SWAT raid on chemical supply house
Here's a report of a SWAT-type raid on a supply house, based on complaints by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on claims it might be shipping chemicals useful for fireworks, and that it hadn't complied with safe shipment standards. Altho the charge is apparently a misdemeanor, it involved two dozen agents packing M-16s and a battering ram. One more example of how every case is now being treated as reason to call out the SWAT team.
As a gesture of support, here's their webpage. Interesting stuff! Not just chemicals, but prizms and all else.
The article also mentions that someone tried to re-create the chemical sets were had as kids -- and found most of the chemicals are banned as too risky for kids today! They wound up having to create a set where the most prominent chemical is laundry starch... needless to say, a set that wouldn't interest anyone in chemistry. I often joke with a friend (who is now an MD) that if kids today did what we did, they'd have DHS breaking down their door. We made nitrocellulose, firecrackers, smoke bombs, fulminating mercury, time fuses (my invention -- burned at 20 seconds per inch, so you had time to get away and create an alibi before the sky rockets launched) and even nitrogen tri-iodide. I mentioned the last to a retired prof. of chemistry, and he said that was the most sensitive expl... the second most sensitive explosive known to man. I said yes, we'd found the formula for the most sensitive, and knew better than to try it! Nitrogen tri could be set off by brushing it with a feather. The most sensitive one could be set off by taking it from darkness into sunlight!