American YouTuber and inventor Allen Pan took it upon himself to invent a gun that might save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘gun’ can quickly shoot a face mask on to the face, but the device still needs a little more work.
“It feels like people just aren’t wearing masks. And they should be. I’m only talking about America, by the way. This is a uniquely American problem” remarked Pan in his video.
To help solve the problem, Pan used his skills to construct the gun using parts of a car’s brake line, a pistol grip from a spray paint can, some custom electronics, and a solenoid valve for controlling the flow from a pressurised CO2 canister. He says that he decided to take an approach that leverages one of the things most Americans love above all else—guns.
“This is not a world of fact anymore, this is a world of opinion and emotion. If it’s one thing protesters actually care about, it’s the second amendment,” Pan said.
The mask is attached to a long string and projectile weights with a magnet at the tip of it so that the mask can stay securely on the gun. He also added little thing barrels to stick the strings into to keep the device tangle-free, as well as extra adhesives on the mask itself so it could stick on the face better.
After creating the gun, he tested it several times on a mannequin head and on himself. The results were a little mixed, but it still kind of worked.
He then stepped out onto Huntington Beach in California—which he described as being one of the most conservative cities in Southern California. It is also a location where a lot of anti-mask protesters go to spend their time.
He asked some beach goers to help test shoot the device onto his mannequin head. The gun—which projects a green dot onto a target—had mixed results as the aim needed to be precise, but it got better after a little trial and error.
Pan’s video also made a good observation about America’s attitude towards masks as he ventured out. He noted that he fully expected people to get angry at him, and that he even brought running shoes “in case things got racist”.
“I don’t know if it was just the time of day, or the percent of locals versus tourists, or maybe people are coming around to the idea of masks but there’s a ton of people wearing masks here,” said Pan in a surprised tone.
He continued saying that there are about 25% of people out there wearing masks. It might not seem like a big number to us, but he says that for a place like Huntington Beach, it looks like people are starting to understand.
Contrary to the U.S., face masks are mandatory on public transport and crowded places in Malaysia. Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has also urge police to take action against “very important and powerful people” who flout the rule.
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