FYI: Apparently, Connecticut is the only state in the tristate area where civilians are allowed to own Taser stun guns. And some people are actively educating the public about their legal right to bear electrically charged arms.
In this article from awhile back, The New Yorker talks about a stun gun salesperson who’s going around the country hosting “Taser parties” where women get together in living rooms to pick out Tasers and talk about how having one handy at all times is probably a necessary method of self-defense.
Self-defense is important, but something about this seems a little dubious:
Police tasers shock people for only five seconds, but the civilian version can send out electricity for up to thirty seconds, presumably giving one a chance to escape. Kreisman pressed the button a few more times, each time creating the frying sound associated with bug zappers, while her friends cheered…
“Most people arrive with a fear-based perception of the device,” Shafman said, but she added that that changes when they realize that the Taser won’t cause injury. She got over her own fear by volunteering to be Tasered at a training facility in Arizona.
“I wanted to be shot by my own product,” she said. “I was, like, ‘Just shoot me.’ I did it for three seconds. The trainer was really nice. He gives you a verbal warning— ‘Taser! Taser!’—and all of a sudden you hear a pop. He shot me in the rear end… It’s just a really intense, harsh pain. It feels like—if you’ve ever walked on a cold day and felt that little jolt, that static-electricity shock? It’s like that, but it goes inside you, into the core of your body. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”
I mean, I’ve never been tasered, but can it be a good idea to have, say, college students roaming around campus with the ability to inflict the worst pain you’ve ever felt for up to 30 seconds whenever deemed necessary? So what if they don’t cause injuries – weren’t pepper spray and well-aimed kicks supposed to be decent methods of self-defense in dark alleys?