You may know Elon Musk for his Mars colonisation plans (SpaceX), his $50 billion company (Tesla) or his dreams to build an underground tunnel network across the US (The Boring Company). Now he is selling $500 flamethrowers. Why, you ask? The easy answer is: because he can. Let’s look into it a little bit more.
Musk did not start with flamethrowers right away, he started to sell Boring Company baseball hats at $20 each. To promote the hats, he posted them to Instagram with the caption “Best hat ever. Flamethrower coming next.” At this time no one knew that he was not joking. However, when all the 50,000 hats were sold, he indeed started to sell flamethrowers. And all 20,000 of them were sold in just 4 days. This means Musk raised $10 million for his tunneling venture, The Boring Company.
You would think that flamethrowers are dangerous and that there must be some kind of ban on them, but as long as it does not shoot flames further than 10ft it is perfectly fine with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. But still, even Musk advised against buying them. He captioned an Instagram video of himself using a flamethrower: “Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun.” And apparently the 20,000 people who bought these flamethrowers do like fun.
But what can you do with a flamethrower? According to Musk, it is “Great for roasting nuts” and also can come in handy when a zombie apocalypse happens. Unsurprisingly, not everybody was happy with the idea of people buying weapons that can shoot fire. The Home Office reminded citizens that for anyone under 18 it is illegal to buy any imitation firearm and that a flamethrower is a prohibited weapon. Also, California Assemblymember, Miguel Santiago was outraged by Musk’s newest idea. It seems that he wants to ban the sale of the flamethrowers within California, so he tweeted: “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”.
Still, all the flamethrowers are sold and shipping will start in the Spring. But don’t worry, everything is going to be okay, because the flamethrowers come with a complimentary branded fire extinguisher for your safety.