California Assemblyman Appalled By Musk’s Flamethrower, Cites Catastrophic Wildfires, Pushes For Ban

JAN 30 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 81

 

Assemblyman says sales of the flamethrower are insulting in the wake of recent devastating wildfires in California.

In California, you can buy plenty of things which could, if wielded improperly, lead to property destruction, injury and untimely deaths: semi-automatic firearms of various shapes, sizes, and calibers, automobiles that can surpass 200 miles per hour, and propane-powered, fire-spewing weed burners. But, if Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) gets his way, you won’t be able to purchase a Boring Company “Flamethrower,” as pitched the company’s CEO, Elon Musk.

Hank Scorpio wields a flamethrower on The Simpsons

The politician, who at first thought the fire-starting tool offer was a joke (well, it is, actually, a joke, though also a real thing), took some amount of umbrage at the fact that people can buy the novelty item, and so has promised to take legislative action that would stop the sale of the torch. Apparently the Assemblymember finds the proposed sales in his state insulting in the wake of devastating fires in recent months, and took to Twitter to amplify his outrage and circulate his press release concerning the issue. We’ve embedded the tweet with press release below.

Of course, Twitter being Twitter, Santiago quickly faced some pushback, with tweeps pointing out that the “flamethrower” is nothing more than a propane torch, variations of which are available to purchase in the Golden State. Others chastised him for wasting time on such a spurious issue when the state is facing real, much larger problems.

It’s not clear if the Santiago has backed down from his position, though he did, later, retweet a popular GIF (pictured right) of Hank Scorpio wielding a flamethrower on the long-running animated show The Simpsons, as well as another which pointed out the  Red Dragon BP 2512 SVC 400,000 BTU Weed Dragon Backpack Propane Vapor Torch Kit with Squeeze Valve is available for anyone to purchase from Amazon.

In the meantime, Musk announced today that 15,000 Boring Company flamethowers have now been pre-ordered — that’s $7.5 million in eventual sales — which is pretty crazy if you stop to think about it. We mean, despite Musk’s verbal guarantee of money back if it doesn’t annihilate zombie hordes (which will never come), there are not a whole lot of everyday uses for the device, which is more propane torch than flamethrower.

Perhaps the Assemblyman can take some solace in the fact that, as of last night, the company, which was ostensibly started for digging holes through which to transport vehicles at high speeds, has also sold over 3,000 Boring Company-branded fire extinguishers. (For $30 a pop, reaching $90,000 in sales, so far.)

For our part, we find the whole thing somewhat amusing, but hope that the exercise hasn’t affected ongoing work at any of Musk’s other commercial efforts. Also, if Musk wants to keep selling things leveraging his 18.4 million Twitter followers, we hope it involves solar panels for Puerto Rico or some other worthy cause.

 

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81 Comments on "California Assemblyman Appalled By Musk’s Flamethrower, Cites Catastrophic Wildfires, Pushes For Ban"

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ffbj
(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

lol, RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?

Probably sold out by now. 😛

ffbj

Pretty close, if they stick by their 20k, they are closing in on that at 17k or so.

Dav8or

Has anyone actually received one of these “flamethrowers” yet, or is this just yet another Musk, pay me now and I’ll deliver later swindles?

Nick

Yea!

Like Paypal! Errrr…
Or The Roadster! (Ummm, no. That was delivered)
The Model S! Err, X! (Ahhh, both shipped.)

The Gigafactory! We’ll never see that built! (Crud!)

Reusable orbitable boosters! Yea! We’ll never see that!! (Oh man….)

The Model 3! That’s right. He’s not delivered many of these yet! Got you Elon!

James

Boring!

Chris O

To be honest, a functional(sort of…) flamethrower is a pretty weird piece of merchandising for a company that aspires to build long underground tunnels. Also not the sort of thing one would expect from a planet saving type of guy. What was Elon Musk thinking?

I was thinking the same thing Chris.

