The Printable Gun: Should We Even Care?

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When I first heard that files would be made available online which would allow people to print guns on 3D Plastic printers, I shared the alarm and anger felt by most people around the country.  What makes this situation very different and scary are that we can now download and ‘print’ an actual gun, and given that the files are on the internet, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the downloads could go ‘Viral’.  It’s only natural then to imagine a headline which would scare any rational person in the room:  “Millions Download Gun Files In First 24 Hours.”  It brings to mind a society in which mentally ill people, violent offenders and other convicted felons could be walking the streets with loaded and ready-to-shoot 3D printed guns hidden in their coats.

But a closer look points to a different reality.  Once I read more about the finished products themselves, the guns didn’t seem as threatening as they first appeared. Since they’re produced by a 3D Plastic printer, they’re made of a brittle plastic that was never designed for use in firearms.  After just a few shots, many of these guns have shattered under the explosive force of a bullet being fired from its chamber.  The guns only fire one shot and it isn’t accurate at all.  It has a stubby barrel without rifling so the bullet tumbles out-of-control after it exits the barrel, making it much less accurate than even a 17th century musket firing a non-tumbling ball.  If the files are once again made available to the public, what they’ll get is a gun that can blow up in the hands of the user, is so inaccurate that it’s useless for any kind of sport shooting, and because it can only fire a single (inaccurate) shot it’s virtually useless for personal protection.

So why bother? How can this weapon be good for anything at all?

Much has been made of the fact that it’s invisible to metal detectors, and this is true to a degree.  Cody Wilson, the designer of the gun and CEO of Defense Distributed, has in fact complied with a US law requiring a certain amount of metal to be present in any gun to make them ‘visible’ to metal detectors.  In the case of the Liberator gun, the metal part is not actually needed to fire the weapon. It’s just a block of steel inserted into the plastic structure to make the weapon compliant.  Any maker of the gun can and probably will choose not to put the non-critical block of metal inside the gun.   The only metal part the gun actually requires to be functional is a firing pin, which in this case is nothing but a common nail.  Nails are so common that they would probably never arouse suspicion when pinged by a metal detector. The gun can definitely be invisible to metal detectors… just as long as the firing pin is uninstalled.  X-Ray security points don’t seem to offer much of a challenge.  When assembled, it looks like a gun and would definitely be spotted by X-Ray scanners.  It would be a simple matter to assemble the weapon in a restroom stall once its randomly shaped and hard-to-recognize parts were already transported past an X-Ray security point.

A very persistent problem still remains however:  How to get a round of ammunition into a secured area guarded by metal detectors?  Bullets, casings and primers are still made of metal, so any would-be villain would still need to find a solution to this dilemma.  To summarize, it’s a weapon which really doesn’t seem all that great, even for nefarious purposes.   While it can evade an X-ray scanner when disassembled, it can only marginally get past a metal detector, but it only fires a single shot which is highly inaccurate, and it could injure the user by blowing itself to pieces when fired.  I think the most troubling aspect in the public mind about this gun is that it’s a free download which can be printed at home. But the gun itself has so many shortcomings it’s a wonder why Cody Wilson even bothers with it.

Put mildly, the weapon seems like a piece of junk.

Yet there’s one thing which bothers me about it.  The gun has so many shortcomings that it seems on the surface to have no effective purpose. In fact it actually does.  Hiding below the surface is something very insidious, something no rational person would ever naturally consider.

Forget secured areas, metal detectors and X-ray scanners. Picture an outdoor venue where a candidate is on the campaign trail shaking hands with supporters.  Picture a person walking up from behind, raising the plastic gun and firing at point blank range.  No gun needs accuracy if fired only inches from a person’s head, and a bullet tumbling chaotically through soft tissue would practically guarantee the death of a targeted person.  I personally see this gun as nothing but an assassin’s weapon.  By accident or design, it seems to have no other purpose but to commit murder at close range.  It would take a crazy person to use one in this manner, but here in America, we prove daily that there are no shortages of crazy people who murder people with guns.

I believe we do need to care. And we do need to worry.  Not just about this gun, but about the twisted mentality behind it.

In the United States, many people think the 2nd Amendment to our constitution is under siege because the rest of us want common sense gun legislation.  I am one of those people.  I share the opinion of many that there’s an obvious connection between the ease at which a US citizen can acquire nearly military-grade firepower and the frequency and severity of the mass shootings and murders in our country.  People who don’t hold this opinion nearly always take a militant stance against those who do.  They have the viewpoint that owning firearms – any firearm – is not only their constitutional right, but it’s what defines them as ‘being American’.  By extension, they feel that anyone who works to diminish their right in any way, no matter how slight, must be Un-American, and even (in the minds of some) to be enemies of the state. This mindset doesn’t begin or end with the 2nd Amendment. I could be talking about any of the bitterly divisive issues tearing our nation apart today.  Half the people in America wish to preserve the ideals of our founding fathers, while the other half wants to tear them down with fear, hate and intimidation.

