By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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October 19, 2012
Back in August (2012), DefenseReview (DR) published an exclusive piece on the Stunning Developments! BattleProd, and extremely-high-volt (3-5 million-volt) tactical stun baton, which we got to view and handle at both SHOT Show 2012 and NDIA Special Operations Forces Industry Conference 2012 (SOFIC 2012). Little did we know then the firestorm that would occur over at Alex Jones' InfoWars.com and PrisonPlanet.com websites when writer Paul Joseph Watson published his piece on our piece titled 5 Million Volt Cattle Prod Developed For "Crowd Control” on October 2nd.
"Crowd control". That's the phrase/term that did it. Some InfoWars and Prison Planet readers had a veritable conniption-level reaction to it. Many of the comments DR received to our YouTube videos were, let's just say, not altogether positive on the Battle Prod. Many of the commentors saw it as a future evil tool of enslavement and/or Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) / Minority Report-type government domination over the populace, a mass torture device, pick your own scary image.
Some of this is arguably Defense Review's fault, as neither our article, nor the videos, communicated the fact that the BattleProd's designer/developer, Donovan Hunter, is actually, according to what he told DR recently, pro-freedom/pro-Second Amendment in political philosophy. For the record, so is DefenseReview–BIG TIME. Anyway, after we saw the above-described reaction from the Alex Jones crowd, we called Mr. Hunter to ask him whether or not he'll also market and sell the Battle Prod to law-abiding civilians. Mr. Hunter told us on the phone that he believes in law-abiding civilians' right to bear arms, including military-grade tactical firearms, and plans to also market the BattleProd to civilians for personal protection, not just to law enforcement and military end-users.
DR was obviously VERY happy to hear this. The reason we didn't communicate this in our initial piece is that we simply weren't aware of it and were just trying to do a quick heads-up piece on the hardware/technology for our readers, many of whom are tactical shooters. Understand that the people that read DR probably aren't phased (excuse the pun) by news of a new tactical stun baton product. After all, tactical rifle/carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) or pistol beats stun baton, just like paper covers rock, and rock, crushes scissors, and scissors cut paper. So, DefenseReview would like to apologize to InfoWars and PrisonPlanet readers for not reporting the BattleProd's future civilian-availability when when it eventually goes into production. So, relax, guys. You'll be able to buy one.
Now, in case any InfoWars or PrisonPlanet readers are reading this piece, I'd like to explain one other relevant dynamic. Defense Review is a tactical technology and military defense technology online magazine, with heavy emphasis on the latest and greatest tactical firearms and related gear and equipment. In other words, we're used to reporting on high-capacity, highly-lethal combat/tactical weapons and accoutrements. So, for us, a less-lethal tactical stun baton, no matter how powerful, didn't even come close to setting off any red lights or warning bells with us. Quite the contrary, actually. To us, the BattleProd is a relatively tame weapon compared to the advanced, high-end tactical firearms and higher-ticket military weapons technology we regularly cover. We were therefore truly shocked at the level of negative reaction to the BattleProd at InfoWars and PrisonPlanet. We just didn't realize how frightening some out there might find it. Live and learn.
The following is a slightly modified/sanitized copy of the email message we received from Mr. Hunter on 10/04/12 in response to the situation. We're publishing it with his permission. We would have published it (along with the rest of this article) sooner, but we've been pretty busy over here:
"From: Donovan G. Hunter
Subject: Stun Baton Project
To: "[email protected]"
Thank you so much for your call this evening. My computer has been screwed up this evening, so I haven't been able to access the docs I promised. I'm sending a couple pix from my phone in the meantime. I started this project 11 years ago after 9/11 happened. I wanted to design something a flight crew could use on an airliner to disable an attacker with a knife. This effort led to all types of thoughts, designs and applications and resulted in the KnightStick pictured above. My rough and mostly gunless upbringing in Chicago helped tremendously in coming to a final, practical design. All of my products were conceived as highly effective, less-lethal alternatives to firearms for personal self-defense.
There are approximately 170 million adults in America who, for a variety of reasons do not or cannot own a firearm. NOBODY has offered this huge market a high quality, thoughtful, highly effective product like mine to protect themselves, their families or property from human or animal threats. They are designed to be alternatives to firearms; not replacements. As you are very much aware, when you need a gun, nothing else will suffice. But most of the time. A product like mine is all that is necessary to defuse a tense situation. The BattleProd idea grew naturally from the KnightStick design to be instantly adaptable via the then new picatinny rail to the tens of millions of AR-type rifles in American civilian ownership. This is an even bigger market opportunity when you also consider rail-equipped Mini-14s, AKs and tactical shotguns.
All of my products are designed for the civilian markets, and will be sold by gun distributors to gun stores and sporting goods stores that sell guns. I am a long-time member of the NRA (35 years), and was a charter member of the North American Hunting Club when I lived in Minnesota. I've been a shooter since 7 years old. I shoot HK and S&W handguns for recreation and sometimes competitively. I am primarily a left-handed shooter, but naturally right-handed, making me ambidextrous.
I am an extremely good rifle shooter with preferences for 6.8mm ARs, left-handed bolt rifles, and Ruger No. 1Bs. I like pump and semi-auto shotguns for defense. I hunt deer with my handguns and rifles. I have lived all over the US and in Europe and Venezuela. My products naturally have applications in law enforcement, military and correctional environments. But those are not markets I am pursuing [He told DR on the phone that he’s pursuing the civilian/commercial market, first.]. They can obviously be abused like any other product, but I don't know how to prevent that. Other products are available at a much lower price point, though, so I would think that if someone or some agency wanted to torture people, they'd likely choose a less-expensive alternative.
Trust this will help understand my perspective. I'll send more information soon. Call me anytime with questions. Thank you for your interest and support.
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