More important, I was thinking about the liability of selling such a dangerous item. If someone or something gets burned up, there could be some major lawsuits.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Or not. It’s just an overpriced version of something you can buy in hardware stores.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Wow, I guess they’d better ban sales of butane lighters and matches, too! Just think of all the forest fires which have been started with those things!
🙄

Six Electrics

Those products are piddling in size and have alternative uses. A flamethrower is designed for only one purpose: indescriminate incineration of a wide area.

I see the Tesla apologists are out in force over this one, but it’s just tone deaf any way you slice it. Certainly Elon doesn’t need the funds. He just wants to advertise his company to the detriment of the greater good.

Derek

Six Electrics – Agreed. The flame thrower is not for soldering copper pipes or lighting candles or much of anything useful. Also as many have pointed out, it is a toy and as such will wind up in the hands of children.

przemo_li

Pfffff.

Stop giving legal advice without even bothering to look at the thing.

“Wide area”
hahahahaha

Lamata

Pretty much a “Bone Head Move” for anyone to make , Especially coming from an intelligent individual like musk..Make enemies with assembly people & you got your work cut out when it comes to obtaining permits etc:..

That he coild sell a $30 gas torch for $500 with marketing. This isn’t really a flamethrower, just a cheap gas torch in a fancy package. Very different than a napalm flinging flamethrower.

John

It’s no wonder that California is a complete mess from a leadership standpoint if it’s issues like this that CA lawmakers are focusing on.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous
Lamata

Nothing Better to do but waste time & tax payer Dollars when the wrong people are put in a position of Power..

yogurt

I do like straws but they are a complete waste of resources…

https://www.treehugger.com/search/?q=straws

A

And a danger to sea life.

Lighters for pot smoking is A-OK, but overpriced toy that will likely remain in wraps for collectors’ value is not OK. Does this guy ever visit Home Depot plumbing section? Lots and lots of “flame throwers” available for sale.

This kind of lunacy is what happens with single party rule by super-majority. Reminds me of “gun control” where mainly the looks of a gun is targeted (ie, assault weapons ban) instead of function.

John Doe

+1

Our maintenance guys use torches on the roof, when fixing or installing new parts.
Our ground keeper uses a flame/torch weed killer, in order to avoid pesticides.
He also uses a torch/heatet when fixing and installing the road markings in the parkinglot.
We buy all of these things in regular stores.

A vehicle with a catalytic converter can start a fire when driving offroad.

Forest wehicles with chains can cause sparks/fire.
Smokers throwing sigs out of the car.
Along train tracks, fires can start from sparks.

Fireworks… Many sources that can start a fire.

My main concern would be kids using it, and get burned. . or drunk people, people on drugs and so on.

Can’t protect people from everything. Age restrict it.

zzzzzzzzzz

We buy these things in regular stores as work tools.

Now it is being promoted as a toy to juveniles and overgrown idiots. Big difference. Fires in California are no fun and it is the last place in the US you would want to play with fire, assuming you are dumb enough to play with fire at all.

Juveniles who buy $500 “flamethrower” are not going to be that stupid. If anything, the parents will want to “play with it” by keeping it in wraps in hopes of it going up in value. Juveniles can get much cheaper candles and lighter / match just about anywhere.

I worry more about pot smokers starting fires in forest after forgetting to put out pot embers. When high, does one even remember to put out the flame?

stimpacker

Sadly I live in this crazy state ruled by lawmakers that encourage law-breaking (don’t tell me you can’t figure out what that is) and nanny laws.

Hey, wild fires are bad. So let’s ban everything that can start a fire. You don’t have to freak out over a silly glorified propane torch. Go to Mikuni’s (popular Japanese restaurant frequented by state lawmakers) – they use propane torches on the food. Why isn’t Miguel outraged?

So many taxes, bonds and all kinds of additional tax-like burdens imposed by these guys with so little to show for.

Bill Howland

Totally agree zzzzzzzzz. I mean you try to have a sense of humor about these things, but humor and a seriously dangerous work tool is quite another thing.

