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Ugh, more bad press "potato gun" kills 21 year old

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:27 pm

It does talk about compressed air guns - but not in terms of being legal....


So, you're saying every guy at a football game with a t-shirt launcher should be charged with assault with a deadly weapon?
I can see no reason why the ATF would not have the same/more relaxed rules about compressed air guns.
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Unread postAuthor: Gepard » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:42 pm

No I'm not saying that at all......I'm saying that the letter from the ATF that people are only too eager to quote when the legality of SGs is questioned has absolutly nothing to do with pneumatics and other SGs that are made out of materials other than PVC (ie most hybrids). It's a far cry from "All SGs are legal" that most people seem to read into it

And if you stand up in court and say "Well I couldn't see a reason for it to be illegal so I just did it"....

AND

they are used solely for launching potatoes for recreational purposes.


is different to

they are used solely for launching tshirts and other merchandise for commecial purposes
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Unread postAuthor: iknowmy3tables » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:22 pm

hybrids arn't a strech from recreational purposes, heck guns, fireworks, and explosives fall under that
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Unread postAuthor: clide » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:09 pm

Gepard wrote:No I'm not saying that at all......I'm saying that the letter from the ATF that people are only too eager to quote when the legality of SGs is questioned has absolutly nothing to do with pneumatics and other SGs that are made out of materials other than PVC (ie most hybrids). It's a far cry from "All SGs are legal" that most people seem to read into it


A pneumatic spud gun is no different than a paintball gun or an air powered BB gun, which are legal and not regulated by the federal government or most (if not all) states.

The only time I have seen anything that would qualify a pneumatic as illegal is some cities have very loose definitions of "deadly" or "destructive" "weapons". Usually the definitions could also be applied to a Nerf gun.
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:24 pm

well only an idiot can do something like this to himself. First of all, black powder is used in guns, why do you think its only used in guns, because they can handle it. I do fell sorry for his family and his friends and him too bec he was stupid enough to do that. Why do you think that common propellants are hair spray and axe body spray or propane which is getting on the more powerful side. But they use that because it is safe with Sch 40 PVC which is the most common sold pvc. So you learn from your mistakes but i guess that other people will have to do the learning for them.
But no matter much information is available, there is no safe way to make one.
you can make a safe one with the proper materials, and proper usage, and technique you can have lots of fun, just make sure no one is in the way. So dont be idiots and play safe. [/code]
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:49 pm

I have to say that having a cannon explode into gut, must have been extremely painful.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:52 pm

frankrede wrote:I have to say that having a cannon explode into gut, must have been extremely painful.


Considering he didn't die instantly, I'd assume there was massive blunt force trauma and internal bleeding, but that's just a guess. I can imagine that it would indeed be quite painful. As heartless as it sounds, let this man's tragic death stand as an example to all future spudgunners, safety is of the utmost importance.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:22 pm

paaiyan wrote:Considering he didn't die instantly, I'd assume there was massive blunt force trauma and internal bleeding, but that's just a guess.


Since the launcher presumably shattered, I think it would be more likely to be a series of small sharp fragments that caused multiple penetrating wounds. Assuming it was PVC the fragments would be very hard to detect on an x-ray as opposed to notmal bullet fragments which would make treating such wounds even more difficult.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:26 pm

Well there was obviously fragmentation, but how do a lot of people hold a spudgun when firing? They often hold it by their side, right above the hip. The explosion wuld have caused fragmentation, and I have no doubt that some could have penetrated, but I think the shockwave from the blast most likely cased the trauma, but that's just my opinion and we'll probably never find out.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:48 pm

Personally I think SpudFiles should be *out there* more in the media like Joel was, this will help rise awareness with spudguns and how to use them safely, the public will also get told the truth why the spudgun failed and how much of an idiot he is. I can just imagine it:

Kyle xxxx, Owner of SpudFiles.com made a statement saying he is very sorry for the loss but out of this tragic loss he would like to help rise awareness with spudguns and the proper way to make them and use them safely. One of his expert associates (lets say jimmy) made an offical statement behind the failure of this spud launcher, and what you can do to make them safe.
jimmy101 wrote:One of the real beutiful characteristics of a correctly designed and operated spudgun is that it is foolproof. Fuel it with propane (or butane or ...) and there is no possible way to "use too much fuel". Too much fuel simply won't ignite.

If you are stupid enough to be using a solid propelant then it is not only possible, but extremely likely, that too much fuel will be used.

A typical propane fired spud gun is fueled with what 50 to 100cc of gaseous hydrocarbon? WAG the mass of fuel at 0.05 to 0.1g (based on a gas density of ~1g/liter).

Idiots keep putting in gram quantities of powder. Guess what, the gun explodes in their hands.
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:34 am

@Gepard:Typing from the scanned page linked in PCGuy's post, which is a different letter to the Spudtech one:

Department of ATF wrote:Potato cannons are generally constructed from "PVC" plastic tubing and fittings and are designed to launch a muzzle-loaded potato (or other similar size projectile) using an aerosol hair spray, propane, compressed air, etc. The propellant is ignited by mean of a barbecue grill igniter or other similar system.


Skipping to the next page, it says words to the effect of:
Things that were not designed or altered to be a weapon, are not considered firearms. Flaming (and presumably explosive) ammunition will qualify it as an illegal weapon though.

That fairly loose definition effectively covers pneumatics, hybrids or magnetic launchers.

@MrCrowley: I agree strongly. In a case like this, it would be good for Spudfiles to be vocal in the media.

I'd be willing to be an "expert" in a general Spudfiles statement if PCGuy wanted to make one.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:58 am

I'll be an expert!

I'm kidding. I'll let you guys (and joanna) take care of that one. It could be good for spudfiles to put out a statement every now and then. We could make sure that it sounds official and everything, make sure we get the science right to back it up, people might just pay attention to us. The only question would be, what media outlet would be willing to air the statements of experts from an internet forum? If we can find one, great! But we might be hard-pressed to do so.

Don't think I'm trying to knock the idea down, I'm just saying that it might be hard to get our opinions published in mainstream media. Though we could start by hitting up youtube or something. Either just post a video with our... Your statements, or maybe even contact the site management and see if they'll sponsor the video...

EDIT: And when I say we, I mean you guys. I think I'll sit this one out and let y'all take care of it, you're far more knowledgeable about spudguns than I am.
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:10 am

Well, Joel did end up in the media occasionally. We might not succeed in getting good coverage, but at least we could least say we tried.

But Youtube sounds like a clever plan. I imagine there's a good hit rate of spudgun searches at the moment because of the news article, so if we could get good ratings, we could get our views heard pretty well that way.

If I contribute to that however, we hit the problem Gepard mentioned to an even greater extent... I don't imagine my British accent would go down to well in a statement to a US station.
But neither do I know that a female voice would be taken as seriously.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:17 am

See the ratings thing is the problem, it's hard to get good ratings on youtube. I was thinking that PCGUY could contact youtube management and see if we could get the video promoted by youtube. Every day they pick a few videos to feature and they get views like you wouldn't believe. I looked at one that was posted on June 3rd, but after being featured a couple days ago it has almost 650,000 views. I mean, if he couldn't get it featured then by all means, post it in the regulars and give it every tag that could possibly have to do with potato guns. Of course, PCGUY might have to have someone else post it for him, I recall him telling us that he was banned from youtube for videos with "terrorist content."

EDIT: Oh, and that TV station hasn't responded to my e-mail yet. They probably just ignored it after they read the first paragraph.
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:34 am

paaiyan wrote:EDIT: Oh, and that TV station hasn't responded to my e-mail yet. They probably just ignored it after they read the first paragraph.

In that case, we've given them the chance to air our views in a manner of their choosing and they have refused, so I say we give them absolute hell on Youtube.
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