As most people already know, Tannerite, a binary explosive, appears to have been used in some of the bombs that exploded in New Jersey and/or New York last weekend. That's unusual. Tannerite was developed for use in exploding targets for shooters. I've shot at it myself, with the expected results. It's very popular at events such as Boomershoot and the Knob Creek Machine-gun Shoot. Here's a video clip from the famous night-time shoot at Knob Creek, involving lots of machine-guns and targets of Tannerite and gasoline.
Boys and their toys indeed! Frankly, I'm not particularly interested in shooting at exploding targets. It can be fun, but I'd rather concentrate on marksmanship and improving my techniques and tactics. YMMV, of course; and the attendance at Knob Creek, Boomershoot and such events proves that for many, it's a fun pastime.
Despite being intended for use in exploding targets, if used in large quantities, Tannerite can be very dangerous. To illustrate, here's an old barn being demolished with over 160 pounds of the stuff packed into a tote. The shooter and his friends are obviously having a lot of fun with it, but that shouldn't obscure the risks of getting too close to a bang like that.
If confined in a pressure cooker, as was apparently done in the terrorist bombs last weekend, the explosive power of Tannerite is magnified, making it more dangerous.
Many responsible firearms owners have been warning for years that the casual, unrestricted, unsupervised use of Tannerite (such as in the barn explosion above, and in many other video clips on YouTube) was basically an open invitation to see it misused for at least criminal mischief, if not terrorism. Those warnings appear to have come true. I now expect to see pressure to at least restrict the availability of Tannerite and similar substances on security grounds, if not ban its sale altogether. I'm not surprised by that. It's a toy that can be deadly dangerous, and its use in a society threatened by terrorism is at least questionable.
There are bound to be shooters who regard this as an assault on their Second Amendment rights and freedoms. I don't see it as such - after all, Tannerite's not an 'arm' in the meaning of the Amendment, as far as I know - but there are lots of shooters who like making loud bangs and lots of smoke and flame. I expect there to be a lot of verbiage slung around about this over the next few months. I can only hope that sanity will prevail - on all sides. The reality of terrorism demands it.