Supposedly these are just $55 ROOF torches.

There are also quite inexpensive nail shooters that are serious work tools.

But selling those tools as a gag would be deFacto criminial. Its not for silly doped up ‘trendies’ to shoot nails into each other’s brains and kill them.

So if the boring fire sticks are banned, Musk will probably start selling the nail shooters….

This will be all well and good until someone ‘accidentally’ gets killed.

deFactor criminal? You’d throw someone in jail for repackaging a $20 tool and giving it a different name?

You’d fit right at home in Maoist China where laws were arbitrary and on a whim of some moron’s decency point of view.

Bill Howland

Hey you guys are the Loons, not me… Its not illegal for a server to offer a straw with the glass of water here.

Also the Legislation is happening in YOUR state capitol, not mine.

Bill Howland

Even the writer of this article got the sense of the issue wrong. Musk obviously was tongue-in-cheek about it. He ended his tweet with ‘Unless you like having fun’.

So that includes everyone except the more constipated types here. The vast majority of people here and everywhere “like having fun”.

As a business owner, try advertising seriously dangerous tools as a ‘fun’ device to be sold to mental midgets, and see how long it is before there are legal ramifications.

Talk about not living in the real world.

I suppose on Luna they do this. Certain people here are EXPERT on that fiction – thinking it applies in all cases to real life.

Smart!

Any time I see someone talking about how people are too stupid to use something, I automatically assume it’s a case of projection.

Call it a character defect.

Bill Howland

Smart!

Yup Smart,as far as projection goes, just like MSNBC and CNN broadcasting nightly about Trump/Russia collusion for over a year without a SHRED of evidence – when the real problem is they themselves and the people they fawn over.

Been reading the news lately – the email issue has some juicy tid bits in it.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Reminds me of ‘gun control’ where mainly the looks of a gun is targeted (ie, assault weapons ban) instead of function.”

Considering the kinds of guns preferred by people who commit mass murder with them, that’s certainly a good first step. With less availability, there will be less temptation for mentally unstable people to go out and try to kill as many people as possible with them.

The way that some people have come to see even reasonable controls on gun sales as “infringing on their constitutional rights” is why the USA has so many, many more mass murders with guns than other countries. It’s also shocking how many supposedly educated Americans have become useful idiots for the gun manufacturing lobby.

CCIE

Most gun crime is committed with handguns, not so-called assault weapons. And it’s committed by criminals using stolen guns who don’t care about gun laws.

Semi-automatic rifles are available in various form factors. The assault weapons bans only target the ones that look scary to people who don’t know anything about guns. It’s comical to think that a semiauto rifle is considered military grade to these uneducated people. The military use real weapons that are full auto select-fire.

The US has had readily available firearms since before its founding. We’ve only had an uptick in gun crime in the last 50 years. I attribute it to a general lowering of societal values, lake of gun familiarization/training for young people, politically correct policing, and breakdown of mental health services.

With all of that being said, many many more people are killed by cars each year, and a large truck is a much more powerful weapon than any gun available to civilians. So, just because a large portion of the population is irrationally afraid of guns, doesn’t mean it’s right to ban them for those of us who are competent and responsible enough to own them.

ziv

There you both go! Using common sense and truth. There should be a rule against that!
😉

PuPu, you need to educate yourself on guns before spouting nonsense like the gun-control crowd often do. What’s the difference between AR15 “assault weapon” and mini-14 “ranch rifle”? They both use same ammo, detachable magazine, semi-auto, but one has wooden stock with shorter handle (mini-14) while black plastic stock with longer handle on other (AR15).

This is no different than Home Depot “tool” being accepted whereas pretty much the same thing being called “flame thrower” is trotted out to be banned. Irrational gun-control (or “flame thrower” control) is Dumbocrats at their worst.

serial anti tesla troll thomas

He get more and more stupid from day to day…..

