Are Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Safe?

And are they a weapon or a joke


“Elon Musk” by jdlasica is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Jason Reznikov, Journalist

In January of 2018, one of Elon Musk’s many companies known as The Boring Company released a flamethrower hilariously called “Not a Flamethrower.” Almost immediately, the product became a meme all over social media. Videos were made by Elon Musk showing him with his flamethrower shooting fire all over the room. Even though it was a lighthearted product, it came with lots of controversy and importance for the company.

The Purpose

“Elon Musk” by afagen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Not a Flamethrower actually served a purpose for The Boring Company. The company was founded in 2016 as an infrastructure and tunnel-building company, currently designing an intra-city transit system. The company has fully completed two tunnels in Las Vegas. With this information, you may be thinking to yourself, “Why would a tunneling company sell a flamethrower?” Well, the answer is pretty simple. At $500 per flamethrower, and it selling all 20,000 units, the flamethrower was a money-maker for the company. Building infrastructure takes a lot of money, and releasing this flamethrower was the perfect way to afford everything. The quantity was limited to 20,000 and sold out completely. This means that the only way to get a flamethrower is to buy one used. On eBay, Not a Flamethrower is going for about four and a half thousand dollars.

The Controversy

“Elon Musk Dreaming of a Brighter Future” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Although the flamethrowers were released as a joke made to generate The Boring Company money, many people took it much more seriously. Many people said that selling a flamethrower commercially was dangerous, and it should be considered a weapon. The biggest controversy regarding Not a Flamethrower is the fact that Elon Musk launched it as a joke in Los Angeles. The main problem with this is the fact that it appeared insensitive as forest fires are a big issue in California. A flamethrower being launched as a joke in California was just asking for many politicians to argue that the Flamethrower is dangerous, causing the “weapon” to be renamed to Not a Flamethrower.

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Although the flamethrowers are sold out, you can buy them here on eBay.