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Interesting thread and challenge!

Gee Mike, I sure hope Cougar knows what he just got himself into...
I've been zapped by one of those Talons, and believe me, it's not fun, even though the zap was unintentional.

Nice debate going on there, informative at the very least.. hehehe..

Now, if only someone else talks about those sonic blasters I've been hearing about..

I believe in them...
When I was studying electronics, a classmate "zapped" me with a little battery driven 1000-volt isolation tester. I was standing against a locker and got those two contacts suddenly pressed to my elbow. My armmuscles reacted incredibly fast and out of control and my arm gave that heavy locker a major dent. My arm have never moved faster and I guess it never will.
A scary experience.

Tea drinker and hellraiser from Northern Sweden, above the arctic circle.


You should've placed something over the dent on the locker like "Cinnamon was here".. hehehe..

I'm waiting for Cougar's test results eagerly and with anticipation. He's one brave, dude, I must say.
I wouldn't put myself to that test, controlled or not.... not even for a free zapper or knife for that matter!

I'm not sure, but I think using a stun gun on someone with a pacemaker is the only fatal exception to it being non-fatal, right?

Uh, Mike?
If I'd have known you were going to point this thread out to the whole world,
I'd have kept my big mouth shut!

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

I might do it, but I'm untrained so it would seem to be a very different test. Stopping me would probably be much easier than Cougar. I might even do the same with pepper spray (Mike mentioned that briefly too.) Heck, aren't you SUPPOSED to have somebody spray you when you buy pepper spray anyway?

I'm just that kind of idiot who would probably eventually get the urge to try this anyway. In my younger days, my friends and I did other stupid things like touching horse fences and uninsulated power cords. We're idiots, but we lived.

I'm not sure, but I think using a stun gun on someone with a pacemaker is the only fatal exception to it being non-fatal, right?

A pacemaker is nothing more than a mechanical clock that provides regular beats of electrical current to keep your heart beating to a rhythmn. Your heart already has a pacemaker, namely, the SA node cells. Since we still don't really know how the SA cells function, it's impossible to equivocably state what electrical voltage and current magnitudes would be necessary to disable the SA cells and subsequently stop the heartbeat.

However, I'd bet dollars to donuts that people have gone into ventricular fibrillation after being shocked. After all, there are freakish stories about people whose hearts have stopped after they were heavily struck in the chest. Apparently, there's a small window in the heartbeat where suffering a concussive shock can stop the heart. Therefore, I conclude that there is at least the potential for a freakish accident leading to heart stoppage when playing with electricity.

If anyone out there figures out just how the heart works, who knows, there might be a Nobel prize around the corner for you.

"We're idiots, but we lived."

You just reminded me of a college friend who was working late at McDonald's one night and decided to stick his big fry-fork into a power socket because, as he put it, "It'll be cool and I probably won't die." He was right about the second part, anyhow. Why are we so dumb when we're young? Hehehe.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)

You are right in your assumption. I do not have any numbers handy but there have been documented cases of MI's caused by these things.
I am not against them by any means nor would I volunteer as a test subject.

God bless!

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!
There may be a market for the video rights to these tests. I know I want a copy, I'll send it to the Funniest Home Video people and that ten grand will be mine.
Do you think you can get him to test out some pepper spray on the same video?


All this reminds me of my friend Chip. He went behind the barn to urinate and didn't see or realize until too late that there was a hot wire (electric fence). We found him on the ground moanin' and cryin'. He was ok but sore for quite a while. He wouldn't do it again no matter what we offered him. I guess he wasn't stupid enough to do it twice.

Don Juvet, Somerset CA

Well, I was going to wait until it arrives before posting on the subject again, but I can't resist pointing out a couple of things.

It's obvious many of the people posting in these threads haven't even done a web search and read the advertising (much less gone to dejanews and read what people who aren't selling them have to say). You'll find convincing evidence in the ads that "stun guns" cannot injure anyone, whether they're equipped with pacemakers or not. (You'll find no evidence that they can stop an attacker. No claims that they stop any percentage of attackers, not even evidence of a single incident when one did. The closest thing to a "success" story I've ever seen is that police report when they've used them on subjects who weren't resisting in the first place, some of them continued to not resist.)

The most positive reports I've ever seen about "stun guns" (other than advertising) are on this website. Several people have posted that it had some effect on them and seem to think it could stop an attacker, though none of them were in fighting mode at the time they were shocked. All the reports I've seen previous to this discussion have been far less positive.

