A MAN WALKED ELECTRIC FENCE AND SURVIVED.
Who that unfortunate fellow was, we don’t know. But we do know that reading about the incident inspired NASA researcher Jack Cover. If electric current could be debilitating without being deadly, a device that controlled such force might be a boon to law enforcement. And so the TASER—a semi acronym for Tom Swift Electric Rifle, in tribute to the kid fiction hero—was born. With a TASER, a tethered dart is shot at the target, sending a high-voltage/low-amp dose of electricity that interferes with the brain’s communication to the body’s muscles. The folks at TASER International compare it with the static on a telephone line: “Once the static stops, communication continues and there’s no damage to the phone.” In the meantime, though, the phone sure gets one hell of a sting.
STUN ON THE RUN
Modern police Taser now include the controversial Drive Stun, also known as Dry Stun, capability. The device is held against the body to cause pain without affecting the central nervous system and incapacitating the target.