Huge Jazzall

While they are at it, they should Ban cigarettes, lighters, magnifiers, light-sabers, ovens, and anything that can cause a fire. Well done Santiago.

Dan

Lol. A community that is pitching for government regulation of carbon is outraged at the government regulating flamethrowers. Irony (in the shakespearean sense of the word, not the millennial usage)

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Yes, the community would probably say that it should be taxed appropriately according to the impact and that would generally help people make a more appropriate purchase decision.

But in this case, given the large Idiot Tax involved in the purchase, I think that it wouldn’t make much difference.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“A community that is pitching for government regulation of carbon is outraged at the government regulating flamethrowers. Irony…”

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those of us who don’t have little minds can appreciate Elon’s sense of humor, we understand that a blowtorch is a useful tool, and we appreciate Elon poking fun at those with a gun fetish, by making a blowtorch in the shape of one!

Those of us who are observant also notice that the few posting comments here bashing Elon here are serial Tesla bashers. Coincidence? Well, if you have a little mind you might think so! 😀

John

I am outraged that people are constantly outraged by everything. What’s going to happen with something that is *actually* outrage worthy happens? People will be exhausted by all the faux outrage that they’ll just stop caring.

Oh.

Wait.

Too late.

yogurt

Its now the USSA where everyone is trained to be a victim…

William

I was feeling as sturdy as a snow flake, until your “USSA ” comment, and that Boring Co. flaming “deplorablower” thingy, just set me back into victim-melt down mode. My most recent training tells me now, that I can’t charge my EV, and have Yogurt at the same time. /s

mxs

This is worse nanny politician whining than up here in Canada.

Ban it all Miguel, while you are at it … sheesh.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

CA is full of stupid sh1t like this.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/01/29/plastic-straws-illegal-unless-requested-under-california-bill/1074610001/

WTF are these idiot politicians thinking?
We have too many dipsh1ts in office. I don’t care what party affiliation, total phuckwads.

Dan

CARB regulations?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Seriously, you think a useful tool like a blowtorch should be banned because of the insignificant amount of carbon emissions from them? Or even worse, banning sales of a toy blowtorch, most of which will never or hardly ever actually be used?

Hey, why stop there? Let’s ban all use of fire while we’re at it. People should be able to get along without using natural gas to heat their homes, their ovens, or their water heaters!

/sarcasm^2

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well, given that it wouldn’t cost the sit-down restaurants anything, and given that the straws are unnecessary, and given that it’s non biodegradable waste that ends up outside the proper waste stream, they’re probably thinking that changing the default is a good idea.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Changing the default to making straws of a biodegradable material makes sense. Banning straws outright is stupid, and an egregious example of the Nanny State in action.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Read the article. They aren’t banning plastic straws.

The law would be that sit-down restaurants wouldn’t give customers plastic straws unless the customer requests one.

DJ

He actually spelled “flamethrower” right so at least he’s got that going for him 🙂

Seriously people. Save yourself $480 and just hit up Harbor Freight

https://m.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html?utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Save yourself $480 and just hit up Harbor Freight”

lol……..youdda Man DJ!

Roy_H

This toy is advertised as “safest”. I wonder what that means. I suspect that this is a cold flame, not regular propane hot. Need more information before declaring this a dangerous.

Not required to know anything!

Ignorant Outrage is a special Class of Educated wonders.

And I grew up watching Forest Fires all around, in B.C. Canada (& Fire Bombers come and work them!)

HVACman

re: Red Dragon torches. This is a great gardening tool for small commercial organic gardeners. My wife bought one of those Red Dragon backpack torch kits for weeding the paths through her organic lavender field. It is as-effective as Roundup with no chemicals introduced into the ground. You run the torch over the weeds while they are green and before they produce seeds. You don’t “burn” them off. The idea is to scorch them enough to make them wilt and die naturally. This is a winter-spring application only. Active growing time. If you wait until they are dry enough to be a fire hazard, it is too late. They’ve already seeded.

