not be easy. Take the supposedly well understood term "corrosive acid". A weak acid can be corrosive if sufficiently concentrated. A strong acid can be be rendered merely an "irritant" (for the sake of labeling) merely by dilution. How long before perps work out how to dilute acids on first sign of the plod. And talking of the plod, we are told they will be issued with "test kits"; maybe some kind of meters or strips. All will have to be certified. This will not be cheap.

"Good reason" - what does that mean?

So plenty of loopholes.

Sadly one inevitably starts to think this is just another piece of government virtue signaling, likely to do little to stop this crime, whilst doing much to undermine enforcement and the legal system.

 

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6 months and only if you get caught twice!!

How about 6 years for a first offence? the legal system in this country really is a joke, I'm not suggesting we bring back hanging but some of these sentences are far too lenient.

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Just as well it's been a few years since I was regularly poking around old mines, using a light powered by a lead-acid battery.

Another example of sledgehammer / walnut syndrome.

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Surely, the current problem stems from the rise in adoption of silicone tricuspid valves in water bottles. These allow targeting of subjects, in a seemingly innocuous form.

Given the difficulty in defining what constitutes "corrosive", why not ban the valves instead?

After all, people get charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm (the targeting device), not bullets (the projectiles).

In fact, why not ban squeezable water bottles in public, full stop? That would remove a litter problem AND the annoyance of millennials constants 'rehydrating' in public places in one fell swoop. Jobs a good 'un!

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I suppose so.

Though I take it you use the word "people" in its loosest sense.

It just strikes me, behind all of these stories - drugs, mass shootings, terror, weinstein, acid attacks - there is common thread. And instead of for once focusing on that, we look for specific answers.

The problem is not guns. It's not drugs or religion. It's not men. It's not tri-cuspid water valves on water bottles or even drain cleaner.

It's sociopaths and psychopaths. Hence my continued interest in Paddock's mental state. Maybe, just maybe, we are reaching the point where we can spot the danger signals. Not in somebody's fascination with drugs or guns, or their religion or gender. But from an MRI scan. And if we are so keen to spot religious zealots by almost any means (even to the point of giving up our rights and privacy), should we not be contemplating screening society for brain traits?

That may well be the only question we need ask. But it's hardly one for this thread.

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11 hours ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

Where does one go to buy acid anyway!? are people just using drain cleaner?

Pretty much any well stocked hardware store, car battery suppliers have it. Don't dismiss drain cleaner, some can be very nasty. Sulphuric acid is sometimes given a different chemical name to cover up what you are buying.

Of course, you can make your own acid. Indeed you do every time you put salt and vinegar on your chips. Salt, sodium chloride mixed with vinegar, acetic acid makes hydrochloric acid.

"I'm arresting you for being in possession of a dangerous acidic substance without due cause, you are too fat to need those chips sonny. Stop trying to hide the evidence in your mouth!"

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6 hours ago, Travisher said:

 

Of course, you can make your own acid. Indeed you do every time you put salt and vinegar on your chips. Salt, sodium chloride mixed with vinegar, acetic acid makes hydrochloric acid.

 

Chemistry GCSE fail.

Whilst hydoxonium ions and chloride ions will be present in a solution of salt in aqueous acetic acid, the concentration of hydrogen ions will be totally dependent on the concentration of acetic acid, which is a weak acid. In other words, the acidic properties of the solution you describe will be virtually identical to that of acetic acid. Any attempt to isolate hydrochloic acid will fail as it is only present in ionized form in dynamic equilibrium with ionized sodium chloride and acetic acid, with the equilibrium weighted far to the latter.

Indeed one would more commonly consider the 'reverse' reaction (which most chemists would consider the forward reaction as it is thermodynamically favoured). Mixing sodium ethanoate (or acetate if you are real old school) with hydrochloric acid will produce a solution of sodium chloride in ethanoic acid.. Hydrochloic acid, a strong acid, displaces the much weaker acid, ethanoic acid.

You will produce hydrochloric acid when you put salt and vinegar on fish and chips, but that will be as a result of your parietal cells, and it will be in your stomach before the fish and chips even arrive.

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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