We all know Americans like their guns. They really, really like their guns.
Just recently, a children's football team got into a spot of bother for raffling off an AR-15 Assault Rifle in an attempt to raise funds for jerseys and equipment. Now, however, it seems that the next big thing is flamethrowers.
Under the law of Michigan and in most states, flamethrowers are perfectly legal. Whilst some use it for things such as clearing ice, destroying insects and pest control, starting a bonfire or for camping, there's a belief that owning something that can shoot huge amounts of fire is pretty dangerous.
This belief is shared by Mayor Jim Fouts of Warren, Michigan, who's calling for personal flamethrowers to be banned in his area. "You know something like this will be used by bad people for bad things," Fouts explained, saying that the idea of a personal flamethrower being made available to the general public was "unbelievable".
The city ordinance, if enacted by the city's council, would see a $500 fine imposed on any member of the general public who used or owned a personal flamethrower. However, the company which manufactures them say it's an issue of personal responsibility.
"Simply owning a particular product should not be a punishable offense. It's a matter of education and respect for safety," believes Chris Bryars, who was one of the creators of XM42 Flamethrower, the world's first commercially available flamethrower made for the general public.
The city's council are deliberating on whether to implement the ban. They'd better hope no aliens turn up afterwards.