As Gun Control Debate Rages, Flamethrowers Spread Like Wildfire

Recent events in Virginia have yet again brought gun control onto the agenda in the U.S. The Washington Post reported that in response to the tragedy, the father of one of the journalists who fell victim to the shooter would buy a gun.

Much as when gun control hits the news, many seek to purchase firearms legally before any potential future changes are made to either local or national legislation. The recent news that some cities, including Detroit, were considering banning flamethrowers, has seen a rush to buy the latest technology, which is available to mainstream buyers for the first time.

Whereas the emergence of more gun control legislation has seen restrictions on gun ownership brought forward ranging from restricting the types of weapons allowed to control over who can carry or own a gun, flamethrowers are currently not regulated in that way.

That means that anyone who chooses can pick up one of the new commercially available devices. Ars Technica reports that one of the devices, the Ion XM42, can send a devastating stream of fire 25 feet long, and for a full 35 seconds. With no gun control legislation applying to them, it was reported that any adult can buy one for between $900 and $1,600, depending on the model chosen.

Modern technology poses many interesting questions when it comes to gun control, with many gun control campaigners pointing out the inconsistencies. An interesting case has resurfaced, as reported in Ars Technica where Jaime Caetano is appealing conviction for use of a stun gun to protect herself from the allegedly abusive father of her children. It is reported that the Massachusetts court seemed to suggest that carrying a real gun would have been legal, if licensed, but not the stun gun. This kind of inconsistency makes little sense as people on both sides of the gun control debate can clearly see the argument for the existence of situations where the option of non-lethal force might be preferable.

It's likely that the gun control debate is going to become increasingly complicated over the coming years, as deadly weapons capable of burning people alive, and only previously used significantly in agriculture, have made their way into citizens' homes. New technologies, such as stun guns, offer citizens non-lethal alternatives to guns, but outdated gun control laws seem to encourage real firearm ownership in some states, even if the individual would have preferred a stun gun.

What do you think - can a coherent policy be devised where the intent of the Second Amendment can be matched to modern technology, significantly more advanced guns, and new weapons citizens couldn't even have imagined needing to control at the time of the enactment of the Second Amendment?

[Image Source: The Ion Productions Team]