If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be hit with a stun gun, I can now tell you, it ain't fun.
Yesterday at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I volunteered to be hit with the newest version of Taser's civilian model for a segment on FOX News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
These new guns are designed for ease of use and are even quite fashionable (for a weapon, anyway). After all, the one they used on me at the Taser booth was purple. But don't let the pretty colors and the Star Trek design fool you.
It hurt like a bitch!
When we arrived at the Taser booth at the Sands Convention Center, we heard a man named Peter Shankman screaming, but we just missed him getting tased. Yes, he volunteered. I asked him if he'd ever do it again, and he said no.
"I felt myself getting lower to the ground," he said. "I'm glad they were holding me."
He went on to add that at least he can say he was tased. We waited a few minutes to see if anyone else was brave enough to give it a shot, but sadly, there were no takers. That left me.
I stood in the middle of the booth with two Taser employees bracing me at the arms for the inevitable drop to the floor, while Hans, another Taser guy who said he was tased 300 times, hooked up the connecters to my back.
I won't lie. I was getting nervous. Right before I completely bought into what I was about to do, I asked the guys one more time: "Is there any reason why I should not do this right now?"
Without hesitation, they said no.
So as you can see on the video, I made absolutely sure my cameraman Tony Fabrizzio was rolling, because there was no way I was going to do it again.
I felt my body stiffen like a board, and lost all motor skills; however, I was completely cognizant of what was going on. It was the strangest feeling in the world.
As you're being tased, you think you're talking.
For instance, I thought I was saying, "enough, enough," but when I played the tape back, I realized I never said it. I did throw out the F-bomb as soon as they turned the gun off. It was like Tourette's Syndrome.
"Tourette's is a common occurrence," said Taser CEO Tom Smith. "Everybody is different."
Another interesting thing about being tased was the fact that you go completely rigid. If you watch the video in slow motion, you can see my body relax and fold as soon as they stop the stun — some 55,000 volts, mind you (.005 amps).
It's the amps that hurt. In comparison, at home, your house is 120 volts at 20 amps. In other words, you won't die.
But what could kill you is the fall. That's why the guys were holding me up. I was only tased for a few seconds. Law enforcement get tased for 10 as part of training, but the recommended tase time for your would-be-attacker is 30.
Thirty seconds of being tased must feel like a lifetime.
I did survive, however I do have a red mark on my back, and to be honest, while I wouldn't rush out to do it again, I wouldn't not consider it one more time.
Anything for the team.