Over the course of my career as an ER nurse I have had many occasions to treat people who have been on the receiving end of one of these. I can tell you honestly that if I was to be on the receiving end I would rather be tasered than pepper sprayed. In fact I have had to do both to be qualified to carry both of them while I was a tactical medic with a SWAT team. Here are a few reasons I prefer the Taser.
People with respiratory issues such as Asthma who are pepper sprayed will have an attack, and if severe enough will die. Once the police brought me a fellow who was very well covered in the pepper spray. The other nurse on duty with me had Asthma and just the scent of it in the air threw her into an attack and she went from being my co-worker to my patient. The smell of that pepper spray was in the air for hours after the patient was discharged.
Pepper spray generally has to be on target in the eyes, mouth or nose to be effective.
When I first came to the US I bought my wife a Taser. Everyone knew I was a gun toting kinda guy and they asked me why I bought one of those. Well here are a few reasons.
If my wife accidentally Tazed me I would get up again.
If she Tazed an intruder she could just drop it on the ground and run while it continued to shock that fool for 30 seconds.
There was no fear of the Taser probes going through the wall and hitting one of the kids.
As long as the probes hit the intruder in any two spots on the body they will go down.
The probes are very easy to remove.
Where I was trained in the use of all manner of firearms my wife was not, which is really funny because she grew up on a farm where her dad used firearms but did not feel his daughters needed to know how to shoot while I was raised in a house where firearms were forbidden.
For pepper spray many people are told to flush with copious amounts of water. This is not the best way. The pepper spray is generally oil based and what happens when you add oil to water? You are better to flush with another oil or fat based product such as milk, my preferred method, or vegetable oil and then to shower. If there is an airway issue then a hospital will be required.
For the Taser all that is required is to remove the probes. They are barbed so there will be a little tissue damage when they come out.