Will A Stun Gun Protect Me?

By: Christopher Winkler

Approximately thirteen million people (approximately 5% of the U.S. population) are victims of crime every year. Approximately one and a half million are victims of violent crime (source: Federal Bureau of Investigation).

If you are a victim of a crime, it can make you react in ways that you can't understand. During the crime, you normally feel a sense of helplessness, fear, and then anger. Afterwards, you may have a hard time relating to life experiences that use to pose no problems. A conflict usually develops between your idea of the world before the crime and your idea of the world after the disaster.

So how can you protect yourself in the 21st Century? Well, handguns are lethal weapons that do stop criminals, though they have severe ramifications. Not only could you be charged with a serious crime, most states prevent carrying a weapon without a permit of some kind, if one is available at all. Most of the time, you are breaking many laws by carrying a loaded weapon with you.

There are many types of non-lethal self defense weapons; defensive sprays, tasers, knives, alarms, batons, and a wide variety of stun guns in many shapes, sizes, and voltages. This article will focus on stun guns.

What is a stun gun? A stun gun is a hand-held, battery-powered or electrically charged device that is designed to deliver a strong electric shock to stop an attacker. There not guns in the traditional sense because they don't shoot bullets; rather, they shoot electricity into an attacker. A stun gun has two prongs at the end of the device. Touching an attacker with the prongs while you pull the trigger will cause a strong electrical current to go from the prongs through the attacker's clothes into his body.

Pressing the prongs on the stun gun against a person will quickly immobilize an attacker by causing an intense pain and complete loss of muscle control. However, because they operate at low amperage, no serious or permanent injury is inflicted on the attacker; they will just be immobilized for 5-60 minutes depending on how long they were stunned. Stun guns are used by police departments, security agencies, and individuals desiring strong non-lethal protection against attack. They have been proven to be an excellent defensive device. They operate on one to three 9-volt batteries and range from 50,000 volts to 1,000,000 volts.

How does a stun gun work? The stun gun uses high voltage and low amperage to affect the muscular and neural systems of the human body. They does not rely on high amperage or pain for results, rather most stun guns operate on milliamps. It feels like getting hit in the funny bone x 10,000. The stun gun dumps its energy into the muscles at a high pulse frequency. This makes the muscles contract rapidly, which results in energy loss, which depletes your muscles of needed blood sugars. The attacker cannot produce energy for his muscles, and exhausted, his body is unable to function properly for up to sixty minutes. The resulting energy loss makes it difficult to move and function. This causes disorientation and loss of balance, leaving the attacker in a passive and confused condition. Still there is no significant effect on the heart and other organs.

When the attacker's neuromuscular system is overwhelmed and controlled by the stun gun he loses his balance. Just a 1/4 second contact will repel and startle the attacker, giving intense pain and muscle contraction. One to two seconds will cause intense pain, muscle spasms and a dazed mental state; this may drop the attacker to the ground. Over three seconds will cause intense pain, loss of balance and muscle control mental confusion, and disorientation. Generally any charge over three seconds will cause the aggressor to fall to the ground. The aggressor will be unable to recover for several minutes and effects may last for up to fifteen minutes. This gives you plenty of time to run for help.

Are stun guns safe? Stun guns have been proven to be safe and effective non-lethal self defense products. They do not cause any permanent damage to an attacker. While I found an article about a death to an infant by a stun gun, I could not find any evidence that the electrical charge of the stun gun has adverse psychological or neurological effects on adults. The effects on the heart or other major organs are very insignificant.

Stun guns will not permanently injure or kill any adult because of the voltage; its the amps that will hurt you. One amp will kill a person. Most stun guns deliver only 3 milliamps or less. That is far below the amperage that could do any long lasting damage to an individual.

Will I be stunned if the attacker also touches me? If an attacker touches you while you are stunning him, the electricity will not pass to your body. The electrical current is absorbed into the attacker's muscles and will not pass out to you, regardless of the conditions. Even if the assailant is holding you, there is no way the current will pass to you.

Are stun guns legal? Stun guns are restricted in some states, cities, counties, and countries;

States where stun guns are restricted: Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

Cities/Counties where stun guns are restricted: Annapolis and Baltimore, MD, Baltimore County, MD, Chicago, IL, Dennison/Crawford County, IA (According to Sheriff Tom Hogan), District of Columbia, Philadelphia, PA.

Countries where stun guns are restricted: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

Before buying a stunning device, please make sure they are legal where you live. You may check stun gun laws and restrictions for some general guideline. If in doubt, contact your local police department.

Wouldn't it be more effective to just carry a handgun? Sometimes yes, most of the time, no. There are only a handful of states that allow you to carry a concealed weapon. Others require applying for a concealed carry permit from local authorities that usually require training as well. Some states say they issue concealed carry permits but only in rare instances. Some do not issue concealed carry permits at all. If you are caught carrying a firearm without a permit, the legal consequences can be severe including fines, incarceration and a ban on owning firearms, possibly for life, in some states.

If a firearm is the best choice to scare off an assailant, why do I need anything other than a permit and my handgun? Just showing a firearm can sometimes stop off an attack. However, that can be a problem as well. My friend was just arrested for pointing a weapon at someone who he though was going to steal his car. In any state, people who carry weapons are well aware of the consequences of showing those weapons. Using a firearm for self-defense on an unarmed assailant can bring very severe legal consequences. One of the most important elements of concealed carry training is understanding that when a victim pulls the firearm, they must be prepared to take the ultimate step. The key is to know when and under what circumstances a firearm should be pulled from concealment. Pulling a firearm on an unarmed assailant may not necessarily cause the assailant to break off the attack. This is particularly so if the assailant perceives they can physically over-power you. Then you are in worse trouble than before you started. You must be prepared to use that weapon if you point it.

At that point the victim may face a physical confrontation and fight over the firearm itself. This is not a good situation. The vast majority of assaults don't warrant the use of a firearm because the assailant is generally unarmed. This is where non-lethal protection is extremely critical. All Police officers carry pepper spray and/or a stun device knowing that in a significant number of situations they encounter, the use of a firearm is not necessary. With a firearm, it's generally all or nothing. A non-lethal alternative offers an interim step that can save you an enormous amount of legal problems and money.

Remember, while using a stun gun, you cannot suffer a charge back to your own body, even if the assailant is holding you. Just make sure the stun gun you select has an anti-theft wrist strap, which will incapacitate the stun gun, if an attacker tries to take it away from you.

That's our report on Will A Stun Gun Protect Me? It's one of the best non-lethal defense products on the market, and used with pepper spray, gives you a 1-2 punch that should take down the most aggressive of attackers.

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