Musk’s flamethrower ‘incredibly insensitive’ in fire-ravaged California, lawmaker says

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

By Peter Holley - Washington Post

Inventor and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk claims he’s sold thousands of flamethrowers in recent days, turning a online gag into a marketing ploy worth millions.

But a California assemblyman said he plans to introduce legislation to block the distribution of the devices before they end up in customers’ hands.

In an email to The Washington Post, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said he thought the flamethrower idea was a joke when he first heard about it.

Santiago, whose home parish was recently damaged by fire, was surprised anyone would hawk a flamethrower in a state in which devastating fires have recently displaced thousands, causing more than $1 billion in damage. Santiago’s statement said he was in awe of “Musk’s genius,” but believes that the inventor’s gifts and successes mean he has unique responsibilities.

“The State of California and the County and City of Los Angeles have entrusted Mr. Musk to help alleviate a real public policy problem here by executing a tunnel under the City to help alleviate traffic,” the statement said. ” This deviation feels like a complete slap in the face.”