So yesterday, the Feds handed down a yuge win for people who’d make firearms using 3D printers. A settlement with “radical libertarian” Cody Wilson – who first posted 3D printer files for firearms on his website “defcad.com”, was settled on First and Second Amendment grounds.
And Big Left – in this case, through technology site “Wired” – is having the predictable fit:
“This should alarm everyone,” says Po Murray, chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, a Connecticut-focused gun control group created in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. “We’re passing laws in Connecticut and other states to make sure these weapons of war aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people. They’re working in the opposite direction.”
When reporters and critics have repeatedly pointed out those potential consequences of Wilson’s work over the last five years, he has argued that he’s not seeking to arm criminals or the insane or to cause the deaths of innocents.
Let’s take a step back for a moment here.
Street criminals don’t have access to 3D printers. They don’t spend the money for the materials – which are, by the way, still pretty exotic and expensive – to do 3D printer projects. They don’t have the hobbyist’s drive to do the tinkering that inevitably follows building your own firearm, even from kit parts, much less from parts you “build” yourself using a bleeding-edge technology. They don’t spend the money on that tinkering (gunsmithing is not a cheap hobby).
The people you need to worry about are the ones who will send their friend or girlfriend or grandma to buy a gun, or steal one of the 400,000,000 that are already out there, in (generally) working order, ready to go.
This reminds me of the “Plastic Gun” controversy 30 years ago, when Glock started marketing polymer-frame guns; “they’ll go through airport security”, Big Gun Control chanted, unaware that the Glock has a barrel, bolt and springs made of enough good ol’-fashioned steel to perhaps even wake up the TSA drone operating the scanner, no matter how hung over they are.
And it reminds me – it’s impossible to have a rational debate about firearms, gun laws, gun crime or the Second Amendment with 99% of the antis – because their entire “knowledge” of the issue comes from erroneous or context-mangled “research”, word-of-mouth gleaned from the ignorant but effusive, dystopian fantasy, and agenda-driven narrative.