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Posted on April 27th, 2014, by

1. Introduction
               A taser is a widely spread weapon of self-defense. Unlike such weapons as knife, tasers do not usually cause lethal action. The opponent is struck by the electric shock with voltage starting from forty thousand volt which paralyzes neuromuscular reactions of a person. However, tasers have both advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed in the following research along with their possible effects. The research also analyzes the application methods of tasers as well as the appropriateness of their use in law enforcement.
               2. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Use of Tasers
               Tasers have a number of positive sides. It is an almost ideal weapon for self-defense which guarantees a 100% defeat of the opponent if used properly. An advantage of tasers is the simplicity of their use. A taser does not occupy much place in a pocket or bag, and is highly effective means of self-defense. It is possible to use this weapon in the confined space, and it does not have any long-lasting physiological consequences. A taser does not need any special care in the process of exploitation, and does not require any specific skills or preparation. The use of tasers is also an effective method of protection against aggressive dogs or drunken people.
               However, in order to use a taser, you should allow the opponent to approach at arm's length. In this case, you have all chances to not only lose your weapon, but also be attacked by your own taser if the opponent is more skillful than you are. Having such weapon at hand is certainly an advantage, but if used inappropriately, it will work against you.
               3. Effects of Tasers
               The effect of tasers is different depending on the duration and voltage. It may vary between usual muscle contraction, faint and a short-term shock lasting from five to thirty minutes (Taser Injuries and Deaths). The use of tasers does not have any dangerous consequences for the physical state of a person and, as a rule, does not cause lethal outcome. The effect of tasers is limited to a short-term coordination malfunction and the neutralization of the opponent's aggression (Effects of Taser on Human Health). The reaction of the body on a taser, however, is much more serious than the physical pain after electric shock. Frequent muscle contraction leads to a temporary loss of their working capacity. The effect of the use of tasers is intensified if the opponent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is the main difference between a taser and other weapons of self-defense. Clothes are not an obstacle for the use of tasers as its force is able to penetrate through many pieces of clothes if the weapon is close enough to the body.
               4. The Use of Tasers in Law Enforcement
               The use of tasers by law enforcement authorities as well as police officers proved to be the most contradictory issue in the sphere of criminal justice. The main question is to what extent the government may authorize the use of tasers. It goes without saying that the use of this weapon should be allowed only to the extent that this use is enough to protect police officers and minimize the danger of physical injury of the suspect. There are several points dealing with the use of tasers by law enforcement agencies. First of all, the use of tasers by police officers must be limited to the cases when the use of deadly force would be allowed as well (Use of Tasers by Law Enforcement Agencies). Besides, police officers should use training materials on proper taser application. Another important condition is that tasers should not be used in certain circumstances such as the use of this weapon on children, elderly people, mentally-handicapped, drug-addicts and pregnant women. All other cases allow the use of tasers by law enforcement officials.
               5. Conclusion
               The research has analyzed the main points on the problem of taser use. It pointed out major advantages and disadvantages of tasers and their effects on the physical state of people. Finally, the research gave a brief overview of the use of tasers by law enforcement authorities and the conditions under which tasers should be used.

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