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Mace/Pepperspray & Tasers; #2 – Do They Really Work?

The first post was about some of the realities of mace and how that can be a good thing…but also how that can be a bad thing.  This post will be about the taser and its effectiveness as well.

I have a buddy, who I mentioned on the first post, who sells, or at least who used to sell, Tasers.  We had a nice conversation about that and I came to some conclusions of which I had not thought of before.

Tasers can be a great way to protect yourself.  The problem with the advertising is that, from what I’ve seen, they try to convince everyone to replace the firearm with a taser.  Well guess what…the taser is certainly not a replacement tool.  Lets look at some issues shall we:

1.  Taser, close quarters – Having a taser can be a good thing…but you have to realize that it also means that you have to be close enough to have it connect with the target.  Some tasers are now shaped and made to look like pistols and function the same way when pointing and firing them.  That may make it easier to use and aim and such, but the fact is that you still have to be fairly close to be effective.  Some will shoot up to 25 feet or more…yet then again when we are talking about distance, the farther away, the more likely to miss the target, especially in a heightened situation.  If you are trying to shoot someone with a taser at 25 feet or more…I would hope that you could just run or get something between you and the target in the first place.  Distance can be great, for not using a taser.

2.  Taser, touching someone – There are those tasers (usually called “stun guns”) that you have to actually touch someone with.  The ones that have the electricy jumping across the two conductors with a nice blue arch.  Here we have the same situation.  If you are close enough to touch an attacker with one of those…then you are close enough for them to hit and club you with whatever they might have as well.  There is no way I would have something that required me to be “hugging” the attacker in order to just get away.  Most occurances happen at a close proximity…so why would you have some protection device that requires you to be so close?  Got me on that one…

3.  Taser, penetration points – The tasers that have the wires with little prongs on the end are generally the ones that shoot up to a certain distance.  Some even claim to penetrate up to 2 inches of clothing.  But the one thing they don’t mention in the ads is that  both prongs have to hit the target or they are pretty much useless.  Once again we have the problem of aiming and deploying the device in an effective manner.  Cops use these quite regularly…but have you ever seen a cop use these while wrestling on the ground with an attacker?  Nope…me neither.  Usually during a confrontation where the law enforcement officer is aware of the situation and can be facing the person, with a warning, is where most of tasering takes place.  I’m sure there are some instances where the use of a taser is not perfect…there is always one scenario to break the odds it seems.  I have actually seen one guy who, while being tased, rip the electrodes out of his body and continue to attack.  WOW…that is a pretty tough dude…well…they exist too, the tough ones I mean…yep, its true.

4.  Tasers, background check – Tasers are pretty intense things…like firearms, if you will.  Most states require background checks and some states treat them just like firearms infact.  Some are easy to find and some models are not…but the fact is this:  If you are willing to buy one of these and go through all of the background checks and all of that, to then own something you cannot really practice with (unless you get the refillable ones) and even then, who is willing to help you out by being a target…I don’t see that as being a very logical choice really.  I wouldn’t want to use it on anyone, but if I was to get something for protection, then essential with that instrument, is the training neccessary to actually deploy it with any kind of effeciency and knowledge.  It would be harder to do that with something like a stun gun or taser.

OK… so the summary is this…Mace/Pepperspray and Stun Guns/Tasers can be great devices for protection.  No doubt they have helped people many times and that is great.  One must realize that the ability to actually practice using such devices for protection is not very realistic.  Practice and training are essential for furthering your ability to protect yourself.  SO if you can’t hardly practice…then what good are you really doing?  That, mixed with the “close proximity” factor, make for a touchy situation.  If you want to use one of these items…great, but can you, or are you, really capable or willing to use them?  Stun guns and tasers have also been know to kill people, although the reason most people actually use them is because they don’t want to actually kill someone…so you have to be willing to accept the idea that if you use the taser, you may actually kill that person anyway.  It has happened in the past and I’m sure will happen in the future.

Whatever device you want to use in the protection of yourself, your family and others is just great.  I am thrilled that you are taking steps to initiate the safety of yourself and others.  I would just suggest that you look at all of the factors when doing so.  I personally use a firearm, because I can go out to the range and practice and have some fun. I can even go to competitions and learn from others in the field.  I have yet to see a “taser” or “mace” competition being held..anywhere!  Have fun and always check your six.

Damon Thueson

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