I don't intend to test pepper spray on myself -- plenty of reviews have been posted and otherwise published already, and they indicate pepper spray is usually effective on people who have not been sprayed previously and usually has some impairing effect even on people who have. Of course plenty of reviews and statistics on "stun guns" have been published, too, but people continue to rely on them for protection. I think it's well worth a few seconds of discomfort if I can save a few of the many thousands of people who read this website, and if the thing causes me to fall down like the hokey faked pic on the Taser website, then I'll have found a useful non-lethal weapon for only $50 -- also well worth my trouble.

I am planning to walk around while holding it to my torso; we'll see if it has any effect on my ability to walk. If results are similar to my expectations we can mail it back and forth across the country (and beyond if legal) until everybody who's interested has had a chance to try it out -- SB is next in line and I'm sure he'll be willing to send it to someone else after he's tried it.

Here's that pic for your amusement. I hesitate even to call it faked it's so badly done ... calling that a fake would be like calling Bugs Bunny cartoons unrealistic. It looks like the antimatter laser in the Rocky Horror Picture Show....

-Cougar Allen :{)


Cougar Allen,

It's obvious many of the people posting in these threads haven't even done a web search and read the advertising (much less gone to dejanews and read what people who aren't selling them have to say). You'll find convincing evidence in the ads that "stun guns" cannot injure anyone, whether they're equipped with pacemakers or not.

I assume some of the above quotation is directed at me, and I acknowledge that I have not looked through DejaNews. However, my main claim, in my mind, has always been that there is simply insufficient information from a biological context to state that the effects of a stun gun are inconsequential.

Given the fact that one of the ads quoted by Mike botched simple physics terms such as measuring current in terms of joules, I don't ascribe a great deal of credibility to an ad designed to sell products to the average consumer. After all, to the average consumer, stainless is all the same, right?

I am a biology student, and as such, I've approached the physiology of stun guns from the electrical potentials, and physical properties, of the cells and organs most likely to be affected by electricity. Based on what I've studied in this area, and given the limited scientific knowledge currently available about the mechanism of function of the heart and nerve tissue, I would find it irresponsible for me not to point out the potential hazards for introducing current into your body.

One quick comment I'll make here is one that hopefully most people here will understand, regardless of their level of biological knowledge. Nerve cells, with very few exceptions, do not regenerate. As a baby, you have all the nerve cells you will ever have; they do NOT divide and replicate like most other cells in your body.

Muscle cells are the same way. When you perform resistance training and your muscles increase in size, it is the individual muscle cells increasing in size, not in number. Arnold Schwartzenegger had more muscle cells as a baby than he does now, due to muscle cells dying off over the natural course of time.

Now, given the fact that there are anecdotal stories from forum members who state that the electrical shock really affected them, is it really so unreasonable to suggest that they have suffered irreversible damage at some level?

Nerve and muscle cells don't heal. Clearly some cellular damage must have occurred, or some protein function altered in an unnatural way, to disrupt the ability to think and act. While it's true that other nerves and muscles can adapt to take over the lost cells' functions, the implication is that electrical shocks may damage your tissue in the long term, by destroying irreplaceable nerve and muscle cells.

I doubt you'll find many posts on stun guns regarding the long term impacts 20 years after shock treatment because stun guns simply haven't been around too much longer than that. Never forget the long term effects. So why not err on the side of caution?

I also went over to MedLine to look up stun guns, and there's very little data to be had. One study mentions a police report detailing 16 fatalities after Taser use, although 15 of those are attributed to drug effects, and not the Taser itself. Given a sample size of 16, I move that few, if any conclusions can be drawn. Another study is:

Ann Emerg Med 1991 May;20(5):583-7

Published erratum appears in Ann Emerg Med 1991 Sep;20(9):1031

Electronic weaponry--a question of safety.

O'Brien DJ
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky 40292.

Electronic weapons represent a new class of weapon available to law enforcement and the lay public. Although these weapons have been available for several years, there is inadequate research to document their safety or efficacy. Two of the most common, the TASER and the stun gun, are reviewed. The electronic weapon was initially and still is approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission; its approval was based on theoretical calculations of the physical effects of damped sinusoidal pulses, not on the basis of animal or human studies. These devices are widely available and heavily promoted, despite limited research into their safety or efficiency and despite recent animal studies documenting their potential for lethality.

I would point out the 1991 date of the above paper, and note that there have been no subsequent follow-ups as of 1999 to a paper that basically states: "We don't have enough information. We want more data."

The data simply isn't out there.

This is as far as I go on the stun gun issue; it's a moot point for me, as I'm a Canadian resident. However, it's a free country, and I wouldn't deign to tell you what to do to your body. Hopefully you'll keep the forum appraised, as many of us are curious too.

uhh uhhh dangit...that last post was long...brain inactive...must go to sleep...adsklwejprewuorsio;hsdhgw;weefhasldjfp[odf
The often stated "jerk" reaction can be seen quite as readily if you touch a hot stove. Surely this will not be argued that the heat has caused an involuntary contraction of the muscles. You can easily resist the urge to jerk back from an electrical stimulus if it is desired unless the stimulus is very high - and I still maintain that a current that high is in the lethal range.

As a child I used to like to grab onto the bottom wire of a fence and swing my body under the fence. One day I tried it on a new fence. It was a barbed wire fence, so my reasoning went - "It couldn’t be electric. That would be redundant." But it was.

I grabbed onto the bottom wire with both hands and found that I could not let go of the wires. I experienced several very unpleasant seconds while the pulsed current repeatedly shocked me before I could get my hands off the wires. If the current was not pulsed I’m not sure I could have released the wire at all. There is no question in my mind that the muscle contraction was involuntary, as I wanted very badly to let go of that fence.
I didn't know about those electric fences until I went to the Midwest about 5 years ago. My wife thought it would be nice to take a picture of me next to a pasture full of cows. So I'm standing in the moist grass wearing my normal So. California clothes (shorts, t-shirt, thongs)and I backed up against that fence...


There are still some things I can clarify before it arrives.... First, I apologize for the tone of some of my posts. It's unreasonable to expect everyone to do research before posting -- I guess some of you haven't read the threads in the tactical forum, or haven't read all of them, and I can't blame you for that, either -- they're long.... I feel pretty angry at the people who made up all this nonsense, but that obviously doesn't include any of you and especially not Mike Turber or he wouldn't have sent one to me to test -- none of the hucksters have ever done that despite challenges.

Now after apologizing for my tone I'm going to continue in the same sarcastic tone -- because I can't seem to find any other way to express my thoughts on this or because I'm a dork? Maybe both ... who knows....

The device I'll be testing uses one or two 9-volt batteries, through some sort of capacative discharge circuit, to power a pair of electrodes that are maybe an inch apart or less. In use electricity will pass along my skin between the electrodes. If you think the electricity is going to go anywhere else, if you think it's going to pass through my heart, if you think it's going to pass from my hands to my feet as in Howard's encounter with the electric fence -- dig out your old seventh-grade general science textbook and reread the section on electricity.

As Protein points out, the credibility of the advertisers is low, and maybe they even made up that study purporting to prove that even applying the electrodes directly to the heart can't do any harm out of whole cloth, or maybe the study used flawed methodology. Maybe the electricity from this device can do permanent damage to the cells it passes through, despite all claims to the contrary. However, unlike the Air Taser, the electrodes on a "stun gun" are so close together that any conceivable damage must be confined to a very small area on and perhaps near my skin. Much as I might like to be considered heroic....

If I am completely wrong and this apparent nonsense has some truth to it, then pulsed electricity passing through a small area of my skin for five seconds will somehow interfere with my ability to control my muscles, causing me to be unable to fight for a while and presumably I'll fall down, writhe around on the floor, maybe even see visions of dancing giraffes.... I suppose if you consider that possible you must also consider it possible that some lasting systemic damage may occur, too, but surely the odds against that must be even greater. We all take risks every day ... I'm going to get in my car and drive on public roads in a few minutes....

I hope it is clear now that this device is not at all similar to an electric fence. When Howard put his hands on the fence electricity went from his hands to ground, presumably his feet. The "stun gun" is claimed to work in an entirely different way, a pulsed signal applied to a small area somehow interfering with the natural rhythms of the nervous system throughout the body. Encounters with electric fences and such are no doubt interesting, and I'm sure no one will object if people continue to post them, but they are not at all relevant to "stun guns."

-Cougar Allen :{)

[This message has been edited by Cougar Allen (edited 06 May 1999).]
Heh heh . . . city slicker.

'Lectric fences can be lots of fun.

1. Nobody laugh--my mom spit on a cattle fence when she was a kid. It's a little-known fact that when you spit, a tiny line of spittle sometimes trails back to your mouth. At least, that happened here! She got a sore throbbing mouth for her trouble and never again spit on an electric fence.

2. When we were kids walking beanfields, a coworker told us that peeing on an electric fence wouldn't hurt because the electricity couldn't move up a moving stream. In this, he was incorrect. Turns out electrons move faster than a stream of water, and it does indeed hurt. Given a choice I'd rather have spit on it.