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Pattaya Daily News

Hilton
14 May 2010 :: 17:05:46 pm 20412

Stun Guns/Taser: How Safe Are They?

Stun guns are a weapon used to give an electric shock to an individual in order to render him/her helpless, though only for a few minutes, time enough to make your escape or call the police. Though stun guns have been used by law enforcers since the mid 70’s, many people now carry them around for their own protection against personal attack, proving to be an excellent deterrent against crime.
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Stun guns are legal in a lot of states and a license to carry one is not required, with some small enough to fit in a purse or glove compartment. Stun guns are now available in the form of lipstick size and also incorporated into cell phones. Stun guns were first designed in the form of a cattle prod used since the 1940’s to move cattle to where they were required to go, while other designs in the 70’s were used to control animals or repel sharks. During the same period, stunning devices were designed and patented to help law enforcers in making arrests of suspects.

Not a lot has been heard of the stun gun until the last few years where the use by law enforcers has hit the news.  There has been a lot of sensationalism on the safety of its use and though it has been said it does not cause serious damage to health there have been a few recorded deaths following incidents involving stun guns. The amperage of a typical stun gun is only a few milliamps and is considered quite low, though they have become more powerful in recent years with marketing advertising voltages reaching one million volts and more. The electrical charge will pass through your clothing but not through you should the assailant touch you.

The ZAPTD and the ZAPBK950 are two latest designs that give more grip. Manufacturers claim the ZAPTD gives of a shock of 1.2 million volts, while the other gives 950,000 volts of power. With the fall in economy, crimes against people have risen and so has the sale in stun guns which remain a safer alternative to handguns, but if the device becomes too powerful, it may be heavily regulated and used for law enforcement only.

Besides, stun guns are a non-lethal crime deterrent that is designed to key into the nervous system dumping its energy into the muscles at a high frequency making the muscle work very quickly but not efficiently. This results in a depletion of blood sugars by converting it into lactic acid in a matter of seconds. This results in the loss of energy making it difficult to move and function properly and the neurological impulses that travel through the body to direct the muscle are interrupted causing disorientation and loss of balance, leaving the attacker in a passive and confused state for several minutes. The shock can be quite painful, but is said to be quite safe to the heart and organs, although as earlier stated, there have been recorded deaths resulting from being stunned.

The actual body is the best place to stun someone, as the arms and legs does not have the same disabling effect. To merely disable a person will take a stun of a half second whereas a one or two second stun will cause disorientation. In an actual attack, you will want to use the gun until the assailant drops to the ground or runs away. This result will depend on the size of the assailant and the strength of the gun.  Once immobilized, it will take five to ten minutes to recover. Stun guns can be purchased with voltages ranging from 85,000 to 900,000 volts, but the method of delivery along with the actual amperage will affect the applied force in disabling an attacker.

Patty Brown

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