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I live in East Grand Rapids. I read your article “Tater Trauma” the other day and I had to agree with most of your opinions (I should tell you that two years ago a friend built one of these potato guns and we took it to his Lake Michigan cottage and shot it at everything. Great Fun. The best shots were into the lake to see distance and at night with huge flaming report. And, oh by the way, we are in our forties.)
But I have changed my mind. Today I saw this particular gun [photo enclosed] and even though it was built by some 15-year-old kid it looked as if it had been put together by an MIT grad. It is that sophisticated. More importantly, though, was the ammo — not a potato or tennis ball; a six inch or so cylindrical piece of various PVC parts with mostly blunt ends (small point).
The “ammo” had quite a bit of heft to it, it felt solid or filled with metal. If shot, it would easily pass through a car door. A person hit in the head would die; hit in the body suffer massive internal damage and maybe die; hit in an extremity suffer a compound fracture and probable artery/vein damage. Not a run-of-the-mill tater launcher.