I don’t particularly care for guns. The first and last one I fired was a .22 rifle when I was 12 years old, at Camp Friendship summer camp in Virginia. I happen to be the sort that believes the world would be safer with fewer guns, not more.
But regardless of one’s political affiliation, there’s plenty to consider with the reported advent of a 3-D printed gun. The Texas-based Defense Distributed today claims to have produced the first fully 3D-printable pistol, report several outlets. (Forbes.com nabbed a picture.)
Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed’s founder, is a University of Texas law student. As Forbes puts it:
“Wilson’s group has sought to make as many components of a gun as possible into printable blueprints and to host those controversial files online, thwarting gun laws and blurring the lines between the regulation of firearms and information censorship. So far those pieces have included high capacity ammunition magazines for AR-15s and AK-47s, as well as an AR lower receiver, the body of that semi-automatic rifle to which off-the-shelf components like a stock and barrel can be attached.”
For now, the idea of a 3-D printed gun may just seem like a curio. But 3-D printing is becoming democratized. The technology is becoming cheaper, going mainstream even: you can get one at Staples, for $1,300. “One day every home may have one,” reckons the Guardian.
Once people own the means of production of guns in their homes, it will be all the easier for folks to acquire them, obviously. Forget that the efforts to create more stringent background checks failed in the Senate; the question may be altogether moot, one all it takes is a stray CAD file and the family’s 3-D printer.