20 years ago very few people worried about being mugged or attacked with a cattle prod, the thought of electricity as a weapon was still new. Now, across the United States and abroad it is happening. Maybe it is because stun guns and stuns batons are nonlethal or cheap. Maybe it is because they are available where guns are not or it could just be a combination of all of those. In an odd sort of way, it is a very strong endorsement as to its effectiveness.
Stun guns and stun batons both work on the same principal; 800,000 volts will get your attention. That sounds like it is enough electricity to turn you into charcoal but it is not and here is why. Electricity has volts and amps. You can raise the volts by lowering the amps. In the case of stun guns and stun batons they have only the tiniest of amps because the volts are so high. There is an old electricians' adage that says "Volts don't kill you, amps do".
Both stun guns and stun batons have a place in law enforcement, but the stun baton has some advantages.
- Stun batons are a better close quarters weapon. In places with crowds the stun gun becomes ineffective. In a place like a crowed street, a short little tap can encourage two men about to fight to step down. Also places like jail and prison the stun baton is a better choice.
- Its easier to control the amount of charge used. Many times it just takes a quick bump to get someone's attention and make them not want to find out what the stun baton can really do.
- It is more intimidating. A stun gun does not look that scary. Any baton, stun or otherwise, is still basically a big scary stick. It is always better to intimidate someone into submission than to have to resort to violence.
- It can be used on multiple assailants. Rather than being attached to one person, the office can "correct" multiple people. In a near riot situation that ability is crucial.
Electric weapons such as stun guns and stun batons are starting to play a larger role in law enforcement because they are not only effective but nonlethal. Used properly and in the right situation they protect both the officer and the suspect buy reducing the need to use more violent and dangerous options.