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What You Should Know Before Buying a Stun Gun

Aug 24, 2008
Stun guns are becoming an increasingly popular method of self-protection. As a non-lethal weapon (as opposed to hand guns), they offer users the opportunity to incapacitate an attacker without killing him. For both moral and practical legal applications, it's easy to see the appeal of a stun gun. Before you head to your local security shop, however, there are some key points to note about stun guns.

There are a myriad of weapons out there that use high-voltage electricity to disable would be attackers, but they all fall into two basic categories: short range and long range. Short-range options require physical contact with the assailant, while their long range cousins instead shoot electrodes attached to the end of long, thin wires. The most popular of these long-range stun guns is the Taser, used by law enforcement and military organizations across the world.

Most civilians in the market for a stun gun purchase a weapon of the short-range variety. These are much smaller than Tasers, and thus easier to conceal, a key characteristic for the average user. The newest models tend to look like cellular telephones or small flashlights, and can easily be carried in a purse or belt holster.

At this point, you're probably wondering exactly what a stun gun could potentially do to save your life in the event of an aggressive attacker confronting you on a dark street. It's important to note that stun guns aren't magical pieces of wizardry that can automatically disable attackers. The most important factors in determining whether you'll get away from your attacker are the power of the stun gun you purchase, and the amount of time you're able to hold the weapon against their body.

In most of today's high power devices, one half of a second is necessary simply to repel the attacker. This short dose won't disable; instead, it will merely cause a high level of pain, probably doing nothing more than angering and inciting the aggressor to inflict more pain upon you. For real effective power that will cause your attacker to drop to the ground for at least enough time for you to make your escape, approximately four seconds of contact is needed. This may sound like only a brief moment, but when your opponent holds a significant strength and weight advantage, applying the shock for this long can be a very difficult proposition.

For that reason, some industry experts remain skeptical of the application of stun guns in the civilian environment. They argue that stun guns give their owners a false sense of security. At the same time, there are few non-lethal alternatives out there that can offer even close to the stopping power of a stun gun. Mace, for example, can only temporarily blind an attacker, but that will have little effect if the aggressor has already made serious contact with the victim. For now, the stun gun and Taser represent the most effective, non-lethal tools available to civilians that don't want to bring a firearm into their household.
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You can't put a price on you and your family's safety. Have a look at our range of personal and home security products that will give you an edge over criminals. We have everything from pepper spray and stun guns to key hiders.
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