Stun guns are devices used to subdue an attacker and are typically considered non-lethal weapons. However, they can cause serious medical problems if used on someone with a mental health or cardiovascular condition.
Tasers and stun guns can be legally used by police, as long as they are in the officer’s possession in an effort to protect themselves or others from danger. If used improperly, they may result in charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battery, or aggravated assault.
Many people fear using a stun gun, but it’s actually an effective tool that can help save lives. In the event of a physical confrontation, a stun gun will quickly and effectively stop an attacker.
The device works by delivering a high voltage shock to the target, but without causing any permanent damage. This is because the electricity travels through the skin through an arc and doesn’t cause burns or electroporation. In addition, the electric arc will cause pain to the target’s skin and muscle fibers, but it won’t affect vital organs or other body systems.
Getting stunned by a stun gun will also disorient the attacker, making them unable to move or attack. The attacker will become disoriented and confused, and they won’t be able to respond to any commands from you or the officer.
In some cases, the stun gun may actually kill a person. This is a very rare scenario. But it can happen if the stun gun is fired into someone’s chest, according to an analysis of 8 cases under litigation.
A stun gun is designed to key into the nervous system, and it dumps its energy into the muscles at a high pulse frequency that makes the muscles work very rapidly, but on an inefficient basis. This makes the muscle cells work quickly, but it depletes the blood sugar that they need to function properly.
When the muscle cells run out of sugar, they convert it to lactic acid, which can make the muscles unable to function. This happens in seconds, and the tiny neurological impulses that control muscle movement are interrupted.
This can be fatal if the victim has heart disease or is on a medication that increases their risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias. Even though the shocks of a stun gun are relatively small, the shock can cause heart failure in some people, which is why the manufacturers of stun guns recommend that you don’t shoot them at people’s chests.
Despite the risks, stun guns are still commonly used by law enforcement in the United States. Almost all 18,000 police departments issue their officers stun guns to use as an alternative to using lethal force against people they see as a threat.
But Reuters has found that more than 1,000 people have died since 2000 after being shocked by a police officer’s Taser. Those incidents were reported in a five-part series, the first time Reuters has documented such a wide range of fatal encounters with stun guns.