Thoughts on the 3D Gun Printing Hysteria
I think a lot of what is put out about 3D Blueprinting guns is bovine excrement (BS). I admit that some of the reports are true, but I don’t believe the hype is warranted. It doesn’t represent freedom. It doesn’t present a clear and present danger. It is just another “thing.”
I say this because I see the folks that are benefiting from the attention. This thing has been around since 2013 and is coming from what looks like to me a guy loving the attention with his ugly plastic gun called the Liberator. Which looks a little like the real metal pistol (FP-45 Liberator manufactured by the US military during World War II for use by resistance forces in occupied territories. Comparatively, a zip gun from the streets is more dangerous than this 3D printed gun)
So what happened?
Cody Wilson, of Defense Distributed, came under fire after uploading code for the world’s first 3D printable firearm, a plastic single-shot pistol also called “The Liberator.” It’s now out there for all.
As a responsible gun owner and lifetime activist, I know that except for gaining attention, and giving ammunition to politicians that will milk this thing for all they can— it’s a non-issue.
In 1982, when Gaston Glock put out his 17th version of his safe action pistol made of 33 parts, in polymer and steel, called the Glock 17, folks said the same thing about “plastic guns.” It even made a mention in the first Die Hard movie. The myth of the plastic gun is that it will be able to go undetected. The truth is that bullets if nothing else are metallic. The quality of gun that can be made with a 3D printer would not be economical, practical, or safe. But that doesn’t stop anyone from hyping this thing.
What is 3D Printing really?
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D-printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
It starts with making a virtual design of the object that is to be created. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D-modeling program (for the creation of a totally new object) or with the use of a 3D scanner (to copy an existing object). A 3D scanner makes a 3D digital copy of an object.
According to the news, Cody Wilson is suing the U.S. State Department for his constitutional right to 3D print guns. In May 2013, the federal government demanded that Wilson take down the instructions. They claimed that Wilson and his company Defense Distributed were exporting secret military hardware for anyone to take, which violates the International Traffic in Arms Regulations or ITAR.
However, Wilson believes that 3D-printed guns should be protected by not only the Second Amendment but the First as well. Technically all he created was a digital how-to guide, which is free speech, he says.
Wilson’s lawyers told the New York Times that the case was supposed to be settled two months after the State Department ordered the instructions removed. But after two years without a ruling, Wilson is counter-suing for having his speech restricted. As the Times noted, Wilson thinks his effort drew particular scrutiny because it happened shortly after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012.
One of the things I learned after this podcast episode is that all of Cody’s files are already in the public and that 3D printing is not only polymers but you can also do it in metals like even titanium.
It’s not good for our community to side with this crap. It’s not a threat. It is feeding the attention whores on both sides of the argument. Politicians are using this to scare people and galvanize their campaigns.
Don’t be fooled by the threat of a 3D printed gun. A 3D printer can cost around $2500. Any gun printed can be detected by TSA and almost all x-ray machines.
Criminals are not going to all that trouble, since the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easier to come by.
Unlike traditional firearms that can fire thousands of rounds in a lifetime, these polymer ones usually hold a bullet or two and then must be manually loaded afterward. And they’re not usually very accurate.
3D printers can make parts for guns to make them un-serialized aka “ghost guns” but the BATFE is well aware of all of that. A ghost gun is a firearm without a serial number. To the uninitiated it sounds like the stuff movies are made of. It’s not. In the US, under Federal law, it is legal to make a firearm for your own use. It has to be a firearm that is not regulated under NFA. That means it can’t be fully automatic, a short barrel shotgun, a short barrel rifle, or a disguised gun of some sort.
The premise, however, is great for political grandstanding. Case in point, there is a state attorney that is also suing the Trump administration for making the settlement with the guy that started this whole thing out of Texas. In addition, their lawsuit asks for a nationwide temporary restraining order that’ll prevent him from uploading the gun design files online.
Last week, attorney’s general from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the city of Los Angeles also threatened legal action in an effort to ban access to the guys’ website in their local jurisdictions.
My point is; 3D gun printing is here and possible but this is not a bell we should be ringing in celebration of freedom. Don’t give the anti-freedom people a rope to hang us with using the support of the ignorant.
This video is pretty snazzy. And makes some points that I agree with and disagree with.
What do you think?
This week on the Black Man With A Gun Show Podcast ends a month long break I took to reassess and reflect on my success and failures of blogging and podcasting. I attended the Podcast Movement and hobnobbed with successful podcasters and Content Creators. I got a chance to remember why I do this thing that my wife still doesn’t understand called “podcasting.” She is not alone though.
I plan to be more purposeful with the show. It even starts with a new tag line, which is “The Responsible Gun Owners Podcast.” I have decided to “stay in my lane,” and be the common sense guy. That alone ought to ruffle feathers the way things are now.
Last week, I married a couple of great people under the Speak Life Church banner at Duke University Chapel but before going to Podcast Movement. Michael J. Woodland reviews the Break Thru Clean product for us.
Get the book, patch or keychain here: