What it means to be a furry is different from one person to another but at its root its basically just an interest in anthropomorphism. It really is what you make of it yourself, the fandom has alot to offer, take what you want and leave the rest.
We obviously have completely different definitions of what it means to have a technology and have a technology in development. Fusion reactors have been in development since either the 50s or 60s, I can't remember which, and while we have reactors that produce electricity we can't say that we...
There is a difference between testing a prototype and having a fully functional device. And don't worry I know the the US wasn't really any further ahead of the Russians at the time. And that very well could still be the case.
These were just under development, same as the directed energy component of the US's Star Wars Project during the Cold War. Even if they did manage to shoot down a plane, these were obviously far from practical production and deployment.
I'm not really sure you could call what was around back then weapons. There were research projects that aimed to create laser weapons, but noting practical came of them. Though they undoubtedly laid the ground work for what we have today.