Effects of Stun Guns
Before you purchase your stun gun or Taser, you may want to completely understand the physiological effects of these weapons. You can be assured that Tasers and other stun guns have been tested extensively, and their effect is fully understood. They have no long term effects whatsoever, making them much safer than conventional firearms.
On our How Stun Guns Work page, we explain how the electrical charge is distributed and why these weapons are so effective. The exact effects on humans are explained here. When the electrical energy is "dumped" into the muscles of the attacker, a number of effects are given. These are mixed, including the following:
- Communication between the brain and muscles is momentarily "scrambled." Electrical signals from the brain are mixed with the 'noise' of the electrical charge. It's roughly the same effect some electrical signals have on some TV screens. The regular neurological impulses are compromised significantly.
- The stress on muscles converts their regular source of energy, blood sugar, into lactic acid. Without any source of energy, the muscles are instantly disabled.
- Muscles are forced to do an enormous amount of work in a very short time. They are exhausted virtually instantaneously.
The net effect of this is essentially harmless. After the electricity leaves the body, muscle and neurological activity return to normal. This is why Tasers release intermittent blasts of electricity to keep the assailant incapacitated. After repeated shocks, the assailant may be exhausted but not permanently harmed.
There are cases where stun guns and Tasers have been investigated as a possible cause or contributing factor in deaths. A figure often quoted is 70 deaths across North America, from 1999 to 2003. In all these cases, Tasers and stun guns were never proven to be the cause of death. In many cases, attackers were under the influence of alcohol, cocaine and other drugs that increase risk of heart attack or stoppage.
Stun guns and Tasers are certainly safer than handguns. Applied cautiously, they can be very effective at subduing threatening people.
Scream at your opponent, warn him (or her) as often as you are able to repeat then stun him until he is no longer a threat. Reapply the stun in the same manner, if needed. Do what you can to make sure he can breathe properly and is not otherwise endangered.