The Rise of TASER®


The TASER® device came into use during early 1960s. It was used by American police forces to disperse civil rights activists. The history of Taser devices hails back to the cattle prods designed by “John Burton” of Wichita. The cattle prods were registered under the patent US427549A during late 1800s. The electronic device has a very simple design. By default, the TASER® has two probes that are attached neatly to a lengthy barrel. It was designed to deliver current through a cow’s hide and make it chute.  Cattle prods are not meant to incapacitate animals or people. Instead, the device is used to deliver painful shock in a specific region. Stun guns are quite different from the Taser or cattle prod. Stun guns are designed to spread high voltage throughout the entire body. It has a direct impact on the body’s central nervous system.

Jack Cover’s TASER®

The TASER® was founded by Jack Cover of NASA. Jack Cover plays a very important role in the list of inventors, who specialize in designing non-lethal weapons that are simple to use and electronic. The Taser was designed for situations where the idea of firing can cause serious trouble. Jack Cover was inspired by a man who survived an electric shock with a fence. Through this incident, Cover understood that electric current can be used differently without lots of danger involved.

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The design for TASER® was patented in 1974 by Jack Cover. The design was quite similar to stun guns that were TASER Pulse founded between 1960s and 1970s. The TASER® delivered electric current through wires that were connected using electrodes. These electrodes are shot towards assailants. The Federal Government classified Tasers under firearms because it used gunpowder. Conversely, a very few number of police officers were trying out the device. Sooner, Jack Cover distributed the TASER® device amongst law enforcements. Cover’s “TASER® Systems” faced serious bankruptcy. An agency that bought TASER® Systems was the Los Angeles Police Department. History claims that LAPD used the TASER® to subdue the famous Rodney King. Nevertheless, the device has very little impact on King. This failure enlightened Patrick Rick Smith to join hands with Jack Cover and redesign the TASER®.

The Battle

In 1993, Smith and Tom (Smith’s brother) founded the Air Taser. The Air TASER® was sold to commoners after a court battle with the original company (Tasertron) was resolved. By the end of 1998, Smith brothers took the business to a whole new level. They started to sell Air Tasers to more and more police forces. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of police forces with the TASER® device increased from 500 to 17000.

TASER® As it is Seen Today

As the TASER® device became famous, it gave room for plenty of controversies and critics. Though the device was registered as non-lethal, it killed nearly 540 people between 2001 and 2013. An article in “Circulation” claimed that the device caused cardiac arrest in eight cases. However, there are very few studies to show its impact on the heart beat rate and rhythm.

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