Issue 33


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Like any self-defense tool, Tasers have their pluses and minuses.  The key to choosing the right tool for your lifestyle comes down to education.  Knowing what each tool, "brings to the table" is a good starting point.

Taser is a trademarked name of Taser International.  It has become the generic term used for a style of stunning device which shoots an attacker with two probes that are attached to wires.  In this newsletter, though, we'll be talking specifically about the actual Taser.

Like all stunning devices, the Taser passes an electrical current through the attacker.  This current causes their muscles to involuntarily contract, thus temporarily disabling them.  The current usually causes temporary mental disorientation in the attacker as well.

The Down-Side

They are expensive.  When compared to other types of stunning devices, the cost of Tasers exceeds that of other products.   The civilian models cost a few hundred dollars, and the replacement probes and batteries are expensive as well.

Low-voltage.  Their charge is relatively weak when compared to other types of stunning devices.  The Taser delivers a charge of 50,000 volts.  Other hand-held stunning devices produce voltage anywhere between 100,000 and one million volts.  It should be noted, though, that this charge is sufficient to stop even the largest of individuals.

Registration.  Taser (not the government) requires owners to submit to a background check prior to the device being activated.  You contact Taser International, pay a small fee, and they give you a code to "unlock" the device.

The Up-Side

The positive aspects of the Taser are very impressive.

Safety Perimeter.  The civilian Taser models are able to fire their probes up to 15 feet.  This means you don't need to make personal physical contact with the attacker.  This is a huge advantage over other hand-held devices.

Back-up Function.  In the event your probes either miss their mark, or don't fully disable the attacker, you can use the Taser as a hand-held stun gun as well.  This redundancy of function is a great asset to have.

Ability to "stun and run".  I think the most impressive aspect of the Taser is that after you have fired the probes, you can just walk (or run!) away.  The Taser device will continue passing the electrical current into your attacker for 30 seconds.  Simply set it on the ground and leave!

As with most self-defense tools, after you have used the device AND filed a police report of your attack, the manufacturer will replace the device for free.

With any self-defense tool, it is best to learn the techniques and legalities of using them BEFORE you make your purchase.  The Taser is included in our Defensive Sprays and Stunning Devices in California workshop. 

The class gives techniques on how to decide which defensive tool is best for your lifestyle, how to use the devices and the laws surrounding their use.

Our training business partner, Center Mass Shooting Range in Vacaville, now carries a full line of Taser products and accessories.

Go to our newsletter archive to see similar articles on Proper Stun Gun Usage (issue 12), Choosing The Correct Self-Defense Tool (issue 15) and Pepper Spray The Right Way (issue 21).

Next Issue:  The Benefits of Advanced Training


Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations.

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