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History of Stun Guns - Continued

 

The "Stun Glove"

There was an earlier design about 1912, but in 1933 a Cuban inventor named Cirilo Diaz came up with a "Stun Glove" that he hoped would help the police deal with unruly suspects and demonstrators. Again, it was Modern Mechanix in their September 1935 issue that ran this article;

stun glove

We cannot find any documentation that the "Stun Glove" was ever purchased and used by any police department.

In the early 1960s police were using cattle prods to help quell riots and civil rights protesters.

Enter inventor Jack Cover and the Taser. Trained as a nuclear physicist, Cover spent most of his career working in aerospace and defense industries.He began to develop the Taser in the 1960s in response to a rash of airplane hijackings. Sky marshals carrying sidearms began riding on commercial airliners to discourage hijackers, but Cover saw the risk inherent in the situation. If a bullet missed the hijacker and pierced the fuselage instead, the plane could go down.

He said, "Let me figure out something better than shooting people that might crash the plane."

Cover told the Orange County Register in 1991 that he got the idea for the Taser after hearing about a man who was briefly immobilized by a fallen power line. He began tinkering in his garage and in the late 1960s came up with a device that looked something like a flashlight but fired darts that delivered an electrical charge. The darts could hit a target up to 15 feet away.

He got the name for the weapon from one of his favorite childhood books, "Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle," one in a popular early 20th century series by Victor Appleton. In the book, the young Swift invents a rifle that shoots bolts of electricity. The story apparently continued to fuel Cover's imagination decades later, when he conceived the word "Taser" as an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle." (Cover evidently added the middle initial "A," which does not appear in the books.)

Among projectile stun guns, the TASER is the most widely sold in the world, used by police and military agencies in 45 countries. In addition, more than 180,000 Tasers have been sold to private citizens, according to a company spokesman.

taser   taser

The M18L Advanced TASER                                  The TASER C2

 

This is a quote from Jack Cover's obituary in the L.A. Times recently; "Jack is an unsung hero. He did something great for the world, saved a lot of lives and prevented a lot of injuries," said Greg Meyer, a retired police captain who was heading the Los Angeles Police Department's nonlethal weapons research when he met Cover 30 years ago.

Since the 1960s the idea of a non-lethal, hand held personal protection device has fueled many designs such as collapsible "stun umbrellas", stun pagers, and many more disguised stun gun devices.

Today the most popular designs for stun guns involve the following characteristics; small in size, powerful enough to incapacitate an attacker, and be non-offensive looking. Of all the designs out there today the cell phone stun gun seems to be the most popular. But, if you want a stun gun that is disguised as a lipstick tube, you can get that too!

The basic principles of a stun gun have not changed dramatically over the years. They have definitely been refined and made more reliable for sure, but the only real changes have been in how they are disguised and made to look like other everyday objects.

As inventors come up with new designs for stun guns and stun devices we will make sure the information is posted here, at Stun Gun Information.