Would you believe a proposed weapons ban failed in the California legislature? And no, it’s not April Fool’s Day.
After Elon Musk’s off-the-cuff remark last December promising to sell “Boring Company” flamethrowers if he sold 50,000 “Boring Company” hats, enterprising Rep. Miguel Santiago (I think of “A Few Good Men” every time I hear his name, which is often since he apparently hates civil rights) decided it was up to him to save the day and ban flamethrowers!
If this is real, I’m outraged and you should be too. If this is a joke, then it’s a terribly insensitive one given that we’re coming off of the worst wildfire season in history. Either way: NOT FUNNY. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. pic.twitter.com/82n00um9Bf
— Miguel Santiago (@SantiagoAD53) January 29, 2018
Flamethrowers that “emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of more than 10 feet” are already regulated through the State Fire Marshal, but Santiago’s AB 1949 would have created a lower tier of flame thrower, Tier II, which are:
“[D]esigned or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 2 feet, but not exceeding 10 feet, or any stationary, nonstationary, or transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable gas a distance of at least 10 feet.”
Initially Santiago wanted Tier II flame throwers deemed “illegal to sell, use, or possess without a permit issued by the State Fire Marshal,” but in the final version they would have been illegal to sell in the state without a warning label.
As if you don’t already know that using a flamethrower could be a dangerous proposition. (Just ask Zoolander.)
The folks at Firearms Policy Coalition pointed out the ridiculousness of Santiago’s rush to legislation.
AB 1949 is little more than an Internet “flame war” turned into a cheap public relations stunt – with a Legislative Counsel-assigned RN number – on the taxpayer’s dime and at the cost of significant legislative resources, we would add.
Given this, we must ask: What’s next? Would the Legislature propose a ban on large containers of dihydrogen monoxide because someone on Facebook suggests one could die from consuming too much of it?
Unfortunately, in this busy election cycle the bill stalled, then died at the end of the day Friday, a victim of Sacramento’s notorious “suspense” file. The lucky 20,000 people who shelled out $500 for a flamethrower should receive them – or even attend a “pick-up party” Musk is hosting – in about a week.
It turns out that flamethrowers might have a side benefit Santiago hadn’t thought of. A piece at Nerdist describes a new phenomenon known as “Flame weeding.”
“Flame weeding is what we like to call a ‘slow kill.’ Essentially, you are destroying cell structure in the plant leaf. The weed will no longer put energy toward growth (photosynthesis) taking the kill though the root system. YES, flame weeding will kill the roots too! Even on big weeds (over 6″), you will see a stunting effect and even a kill within a few days, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.”
Got that? You “strap a propane tank to the back of a tractor” with specialized equipment and off you go. Farming has never sounded so fun.