Alonso Perez

It’s dumb (the flamethrower) because with 20k sold, and looking like a toy, you just know some kid somewhere will end up badly disfigured. Why would anybody want to live with that on their conscience?
OTOH a ban is dumb because obviously it’s just a propane torch.
With so many things Musk could sell for TBC, why this? Why not a really heavy duty, good looking, and suitably overpriced battery powered drill? It matches the theme of the company far better and would be just as collectible.
Musk is getting careless. I love the guy but he needs to slow down a bit. He’s acting like someone who is chronically sleep deprived, lacking anyone to set him straight.

yogurt

Welcome to the laws of GOD/Darwin as the world is not free or safe…
What about the kid who died in an auto accident which is the single most dangerous thing Americans do??
What about the kid who died playing football or now has permanent brain damage??
What about this what about that as it will simply never end because nothing is safe until you are dead??

Musk is simply having fun nerd style and raising money for his company…
Nothing wrong here except the growing commie nanny state and its followers…

Alonso Perez

If you actually read my comment you will see I think the proposed ban is stupid. I am no friend of the nanny state.
But this is a dumb idea. I can call it a dumb idea without wanting for a ban. Dumb ideas exist that do not call for government interference, this is one of them. It’s a dumb, bad idea.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“With so many things Musk could sell for TBC, why this? Why not a really heavy duty, good looking, and suitably overpriced battery powered drill?”

Perhaps it’s to remind us that The Boring Company started out as a whimsical, fanciful idea — thus the silly name — and perhaps it’s to let us know that Elon still doesn’t take it too seriously — as you seem to be!

Alonso Perez

The word “whimsical” doesn’t really describe a flamethrower, does it? I mean think about that.

James

Admittedly, it is pretty boneheaded to offer a flamethrower in California after half the state just burned down, and I would rank people who buy a flamethrower right up there with idiots who fly drones everywhere they go–meaning not terribly thoughtful of others or the potential consequences of their actions.

ffbj

What’s your view on Super Soakers?

Next distraction-from-Model-3-production-woes item Elon will hawk on Twitter is Elon’s bigger and better version of the Super Soaker.

It will be made available first in his home country of South Africa, specifically in Cape Town, which is about to become the first major city to run out of water.

ffbj

It’s logical. Something to put out the fire you started with the flamethrower.

Bill Howland

I’m not convinced it is a distraction from the model ‘3’ since they are starting to make them in quantity.

I think its a distraction from the $12 million (and counting) RUST-O-LOOP where there is total rust, water, and untreated, Rusted Steel everywhere, deteriorating as we speak.

This fine ‘demonstration’ 1 km long tube where only 2 out of 3 of the mounts is actually doing anything (unless you count forcing the localized area to rust more quickly, and the ‘mechanical contestants’ for the ‘hyperloop challenge’ had to withstand a cloud of RustOLoop dust while they were traveling for a brief ‘instant’ at 55 mph for a whopping 50 meters until it stalled even though being initially accelerated by a pusher (the winner out of 1200 entries – apparently only the finalists got a chance to use the real honest to goodness ‘Rust-O-Loop’).

William

Maybe Assemblyman Miguel Santiago should watch the entire movie Space Balls. Hopefully Mel Brooks can give the good Assemblyman a personal screening in his home theater, and answer any questions that are movie related, after the show.

That should sort most everything out, when it comes to humor and entertainment for Mr. Santiago and his constituency.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Politician gins up controversy about utterly trivial matter in order to grab headlines! In other news, water is wet! Reminds me of a story… “Two types… The scorpion and the frog. Ever heard of them? “Scorpion wants to cross a river, but he can’t swim. Goes to the frog, who can, and asks for a ride. Frog says, ‘If I give you a ride on my back, you’ll go and sting me.’ Scorpion replies, ‘It would not be in my interest to sting you, since as I’ll be on your back, we both would drown.’ “Frog thinks about this logic for a while, and accepts the deal. Takes the scorpion on his back. Braves the waters. Halfway over feels a burning spear in his side and realizes the scorpion has stung him after all. “And as they both sink beneath the waves the frog cries out, ‘Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion, for now we both will drown!’ Scorpion replies, ‘I can’t help it, it’s in my nature.'” –“The Crying Game” (1992) I guess it’s just in the nature of politicians these days to gin up controversy and divisiveness in order to get attention, no matter how destructive that… Read more »
ffbj

Aesop’s Fables circa 540 B.C.E
The Farmer & the Viper.

