YouTuber’s DIY gun shoots masks onto people’s faces

It's one way to get people to wear masks.

Given the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US, along with research that shows masks slow the spread of the disease, it can be frustrating to see mask-less people in public spaces. With that -- and some American’s obsession with guns -- in mind, YouTuber Allen Pan decided to create a mask launcher that attempts to shoot masks onto people’s faces.

Pan used brake line, a solenoid valve, an 800 PSI CO2 canister, a spray paint pistol grip and projectiles with magnets attached to craft a pneumatic launcher, aka Mask Gun. It works a little bit like a net gun, with the goal being to launch a mask at a person’s face and have cords wrap around their head to hold it in place.

After tests in Pan’s workshop proved the idea was at least somewhat feasible, he took the device to Huntington Beach, California. By the time Pan developed the gun, though, it seemed more beachgoers were wearing masks. Still, he had a few passersby test the mask launcher on a dummy, and it sort of worked.

While the mask gun is maybe a bit cathartic, shooting projectiles at someone’s face is never super safe. In an ideal world, good old public health measures and a little bit of compassion for fellow humans would get people to wear masks. Since this is not an ideal world, we’re left daydreaming about mask launchers and dropping personal protective equipment (PPE) out of drones.