Flamethrowers: The New & Totally Crazy Addition to the 2nd Amendment Debate

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They’re banned from use under international law, but not banned in the United States– unless you happen to live in Maryland. With just 10 pounds of combustion, this new consumer grade weapon spews out fire that’s hot enough to completely melt a human being.

Ah, the beauty and destructive power of a flamethrower.

What used to be something you just saw in a movie is now something you too can own here in ‘Merica, thanks to the geniuses who are now producing and selling flamethrowers. Ion Productions Team from Warren, MI successfully crowd-funded a campaign to begin mass-producing flamethrowers at an affordable price (just $899). Their website boasts that it is the first and only completely hand-held flamethrower, and that it’s “simple to use” with “endless possibilities.”

Yup, I can just imagine a few of those possibilities.

(For those who want a little more umpf in their flamethrower, you can pick up a more expensive model from Throw Flame— with Napalm mix included.)

The handy-dandy model being manufactured in Michigan is sparking off, you guessed it, a 2nd Amendment debate. As reported by CNN, the local City Council is debating and ordinance to ban flamethrowers, saying that mass producing flamethrowers is a “disaster waiting to happen.” The mayor specifically noted concerns in an interview with Ars Technica, that allowing individual rights to extend to a device that our own military cannot use seems a bit over-the-top:

“If our own military doesn’t use it and it’s been banned by the Geneva Convention then why would someone think this should be sold to the general public?… I think it’s too risky to gamble with people’s lives. I can’t think of something more horrific than to burn somebody alive, and that’s what this would do.”

Chris Byars, the creator of this new hand-held incendiary device, is responding with the go-to line used by 2nd Amendment extremists:

“If someone does something dangerous with an object, blame the person, not the object.”

Byars went onto report to Ars Technica that business is now “skyrocketing” with all the chatter of a possible ban on flamethrowers, which isn’t surprising if actually true.

 In a country where mass killings are a normal, every-day news story, I can’t imagine why we’d want to heap flames onto the fire (see what I did there?). I continue to find it unfathomable that weapons are essentially the only area of public life where we routinely and consistently place a higher value on individual rights than on the right to life. 

We as a people need to begin asking the question, “Which do we value more– life, or unrestricted rights?” I would think flamethrowers could be an area where common sense would prevail even among those who share opposing views on the 2nd Amendment.  I mean, seriously. What need does an individual citizen have that owning a flamethrower would fill?

Is there a single person across our fruited plain who can honestly say, “The only reason why I never finished that project was because we didn’t have flamethrowers yet”?

Doubt it.

In this case, common sense should rule the day: the American public has no legitimate need for flamethrowers that should trump the rights of the rest of us to not be burned alive by one.

 You can check out their promotional video, here:

About Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey is a cultural anthropologist and public theologian. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell (theology & missiology) and received his Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS) from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, which is available wherever books are sold.

He is currently signed to HarperOne and is represented by the Daniel Literary Agency in Nashville, Tennessee.

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