You think you know, but you probably have no idea.
Here are the truths you should know about a Taser.
- TASER is a brand name, not a weapon.
- Tasers work, for the most part. Take it from someone that has been shot by a Taser.
- TASER makes a consumer version you can own.
During law enforcement training, we called getting shot by the Taser, “taking the ride” because you are on a ride you cannot get off of until someone lets you off.
You cannot move to free yourself. Without help, you will fall flat. The videos of Taser reactions are very funny to everyone except the one that took the ride.
A Taser and a Stun Gun Walk Into A Bar…
A lot of manufacturers take liberties with the name claiming that their product is a Taser. It is not. Only TASER makes Tasers.
Most devices on the market called Tasers are actually stun guns. Can you tell the difference?
What is a Stun Gun?
- Made by anyone except TASER.
- A Stun gun is a handheld device holding an electrical charge.
- A Stun gun has to be physically touched to a person to deliver the charge.
- You are required to be within arms reach of a person to use it.
What is a Taser?
- Made by TASER.
- A Taser is a handheld device holding an electrical charge.
- A Taser is fired at a distance releasing two electrical probes that deliver the charge through wires.
- You do not have to be within arm’s reach of a person to use a Taser.
- A Taser can also double as a stun gun if you need it.
The Consumer Version
The consumer models available from TASER include the C2,the M26C, and the X26C. If you did not guess, the “C” stands for “Consumer.” The MSRP ranges from $300 – $1,000.
A common misconception is that the consumer models of weapons used by police are less powerful. That is not the case. The consumer models of weapons are usually more powerful than the police versions.
For example, when I carried pepper spray, it was rated 150,000 Schofield Units. Consumers could buy 1,000,000 Schofield Unit sprays at local convenience stores. The same goes for the Taser.
When you fire a Taser, it automatically delivers a timed charge. With the police units, it activates for seven seconds. This is meant to be time enough to handcuff or otherwise restrain a suspect. The consumer version activates for 30 SECONDS.
The idea is that you drop the Taser which continues to restrain the person while you put a barrier and/or time and distance between you and them. In fact, if you leave a Taser behind after using it in self defense and lose it, TASER will replace it free of charge.
Trust me, seven seconds riding a Taser is something you will never, ever forget. I cannot imagine the agony of a full 30-second ride.
Even after that 30 seconds is up, no one will be able to get right back to their feet. The Taser will give you plenty time to make your escape.
Benefits of the Taser
- It is a great deterrent. People know what a Taser is. If you show one, a reasonable person will think twice before approaching you. You can remove the cartridge and spark the Taser for extra warning.
- Can be fired from a distance up to 15 feet so you do not have to get close to your attacker.
- Is not classified as a firearm and perfectly legal to own and carry.
- Fully immobilizes an attacker when it connects.
- Gives you 30 seconds or more to get away from your attacker.
- If the Taser fails, you still have a stun gun in your hand.
- Plays well in court.
Let’s be realistic. People are growing accustomed to watching the funny videos of people getting shot and getting back up unharmed. The Taser is no longer, or soon will be no longer, perceived as cruel or unusual.
When Tasers Fail
Nothing is foolproof.
- Misfires are uncommon but it is possible to miss. You must practice with your Taser. Tasers do, however, come with a built-in laser site.
- It is possible for only one of the probes to stick. An electrical current requires two wires so there would be no electric shock.
- Some have learned to roll when shot by a Taser in hopes of breaking the wires or pulling out one of the probes. If even one of the connections fail, the electrical charge stops.
However, with training and practice, all of these possibilities can be dealt with by a Taser user.
In the current consumer market for non-lethal force, I rank the Taser as a top choice. It’s easy to carry, easy to use, easy to reload, and is meant to give you as much distance as possible between you and danger.