Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Case Study: Woman Uses Her Stun Gun to Protect Atlanta Area Officer

In January, Tanisha Cross of Lithona, GA did a very brave thing (link to news story): She used her stun gun (what the media have called a “taser gun,” though it was a different model, not a C2 Taser Gun) to help a police officer subdue an attacker. I want to highlight this incident because it represents the very best practices when it comes to using self defense products and highlights the specific advantages you have when you buy a Taser gun instead of a more lethal alternative.

Ms. Cross was on her way to Wal-Mart with her mother when she noticed a man attacking a DeKalb County police officer. The assailant had already stolen the officer’s radio and rubbed pepper spray in his eyes. She grabbed her stun gun, used it against the attacker, and protected the officer until he regained is composure. Eventually, the officer and a nearby security guard were able to effectively fight back.

That’s the story. Now read it at the link, and let’s look at what Tanisha Cross did right:

She asked to intervene: She got the officer’s okay before jumping in. This is important. Situations with police can escalate into life and death struggles, and the officer doesn’t necessarily know who you are. Furthermore, his duty to protect you may outweigh any benefit you can provide. Ms. Cross asked to help, making it absolutely clear whose side she was on, and ensuring that the officer really needed help.

Multiple strikes: Tanisha Cross didn’t treat the stun gun like a “magic wand.” She struck the attacker’s limbs multiple times to keep him from closing in, hitting or grappling with either herself or the officer. This highlights one of the main assets of a stun gun: its ability to prevent a stronger person from taking hold of you.

Weapon retention: Weapon retention was a major element in this altercation. At the time of the attack, the officer was trying to keep the perpetrator from grabbing his gun after losing his radio and in all likelihood (reports aren’t clear) having his own pepper spray used against him. Ms. Cross attacked the limbs, keeping the attacker from grappling for the stun gun while protecting the officer’s firearm: the most dangerous element in the conflict.

If you carry any sort of weapon you must always think of the consequences if somebody else gets it. Police need to carry firearms and you might choose to do so yourself, but having the option of a worst case scenario where someone shocks you with your own weapon instead of shooting you is a welcome option when you exercise your rights.

In short, we salute Tanisha Cross for her bravery, but more than that, we congratulate her form being smart. Applied intelligence is the most important self defense tool in anyone’s arsenal.


Ben Wright said...

First, remember that prevention is the best self-defense. Attackers, whatever their objectives, are looking for unsuspecting, vulnerable targets. So be sure to follow general safety tips like being aware of your surroundings, only walking and parking in well-lit areas, keeping your keys in hand as you approach your door or car, varying your route and times of travel, and other personal security precautions.

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steven stephen said...

There are things a woman can do to protect herself when she is alone. She can carry pepper spray. The best pepper spray for self defense One of the best self defense sprays for women is the Mace Pepper Gun.