How Stun Guns Function

Oct 4 07:51 2011 Lou Nemeth Print This Article

A stun gun is a hand-held self defense product that creates an electrical charge that will incapacitate an assailant, without causing any permanent injury.

Countless individuals are victims of crime every year,Guest Posting yet most of these people fail to plan for their own self defense. Understandably, many of these people feel uncomfortable with the idea of carrying a firearm. However, there is a great non-lethal alternative available; the stun gun. The stun gun, or conducted energy weapon as it is sometimes referred to, has several features that make it a great option for the average person. It is lightweight, small in size, easy to operate, concealable and it emits a strong electrical shock that will give an attacker the surprise of his life! 

Electricity fundamentals

Recent media reports have held stun guns responsible for many deaths while in police custody. Although it’s true that a minute amount of electricity can be fatal for humans, these media reports are significantly inflated. Due to its design, a stun gun is incapable of causing any severe injury or death. High amperage (current) causes electricity-related deaths. However, high voltage won’t cause any long-term harm unless accompanied by significant current (amps). Stun guns generate high voltage but are incapable of generating hig current. They produce only about 3 millamps, which is not enough to kill or cause any enduring harm. A stun gun’s low amperage shock will cause substantial pain and disorientation, but the effects are temporary.

People who died after a stun gun shock, tend to have one thing in common; cocaine use. According to research, the existence of cocaine in the bloodstream enhances the "shock" of a stun gun by 50 to 100 percent. Source: Ten researchers led by Dr D Lakkireddy from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, and reported in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

So, the stun gun wasn’t the cause, it was the presence of "illegal" drugs that was the catalyst. Without the presence of cocaine in their body, they would have felt a mild shock and some disorientation. The charge generated from a stun gun isn’t enough to cause death.

The following table reveals how various rates of current (amps) can effect the average human body;

  • 1 milliamp - Tingling sensation in the muscles.
  • 3 - 5 milliamps - Muscle contractions, moderate pain, loss of balance and disorientation.
  • 6 - 15 milliamps - Painful, but voluntary muscle control still maintained.
  • 100 - 200 milliamps - Extreme pain, ventricular fibrillation, (uneven, uncoordinated pumping of the heart.) muscular contraction and nerve damage begins to occur. Death is likely.

Stun guns and the nervous system

Electricity exists in the human body, and devoid of it the body would be incapable of completing routine tasks. The human brain communicates by sending an electrical charge to the nerve cells. The nerve cells respond by forwarding the signal to the muscles. The muscles then act upon this signal by contracting or expanding, to perform a specific function like walking or picking up an object. Finally, the muscle returns information back to the brain regarding taste, feel or smell.

A stun gun disrupts electrical signals involving the brain and nerve cells. The muscles are affected by this disruption and the electrical shock tells them to contract and expand rapidly. This rapid activity and stress on the muscles depletes the blood sugar and converts it to lactic acid. In layman's terms, the muscles are required to do a substantial amount of work in a short time and are too fatigued to perform basic tasks, like standing up or talking. This results in a loss of balance and total disorientation which usually lasts about thirty to forty minutes, leaving no permanent damage to the body.

The effects of a stun gun will on individuals vary based on different variables; the type or model, the voltage of the stun gun, the length of time it touches the person, the size and weight of the attacker, and his physiology of his body. However, in general, the following guideline is, by and large pretty accurate;

Stun gun effects on an average human

  • One second of contact – It will inflict some mild pain and muscle contraction.
  • Two seconds of contact - Will cause modest pain, muscle spasms and loss of balance.
  • Three seconds or more of contact - Will produce intense pain, full loss of balance, confusion and disorientation.

For the average person, who recoils at the thought of using a firearm, a stun gun is a great alternative. It’s non-lethal, non-fatal and doesn’t inflict any permanent damage on an assailant’s heart and other organs. Despite his dazed and disoriented condition, the attacker will have no lasting effects and will fully recover in thirty to forty minutes. Also, stun guns are legal to carry in most states, and usually require no special permits. They are reasonably priced, simple to use, easy to conceal, need no special training to use and deliver great results. 

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About Article Author

Lou Nemeth
Lou Nemeth

About the author: Lou Nemeth is the owner of Apex Self Defense Products, a website that provides information and products related to self defense and home security.  He has written articles and given presentations on numerous safety and security topics including; home security, surveillance systems, women's self defense, rape prevention, family security, burglary prevention, carjacking prevention and self defense products.

To contact him regarding speaking engagements, to purchase surveillance equipment, self defense products, to buy stun guns, pepper spray or for more information, visit Apex Self Defense Products. 

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