A little over a year ago NBC's Jeff Rossen and Jovanna Billington wrote a story about the availability of Tannerite.
For those not addicted to guns and explosions, the name Tannerite might still be unfamiliar. It is sold in what is called a binary brick, or package which separates ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. When struck by a bullet the two chemicals are forcibly merged, creating an explosive charge which, because of the impact and heat of the round, blows up much to the delight of those individuals who are mentally and emotionally stuck in the sixth grade. If you're a daring sort--a true bad boy--who stacks a whole bunch of it together, it really blows up.
Rossen and Billington pointed out Maryland is the only state in the union which requires people to have an explosives license in order to purchase Tannerite. In every other part of these United States of America any certifiable loon can walk right into, say, a Bass Pro Shop, among other places and buy as much of it as they want.
The FBI has issued vague warnings to retailers about bulk purchases and buyers paying cash for them. There are, after all, people out there who want to do us harm. Just ask Don Trump. However, we all understand no one is going to pay any attention to the Feds when it comes to guns, bullets and the stuff they make blow up. Hey, this is America for God's sake.
In the course of research on the subject Rossen went to a sporting goods store and bought 40 pounds of Tannerite and no one even blinked an eye. One of his assistants bought the same amount online and had it delivered to his house, no questions asked. The NBC story noted 40 pounds is enough to destroy a good sized house.
When asked for a statement by Billington and Rossen, Tannerite Sports issued a statement which said, "No additional regulations are needed beyond current laws, because the product is safe when used properly." The company also said, "Only girlie men would want to regulate Tannerite rifle targets."
Then they added, "The only injuries that have ever happened were the result of the shooter misusing the product."
All of which brings us to David Pressley who lives in Walton County, Georgia. The Washington Post reports that this weekend Brother Pressley decided it would be fun to load an old lawn mower with three pounds of Tannerite then start blasting away at it.This despite Tannerite's warning that their product should never be placed under or near a metal object.
Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, Pressley also chose to ignore Tannerite's rule of thumb advice concerning distance. The company says a shooter should be 100 yards away for every pound of the stuff used as a target. Authorities estimate Pressley was a scant 25 yards away when the Tannerite blew the lawn mower into all manner of deadly shrapnel which flew every which direction.
According to the story, an online video was posted of the impressive explosion. Unfortunately for David Pressley, it also records him screaming, "I blew my leg off!" A second voice can be heard yelling, "Someone call an ambulance!"
Pressley's pals stopped filming long enough to apply a tourniquet then get him to a spot where was taken by helicopter to a local hospital. Police and medics say he will survive, sans his leg.
One of Pressley's neighbors was quoted as saying, "You would've had to be on drugs, or something to think it was a good idea to play with that and try to blow up a lawn mower."
Walton County Sheriff, Joe Chapman told a local NBC affiliate his office receives several complaints a week about explosions of Tannerite scaring people's pets and waking up their kids. He also made sure to mention it was perfectly legal to use.
Finally he added, "Be careful. It's very dangerous, it's not a toy. It's much more than a firecracker."
Yeah, Sheriff, we know that--because most areas either severely limit the sale of firecrackers, or outlaw them completely.
We also know the vile hyenas who run the NRA aren't interested in simple fireworks.They're only concerned with making sure the shit that blows up real good is available to stupid yokels like David Pressley.
As the green lady once said in another context, "What a world, what a world."