January 4th, 2008 06:04 PM
I found this story on FoxNews.
GILBERT, Ariz. — Before she lets them shoot her little pink stun gun, Dana Shafman ushers her new friends to the living room sofa for a serious chat about the fears she believes they all share.
"The worst nightmare for me is, while I'm sleeping, someone coming in my home," Shafman says, drawing a few solemn nods from the gathered women.
Shafman, 34, of Phoenix, says she knows how they feel. She says she used to stash knives under her pillow for protection.
Welcome, she says, to the Taser party.
On the coffee table, Shafman spreads out Taser's C2 "personal protector" weapons that the company is marketing to the public. It doesn't take long before the women are lined up in the hallway, whooping as they take turns blasting at a metallic target.
"C'mon!" she says. "Give it a shot."
Shafman isn't an employee for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International. She's an independent entrepreneur who's been selling Tasers the way her mother's generation sold plastic food storage containers.
As a single woman who lives alone, Shafman says she's the perfect pitchwoman for Taser as it makes a renewed push to sell weapons to families.
The company agrees. Taser officials like Shafman's homespun sales tactics so much that they plan to build a living room set at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and have Shafman hold a Taser party for buyers and dealers.
The CES, which runs from Jan. 7-10, is the world's largest tech trade show.
Taser doesn't expect its dealers to start imitating Shafman. But spokesman Steve Tuttle says company officials think people can learn from her approach.
"When I talk about Taser, I come across as a salesman," Tuttle says. "When you see her it comes across as very real."
Shafman, a freelance construction consultant, says she always had a natural interest in self defense products. She loved the idea of the Taser, which would allow her to stop an attacker from across the room without getting physical.
She tried moonlighting as a door-to-door Taser saleswoman. But years of negative press about Taser made it tough.
"I got tired of being pushed out of people's offices," she says. "Nobody wants to purchase a product that they think is lethal or going to kill somebody."
A lot of people, especially women, need time to get comfortable with a unique product like Taser before they'll consider buying one, Shafman says.
So the Taser party was born.
Shafman says she's sold about 30 guns per month at $349.99 since her first Taser party on Oct. 15. She doesn't get a commission from Taser. Instead, Shafman says she gets a discounted dealer rate for the units and keeps the difference.
Taser has been surging on Wall Street two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission concluded its investigation into the company's safety claims and business practices. Its stock more than doubled in 2007 from a low of $7.44 to a high in 2007 of $19.36 a share.
Company officials say they're now selling Tasers in 43 countries and more than 12,500 police agencies in the U.S. are either using or testing their weapons. With its weapons dominant in law enforcement, Taser is turning its attention back to the civilian market.
It launched the C2 in August. Though it packs the same electric punch, the C2 is smaller than the bulky personal stun guns Taser developed years ago, and its sleek exterior makes it look more like an electric razor than a weapon.
They're legal in every state but New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.
Shafman says many of her women customers love that the C2 is small enough to fit in their purses, and that it comes in a variety of colors. When it comes to choosing weapons, she says, a lot of women want them in pink.
"It's a girl power kind of thing," Shafman says. "You're kind of making a statement: I know I'm a woman. I know I'm the most sought after victim in regards to sexual assault, sexual abuse. So please stay away from me. If in the event you do come after me, I'm going to use my pink Taser to put you on the ground."
Amnesty International, which has criticized Taser's assertion that its weapons are non-lethal, frowns on the C2 and any attempt to spread the use of stun guns.
Officials with the human rights organization say the weapons are frequently used in excess by trained police, and they're likely to be abused by the public as well.
Mona Cadena, Amnesty International's Western Regional director, says there are already reports of domestic violence using Tasers and other energy weapons.
"Of course, we want to stop violence against women like Dana's saying," she says. "But we also want to ensure that Tasers don't end up causing it too."