Gary

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago is exactly what is wrong with this country, no sense of humor. Everyone is so serious about everything that they have to take offense to everything so they feel important. A small toy, that is pretty cool, and now he thinks it is going to burn CA down, or is some how offensive, REALLY? Stupid!

Yeah, whoever doesn’t find the humor of these flamethrowers leading to the start of yet another wildfire in CA (or some kid who sets their friend on fire because they wanted to show off dad’s cool new toy) is a communist!

Brandon

Elon is one of my idols and all but this really isn’t a good nor safe offering.

I have something else in mind that he could offer which would promote health, fitness and fun. Also retro.

Hint: It’s something that isn’t used anymore, it bounces and it’s in the form of a stick

Vexar

California already has a flamethrower ban for jets longer than 10 feet. I wonder who is going to vote for a ban of two feet. I mean, who cares? I think Elon has figured out by now with auto dealers in state politics and city councilmen fighting tunnel building because it might cause a drop in bus ridership, exactly how useless some people are in the public sector. This joke underlines so many things. Gullibility of people buying a horribly overpriced gardening tool (and thinking it is the same as the real thing), that stands out. Is this a collector’s item?
One twit in California state politics just made it very much so.

Here is how this will go down: the twit state senator from LA will chase his foolish anger, he may succeed, he may fail. The Boring Company won’t spend a dime fightint this. They don’t need to, as this is all preorder. Determined Californians will get theirs anyway, in defiance of state prattle.

Don’t firefighters use tools like this to start back cutting to create fire breaks? Wouldn’t that be an ironic twist?

Go, Elon!

Bill Howland
AS a former Tesla owner, I actually feel ashamed here. Musk apparently doesn’t realize it amazingly, but he is killing the panache of his product. As a little kid I always enjoyed reading the Lewis Kornfeld (head of Radio Shack) “Flyerside Chats”. He used to say, in advertising, you never denigrate or disparage your own products, and while doing so may seem ‘cute’, in the end you’ll see your sales tank. Musk ostensibly is trying to sell cars on the very expensive side of the scale, as well as break into a new market for large trucking firms. Making silly-sounding tweets, and offering junk products for 9 times their cost elsewhere “flamethrowers” or “Nail shooters”, etc. would put a bad taste in my mouth. I thought Musk was trying to sell products to serious people? One year ago, you’d never see influential people such as Steven Wozniak say anything negative regarding Musk…. This kind of silly product will reflect on other products he’s trying to sell, whether he wants that to happen or not., although I’m certain it doesn’t matter to Musk at this point – he’s got plenty of mansions and money tucked away to be set for the… Read more »
ffbj

…and btw you darn kids.
GET OFF MY LAWN!

Bill Howland

Real Conservatives are far more compassionate to the plight of ordinary people ( of which I am one ), than Liberals who tell everyone else how to think.

Did you catch the stone faced, sour puss democrats last night at the SOTU event? No compassion shown whatsoever.

Now, in my own case, I would have voted for a third term of Obama vs Trump had I that choice, for my own reasons.

But “Narcissistic” Trump DID only refer to himself only 29 times.

Obama in HIS first SOTU referred to himself 161 times.

Bill Howland

ffbj: I see you still cannot piece together a thought which would at least feign an intellectual response.

Anon

Fake Rage / Offense, makes me angry.

Roy LeMeurr

“Won’t somebody think about the children!!!!” (wrings hands)

Mongrel

Burn baby burn!