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How to Decide Between a Stun Gun and a Handgun

Aug 31, 2008
Whenever you step into a store that sells weapons intended for self-defense, you're presented with a tough decision. Before the 1980's, you didn't even have to think about it, but with the advent of non-lethal options, the average Joe looking to defend both himself and his family has to make a cold, hard choice between a handgun shooting real bullets, and a stun gun, capable only of temporarily disabling an attacker. Here's some information to help you decide which road is more appropriate for your particular situation.

1. When you pull out a handgun, you have to be absolutely ready to pull the trigger. Self-defense experts will teach you that you don't aim for the legs or the arms; every time you fire a shot, it needs to be with the intention of killing the target. Every person who purchases a firearm needs to do it with the knowledge that one day, they could be forced to use it.

2. Do you have children running around the house? Though most handgun owners keep their weapons locked up, kids have a knack for getting into things they're not supposed to. Additionally, keeping a weapon secured behind a complicated control system such as a combination lock means precious extra seconds if an intruder enters your home. While a taser could certainly cause harm to a child, the chances for causing a fatal wound are very slim.

3. If you're leaning towards a stun gun over purchasing a handgun, remember that tasers are not 100% effective by any means. They serve merely to incapacitate an attacker, and they're not guaranteed to completely stop someone in their tracks. The most powerful stun baton on the market today carries up to 750,000 volts of electricity, but even that much juice isn't sure to keep you safe. If your attacker weighs a significant amount (or has a very high pain threshold), he still may be able to get to you.

4. Related to point two: could you pull the trigger of a handgun, knowing that it very well could end someone's life? In a life or death situation, where the safety of you and your family is on the line, the answer is probably yes. But what about if someone simply breaks into your home looking for jewelry or other valuables, and he or she isn't armed with anything at all? In this case, a non-lethal weapon might be the superior choice. Knowing that you'll only temporarily wound the intruder, there will be much less hesitation to pull the trigger. At the same time, however, if you do not completely disable the antagonist, you certainly stand the chance of greeting a much angrier, more aggressive attacker when the shock wears off.

Choosing between a handgun and a stun gun is not an easy decision. It should be made with every factor in mind, because every situation is different. Take the time to stop in your local self-defense shop, and talk to a professional who can help you weigh your options.
About the Author
It's always better to safe than sorry. You will never regret installing a good quality security system in your house or carrying around a stun gun. You could however regret not doing those things.
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