Shafman has a quick answer for Amnesty International. If she had a choice of getting shocked or being attacked with a knife, a gun or something else, "I'd much rather be assaulted by a Taser."
And unlike other weapons, she says, Taser forces its customers to submit to a criminal background check before giving them a code to turn on their weapons.
At the party in Gilbert, the shooting goes on into the night as everyone takes a shot.
Lori Busken, 48, is the first in line. Busken, who is single, says she'd feel better carrying a Taser than a gun. She didn't buy a C2 right away, but she says she's planning to buy one soon.
"It's not heavy," she says after holding the weapon in her hand. "It's great they make them for civilian use. You don't want to kill somebody. You just want to be safe, you know?"
January 4th, 2008 06:10 PM
Wish I would have thought about it first!
January 4th, 2008 06:22 PM
Agreed. This should do quite well barring unanticipated legislation, conservative areas ban adult toy parties, liberal areas ban taser parties type of thing.
Originally Posted by AZ Husker
"Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington
January 4th, 2008 06:28 PM
Originally Posted by Arisin Wind
I think it is great when folks think in terms of self protection. But I hope they aren't kidding themselves too much about the use of a taser in self defense. Sure, police use them, but they use them to control someone without necessarily having to go to deadly force; but they have that option too. Also, police want to cuff someone so as to control them -- civilians will not normally have that option so it may be a real tense situation when the taser stops -- what will you do then? Finally, if attacked by 2 or more BGs, a taser might be worse than useless. Are you going to taser one of them while the other one shoots you or stabs you (or goes for a knockout blow)?
A taser is normally less than lethal, but some situations call for lethal.
Anti-gunners seem to believe that if we just pass enough laws, we can have utopia. Unfortunately, utopia is NOT one of our choices.
January 4th, 2008 09:18 PM
I wonder if there's a huge variation in the ones she's vending, versus, say, the ones in the hands of law enforcement. If similar in the "zapping" power, then these Taser parties should do a lot to quell people's irrational fears over the suitability of Taser use on people.
Plus, it helps draw people into intelligent discussion about self defense, perhaps tactics, ramifications (pro/con) of being more alert and able to defend, etc. Some measure of defensive tool is better than nothing, assuming it's combined with training and intelligence.
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.
January 4th, 2008 10:03 PM
Real quick couple of things......
Originally Posted by Arisin Wind
Ok, here's what I think in ref to the above bolded passages. Isn't there a national system set up for background checks on other weapons, i.e. guns. I guess maybe she meant knives, but maybe not.
Second, and this is a big second. If I have decided to carry a weapon in defense of my family and my person, I have decided that my life is worth taking another life if I absolutely have no other choice. Sounds a little like she hasn't taken that thought into consideration.
I agree with the poster above about them for LEO use, but I am still undecided about the effectiveness for civillians. This article makes me wonder a little bit.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
--Thomas Paine December 19, 1776
The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
January 5th, 2008 01:37 AM
Congrats to this lady...
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member[/B]
January 5th, 2008 02:02 PM
Good for her - at least she's selling them. Something is better than nothing...hopefully this will get a foot in the door with some "anti" types.
That being said, I agree with Freedom Doc about these things. Whats the point of shocking someone...its not permanent. Lets say he's in your living room, and you manage to "Taze" him. Then what? Run away? Run over and kick him in the head? I can see these as a non-lethal option for police - or anyone who wants to carry one for that matter. But for a single woman living alone, these are not a viable solution IMO.
I'd get one except I have enough to carry as it is. Can you imagine carrying a gun, extra mags, light, phone, knife, OC, Taser, keys, wallet....
By bsnow in forum The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion
Last Post: August 11th, 2009, 05:01 PM
By socuban in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: June 2nd, 2008, 12:50 AM
By CT-Mike in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Last Post: January 26th, 2008, 09:55 PM
By CopperKnight in forum Defensive Knives & Other Weapons
Last Post: November 15th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
» DefensiveCarry Sponsors