I regularly encounter people who say things along the lines of, “Why didn’t the cop just use a taser?” or “No one needs a gun, just use a taser instead.” The problem is, no single tool is a magical wand that will stop all attackers, not even firearms. Self defense tools need to be reliable enough to stop most attackers.

Taser Designs

Tasers generally come in two designs, a re-useable touch based design, or a distance oriented prongs+wire design. Both designs have serious drawbacks. The touch based design can be reused multiple times, but requires a self defender to get up close and put the taser in contact with the attacker. This allows the attacker to block the attack, or use their own weapon against the defender, such as a crowbar or knife. The range based taser doesn’t have to get within stabbing distance, but it is only a single use design that doesn’t even always stop the attacker. If the prongs do not get a solid connection, such as through a thick winter coat, the taser will not incapacitate the attacker. Furthermore, the distance taser design is a single shot tool, it won’t even work on multiple attackers.

Example of a failed taser

Here’s an example of a police officer using a taser on someone and it might as well not have been used, and there are many more all across the web. (warning, mild language)

Remember this whenever someone tells you a taser is all anyone needs. Don’t get me wrong, a taser is a valuable tool in many instances. But a taser is by no means a magical tool that will take care of any problem.

Firearms as a self defense tool

Not only has the recent CDC study shown us that firearms are used in self defense as much as ten times as often as they are used in crime, they have shown us that firearms are incredibly effective self defense tools. The study shows:

Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.

Notice the study says “lower injury rates” not “completely injury free rates.” Firearms, just like tasers, are not magical self defense tools that work 100% of the time. Just like any tool, firearms require training and practice in order to use effectively.

But when used correctly, a firearm is a very valuable tool for protecting law abiding citizens against violent criminals.