The same kid (Austin Haughwout) who some months back made it big on Youtube by building a drone that fired a handgun has now created one that functions as a flying flamethrower.

While I certainly don’t approve of the sort of things he’s building, kids will be kids, and I don’t have any hostility towards him.

His parents and HobbyLobby?  Well that’s another matter altogether.

As far as the parents are concerned I think it’s irresponsible of them to allow and maybe help or fund this sort of dangerous activity.  No matter what measures they took to insure safety (and apparently they took quite a few) the project still has the potential for disaster.  Life-changing disaster.  And then there’s the problem of putting this concept into the minds of others and even publishing a parts list.  Being capable of doing something, doesn’t justify actually doing that thing.  What’s next?  Dropping bombs?  There are so many other useful innovations which could be created by a kid like this – he should have been encouraged in another direction.

But to me, the real villain in all this is HobbyLobby.  They sponsored the video and may have provided the materials.  If they were doing that, how did they know the buyer wasn’t planning some sort of terroristic use for the finished “invention”?  Clearly whatever role they had was meant solely to garner publicity for themselves.  Given the viral nature of the gun video this one was a sure thing.  Christmas is coming and they sell drones and parts to build drones.  They put aside the idea of being Good Corporate Citizens in favor of making a buck.  Shame on HobbyLobby.  And in so doing they have stoked the flames of anti-drone sentiment – again, for the sake of Corporate greed.

It’s bad enough when the press publishes every, single, anti-drone-hysteria article ad nauseum, and in so doing, encourages politicians who know nothing about the hobby to pass ridiculous restrictions hampering the enjoyment of many, many responsible drone users.  But in sponsoring this video of irresponsible behavior they provide grist for the “news mill”.  Again, shame on HobbyLobby.  Personally, I won’t shop there.  I won’t recommend them to anyone.  In fact, I will recommend, any time I can, that people take their business elsewhere.