HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » "Why not let everyon...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:07 AM

"Why not let everyone have a flamethrower?"

http://www.cracked.com/article_17016_7-items-you-wont-believe-are-actually-legal.html

We do, for the most part, let anyone who wants a flamethrower have one (no Federal restrictions, no state restrictions in 40 states). They cost less than guns, and if you want to DIY it the parts are ludicrously cheap (though as the article says, it would be a good idea to have a cell phone with 9 and 1 predialed).

These are weapons so horrific that the US DoD stopped using them in 1978. But unless there's a media conspiracy of silence, I can't find an example of murder by flamethrower in the US; farmers use them to clear brush and exterminators use them to kill bees. We have a few dozen deaths per year by arson, and maybe some of those fires were started by flamethrowers, but then again I figure that's the sort of thing you'd hear about.

Why is a device that is more easily obtained than a gun (no background checks, no serial numbers, lower price, sold on Craigslist and eBay) and capable of significantly more destruction than a gun not used anywhere near as often as a gun? They are certainly less commonly owned than guns, but that begs the question. Sure, they're a horrible idea for home defense, but then why not regulate them more tightly than guns? And why don't mass murderers use them? (I hope I didn't just give one an idea, for that matter.) There are plenty of farms that have them out in the shed, but you don't hear about them getting stolen and used by someone running amok.

17 replies, 1841 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:13 AM

1. Holy crap, I couldn't even imagine the carnage of a real flamethrower in a crowded place.

 

Movie theatre, public gathering, schools, malls...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:13 AM

2. The gun nuts should all have one of these...would make them feel adequate perhaps(sarcasm)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:15 AM

3. That's covered by international law, thankfully

The NPT is very clear that only sovereign states can have nuclear weapons, and as a treaty to which the US is a signatory it is co-supreme law of the land along with the Constitution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:24 AM

4. So you're saying that pinko hippy Johnson signed away the best part of our 2nd amendment rights?!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:26 AM

5. If you wish

The NFA and Miller back in the 1930's established that Congress has pretty wide authority to limit what arms are available for general civilian use. Heller and McDonald fleshed that out to say that pretty much anything but an absolute ban like DC and Chicago had is Constitutionally allowable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:39 AM

6. exactly. Why not let everyone have their own ICBM with MIRVs for that matter.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bubbayugga (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:32 AM

9. If you can afford one, you can have it. Just not the warhead (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:14 AM

7. As long as everyone else gets to have a fire extinguisher I don't see a problem. n't

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2on2u (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:23 AM

11. Great Mythbuster episode on that one

The squared off a flamethrower vs. a high power fire extinguisher. The "myth" was based on a movie scene where bad guy tried to fry good guy with a flamethrower, but good guy prevailed by pointing the extinguisher right back at him. In real life, it didn't work. They wound up needing a much more super-powered fire extinguisher to block the flamethrower.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:16 AM

8. What sportsman wouldn't want to hunt and cook their food at the same time?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:38 AM

10. You can have my flamethrower when you pry it out of my cold... no, wait a minute

toasty dead fingers.

If you outlaw flamethrowers, only flamethrowers will be outlaws.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:53 AM

12. They don't hide under a coat well?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BootinUp (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:08 AM

13. I thought about that, but some are hand-held

And even the military ones are less gear than the rig the Aurora shooter had.

I guess they are more dangerous to the operator, but still.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:20 AM

14. We seem to have a surplus of flaming assholes.

 

Maybe we need to ban Super Soaker squirt guns and pressurized fire extinguishers before people figure out how to fill them with volatile fluids.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:32 AM

15. 1) Do they sell flame throwers at WalMart?

2) How much does one cost?

3) How easy is it to obtain the fuel needed?

4) How expensive is the fuel?

5) How easy / difficult is it to store and maintain?

6) Where can I go to practice using my flamethrower?

7) Does the flame thrower allow me to move freely or are my movements restricted?

8) Do I need any special knowledge to operate a flamethrower?

9) Can I turn the flamethrower on myself AFTER I kill everyone else I want to kill?

I suspect the simple answer to your question is ... convenience.

Killing power is not the only criteria used to make the decision of the appropriate weapon for the effect intended. Mass murders often select a specific set of weapons from a larger set of weapons. Do I take the shotgun, or the AR-15?

If my AR-15 jams, I probably want to be able to pull out a powerful handgun as the back up. I have to decide which ammo to take, and how much of each type.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JoePhilly (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:36 AM

16. Not Wal-Mart, but Home Depot

Actually some of the bigger Wal-Marts might have them

2) They cost around $300 online, the only expensive part is the regulator

3) Drive up to an Exxon station

4) In my area, $3.35 per gallon

5) Easier than a gun; fewer moving parts and no soot to clean off

6) The backyard. There's also very little aiming or skill required.

7) Depends on the model. The classic kind has a backpack and a gun of sorts; you can walk with it easily

8) Point it at something you want to catch on fire and press the trigger

9) Yes, often without even meaning to

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:58 AM

17. They must not call it a flame thrower.

I just went to Home Depot on-line, no flame throwers. And the torches the list are mainly for welding.

I did find this but, I don't get the sense this has the range needed to be effective ...
http://www.flameengineering.com/Back-pack_Kits.html



And #7 sounds like a non-starter to me.

They also seem to be best suited for use outdoors rather than indoors.

If you want to walk around the building killing people in small rooms, you might end up setting the place on fire, setting off the fire alarms, and activating the sprinkler system, or creating more heat around you then would be useful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread