A 32-year-old Georgia man nearly managed to kill himself and his cameraman this past Saturday when he shot a lawnmower filled with three pounds of binary target mixture at just 25 yards.
A 32-year-old Walton County man didn’t break any laws Saturday when he shot his lawn mower filled with an explosive, but he did lose his leg below the knee, the sheriff’s office said.
About 3:50 p.m., David Presley of Monroe shot an old lawn mower loaded with three pounds of Tannerite, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The lawn mower exploded.
His neighbor, Lydiah Mays, was inside when it happened.
“I heard him scream and so I came downstairs and we were all like looking out the front window,” Mays told Channel 2 Action News Thursday.
Two of Presley’s friends had helped him to a vehicle and had driven him to the bottom of the driveway in the 2200 block of Emmett Doster Road by the time deputies arrived. He was picked up from there and flown to Grady Memorial Hospital. He was missing his left leg.
It was not clear why Presley shot a lawn mower filled with an explosive, but Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman told Channel 2 you’re supposed to put less than a pound of Tannerite into a target you want to shoot and stand at least 100 yards away.
I beg to differ with the reporter’s conclusion that, “it was not clear why Presley shot a lawn mower filled with an explosive.” It’s very clear why Presley packed 3 pounds of binary target mixture into scrap metal and then shot it at close range.
It’s because Presley and his friends are—charitably—a pack of morons.
These binary explosive target mixtures are incredibly stable and predictable, and the directions for using them are well known and very clear. 1/2-pound and 1-pound targets should be placed at least 100 yards away, 2-pound targets at 200 yards away, etc. They should not be placed on, in, or near anything that may become shrapnel when the low-explosive mixture detonates.
So what did Presley and his friends do?
They mixed a much larger than recommended batch of the binary agent, placed it in a lawnmower that was guaranteed to create shrapnel, and shot it from just 25 yards away. This wasn’t just incredibly dangerous and stupid, but was borderline suicidal for everyone involved.
We’ve covered numerous stories regarding the use of binary targets, and have even discussed their use and misuse on the air. When people use Tannerite or similar binary target mixture responsibly in recommended amounts at recommended distances in a responsible manner, they’re a great deal of fun and pose very little risk of causing injury to anyone.
Unfortunately, there are some people in this world who can’t or won’t act responsibly, and it’s because of people like Presley that some lawmakers feel compelled to push for laws outlawing the use of these targets.