Several people have sent us this story. I’ve seen it everywhere. A lot of people are upset, on several sides. A gun has been 3d printed that can actually fire a round.
First, we have people scared that this will bring undetectable guns to people who wouldn’t have had access before. Then we have the gun fans that are reacting to the others with shouts of freedom and liberty and stuff. The 3d printing community has had mixed reactions, but many are concerned that this will harm 3d printing in general.
I simply don’t care.
It isn’t that I’m apathetic to people who are victims of gun violence. It isn’t that I’m apathetic about “gun rights”. I just think that this specific event makes no difference at all. It is intriguing in the aspect that it is yet another “First!” for the 3d printer community, but beyond that I don’t care, keep the “firsts” coming.
Here are the different points that I have heard brought up.
1. Accessibility: People are concerned that guns will now end up in the hands of people who couldn’t have gotten them before.
I really don’t think this is a legitimate concern. You’ll note the machine that printed that gun. It wasn’t your average reprap. It cost as much as a small house. If you can afford that printer? You could afford a gun. Lets just pretend your average reprap could print that gun though. Again, you’re going to have to either buy or build one. At this point, you would have been capable of just buying a gun or… building one.
I guess you could go use a friend’s printer to print your gun, but would that really be any more common than taking another person’s gun?
2. Printing restrictions and Legislation: 3d printer fans are scared that laws will be made that will stop them from printing things.
Do you own a lathe? A mill? You know you can make BETTER guns with those? That’s how the gun companies make them! It’s like you have a gun factory in your home! Actually, now that I think of it, they’re using .22 rimfire which can be fired in a pipe with a cap and a nail! How are hardware stores not illegal?
Listen, if they tell me I can’t print gun shaped things, I’ll probably print one just for spite. They aren’t going to enforce such a silly law, it would be impossible. They can’t even build anything into the system like scanners that can’t scan money. Guns are too diverse and can be made from basic geometry.
3. Anti-Gun legislation: This may be used to push laws that limit firearms in some way.
Anti-gun legislation has so much gun violence to use as a foundation that a slight change in manufacturing really is a drop in the bucket. This won’t change their ability to restrict things. At least, I don’t think it will.
4. A legitimate concern: Detectability.
The only real issue I see here is that a 3d printed gun wouldn’t be detectable by metal detectors. Bullets are though aren’t they?
These are my opinions on the 3d printed gun. I’m not delving into gun control in general. Since these are opinions, they will most likely be ill-informed and incomplete. Feel free to participate in a civil discussion on the topic.
If you’re curious about whether I personally have a gun, I do not. I think I’m too clumsy to own a firearm. I am fairly sure I’d accidentally shoot someone when I did something stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I do dangerous things. Stupid, dangerous things.