Arguably the most popular and widely used non lethal weapon today is the stun gun
. Admit it or not, but it has become a widely accepted EDC weapon for self defense
. Because it is non lethal, it is preferred by the women as well.
What comes as a surprise is that there are a great number of users of this weapon, but not many are aware of its history. Yes, there is a long and significant history associated with this weapon. And many are unfamiliar with that.
In this article, we shed light on the historical facts related to stun gun. In addition, we shall compare the traditional and modern uses of this device. But, before we get to the brief comparison, it is important to know what kind of a weapon it is and how it works.
What is a Stun Gun?
Stun gun is an electroshock weapon made for delivering an electrical shock. It is mainly used as self defense weapons
around the world.
It is usually a small device shaped like a lipstick, cell phone or anything like that. But, in any case, the device features two prongs that actually deliver the shock.
Every electroshock device features two prongs. When these prongs are touched to someone, an electrical shock is delivered. Generally, that shock is severe enough to take someone down. It immobilizes the person for a reasonable period of time.
Different devices have different capacity or voltage for delivering the shock. Whether it is an ancient or modern stun gun, the mechanism of working remains the same. So, this is how it works. Let’s plunge into the history of earliest stun gun.
Earliest Stun Guns!
- The Taser
Many people must know that earlier stun guns were known as taser guns or simply tasers. Even today, there is a specific type of electroshock weapons known as taser guns. The earliest device though was also called Taser.
There are different claims as to who invented the first stun gun. However, historians agree that the earliest device capable of delivering electrical shock was invented in the late 1800s when a resident of Wichita, Kansas named John Burton received a patent for this device.
But, this device was earlier known as cattle prod. There was a long barrel and the two prongs were attached to it. It delivered electrical shock through a cow’s hide. The cattle prods were not actually constructed for incapacitating someone.
Though there are plenty of claims regarding the invention of first stun gun.But, there is a popular story associated with the invention of this weapon. Jack Cover, a NASA researcher is known as an inventor of the earliest electrical shock weapon that was actually called a taser, not a cattle prod.
Jack Cover had an intention to develop a weapon that could help officers in the situations like plane hijacking where firing can be troublesome. He took this idea from a newspaper where he read about a man who survived a run-in using an electric fence.
Cover knew that an electroshock weapon can be used without a potential danger. Hence, he established this device in 1974 and named it Taser. Similar stun guns were developed in great numbers in the 1970s and 1980s.
These devices were capable of delivering an electrical current using a pair of electrodes connected with the gun with the help of a wire. However, tasers were earlier classified by the US government as firearms because of the use of gunpowder in them.
This put a restriction or limit on the production of these devices. But, the police departments were still using these weapons. Most of the manufacturers just designed these devices for law enforcement.
Jack Cover quickly founded the Taser system for selling his invention to the police departments and law enforcement. Later on, the name of taser was changed to tasertron after the company filed bankruptcy. The company was sold to an investor and he changed its name.
- Used by Law Enforcement in the 1960s
The history suggests that an electroshock weapon called the Taser was used by the American law enforcement during the 1960s. The police officers used these devices to disperse the Civil Rights Activists.
The use of electroshock devices remained common in the police departments. Even today, law enforcement does use such devices when required. Because these devices can deliver strong electrical shock, they come handy in crowd control.
Police officers often need to control the crowd, and such devices help them. In addition, they need to deal with the culprits at times.
When they have an electroshock weapon, they can deliver a shock to immobilize the culprits and then easily take them to the police station. So, this remained as a popular law enforcement weapon for a long time.
- Some Key Historical Facts
There are certain significant facts that you need to know about the history of stun gun. Firstly, acknowledge that Burton’s cattle prod was not the earliest instance where someone tried to invent a non lethal device that could control a living with electricity.
In 1852, a device of this nature was established and was named as Electrical Whaling Apparatus. This device was basically an electrified version of the harpoon. It had the ability to stun the whale for enhancing the chances of catching it and reducing the risk to the whalers.
The name “Taser” was inspired by a popular science fiction novels. Jack Cover read that when he was a child. It stands for “Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle.” The name of that novel was “Tom Swift and his electric rifle.” So, these are some significant facts associated with the history of stun gun.
Stun Gun Today!
- Used as a Self Defense Weapon
In modern days, stun gun is a self defense weapon
. It is considered a smart weapon for defense because it is a small sized device carried in the pocket. It comes in plenty of different shapes and designs.
Today, America is not that safe. Every now and then, you are likely to be victimized by the attackers. Specifically, if you travel at midnight, you are pretty unsafe. You can be attacked and victimized if you don’t have a weapon to defend you.
The problem is that every weapon does not work in such situations. You need a weapon that is small, easy to carry, easy to use and effective. Most of the weapons today are ineffective and are harder to carry.
Stun gun is designed as a weapon that fulfills all the needs of the users. It is small and easy to carry. Also, it is undetectable. You would find stun guns shaped like lipsticks, cell phones and flashlights.
Such designs can’t be identified. Even the attacker can’t figure out what weapon has caused him pain. This gives you an advantage of surprising the attacker with a counter attack.
Also, these small devices are easy to carry. They fit into your pocket and can be carried pretty easily. They don’t have any weight at all. Whether in any shape, they will always have the two prongs to deliver a strong electrical shock.
Another self defense advantage of stun gun
is that it is easy to use. All you need to do is touch the attacker with the prongs and the damage is done. A few of them come with a flashlight as well to provide you light when it is dark.
Most importantly, it is effective. As you touch the attacker with its prongs, the shock is delivered and the attacker is immobilized for a reasonable period of time. Meanwhile, you have the opportunity to escape and save your life.
- Used for Hunting
Stun gun is also quite popular as a hunting weapon. Yes, that’s right. It has been used for hunting animals. Since it is non lethal, it just gives an electrical shock, it immobilizes the animals to take him down. This makes hunting easier and does not cause pain to the animal.
If you are unaware of the hunting laws, they are subject to the restrictions imposed by the Animal Rights Associations. These associations protect the animal rights and ask the hunters not to inflict a severe injury or pain to the animals.
There is no restriction on hunting, but slaughtering them is not allowed. The idea is to cause a minimum pain to the animals while hunting them. There are different types of stun guns used for hunting though.
These guns can deliver a shock at a high voltage. They can lead to immobilization in a quick succession. Most importantly, they don’t cause any pain and injury. So, you can avoid hunting in an inhumane manner.
This electroshock weapon has revolutionized hunting and make it easier and safer to do the hunting. Also, it has eliminated inhumane ways of hunting animals. So, this is why it has been serving as a hunting weapon in different parts of the world.
The Final Word
To conclude, we can say that Taser was transformed into a stun gun as per the needs of the people. The earliest device was a taser which was also an electroshock weapon, but it was designed for a different use.
The earliest electroshock weapons were designed for the use of law enforcement. For a long period of time, police officers used these devices for arresting the culprits and controlling the crowds.
However, as of today, stun gun is a self defense weapon to carry
and also serves as a hunting weapon. It is now available in plenty of smart designs. The working mechanism remains the same, but the way of use has been changed.
Today, stun gun is the best weapon to deal with the attackers. It can deliver a powerful electrical shock to immobilize the attacker and allow you to escape and survive!