I wonder about the inventor of The Liberator, Cody Wilson, and what he was thinking about when he devised a weapon which seems to have murder as its only effective purpose.  I wonder also why he chose to call his weapon ‘The Liberator’.  Was it just a catchy name?  Or was he thinking that these guns, through use by random downloaders, would somehow liberate its users from something? If so, what would it liberate them from? Ideals or principles?  Or maybe people with opposing political beliefs.

I would love to hear him explain it.  What possible reason could there have been to invent an assassin’s tool and make it free to any person on the internet who wants it?

Today, August 10, 2018 the deadline will expire and a judge will have to reconsider the hold on these files.  Let’s hope common sense will prevail.

 

24 comments

  1. Salutary warning.
    If someone pushes one of these devices into your face you will not thinking about the odds as to whether it works or not.
    In addition I am always suspicious of someone who tries to wrap an offensive or dangerous act in a veneer of liberty or personal freedom.

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    1. Hello Roger, nice to hear from you again! 🙂

      You are correct, and I definitely wouldn’t want to have one of these plastic guns pointed at me. After all my edits, I left a line out which acknowledged that fact.

      You said, “…I am always suspicious of someone who tries to wrap an offensive or dangerous act in a veneer of liberty or personal freedom.” I am as well, and my opinion of Cody Wilson is not a flattering one. Sadly, It goes much farther than that here in America these days… specifically, with our ultra-patriotism.

      I’m 57 years old, and for as long as I can remember, patriotism has always been considered an important part of ‘being American.’ When I was just a young kid in elementary school, we were required to recite our ‘Pledge Of Allegiance’ every morning before lessons began, standing up, facing our flag, with our hands over our hearts. At least in my era, this is how patriotism began with folks my age. Most of us didn’t really understand it all, but we were made to think that the USA was the greatest country on earth. As children, we accepted it just as much as we accepted other things adults told us, such as 2+2 = 4. Even in our music classes, the patriotic sell was on — we were required to sing songs such as ‘You’re A Grand Old Flag’, ‘The Battle Hymn Of The Republic’, America The Beautiful’ and of course, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ (our National Anthem.)

      Looking back, I find it all sickening. I think some patriotism is a good thing because it would be hard to defend one’s country with troops who didn’t believe in the cause. But proclaiming the USA to be the greatest country on earth? I just never bought it. I like to think the USA is a great nation which SHARES THIS PLANET with plenty of other great nations that are full of great people. Seems to me that we Yanks could get along a lot better with the world if we all felt that way. The truth is that so many Americans never got past the patriotism we were force-fed when we were little kids. The easiest way to gain acceptance among far too many people in the USA is to wear the stars and stripes ultra-proudly, salute our flag as visibly as possible in front of the largest group of people available and make sure to ridicule anyone who dares criticize our country.

      It has become terrible in the states with this flawed line of thinking. The party on the right — the Republican Party — has internalized the idea that without question, the USA is the very best there is. They’ve taken it to extreme levels and now, the American flag and other patriotic symbols have become vehicles for their nationalism, racism and hatred. All these displays are for show only. They’re weeds with huge root systems attached — but they’re not about being American. Once upon a time, if someone displayed the flag from one’s home, it was no big deal. In our present time, it’s immediately suspect. One can comfortably bet his last dollar that front yard displays of patriotism beyond single flags mean the homes belongs to Trump-supporting bigots. It simply makes me want to vomit. I’m proud to be a Democrat who can think for himself. I’d rather have an intestinal flu virus for the rest of my life than to be a Republican.

      It’s sad how people can think this way. If you read our constitution and understand its words, it’s easy to see that America — as our founders originally envisioned it — is worth preserving. The only way to preserve it is to steer it back the other way when it sometimes veers off track. True ‘patriots’ are unafraid to criticize their own country. They know it’s the only way to fix things. The problem we have is that so many of our citizens happen to like the way our country is going because it suits them just fine… and they have no interest in ‘fixing’ it.

      Kind of a long reply Roger, but my fingers took on a life of their own on my keyboard. I do appreciate your comments because they help me think, and within this reply might be the seeds of a new article addressing this subject if I can ever spare a moment of time. You’re a Brit and I love ‘ya, just for that. I love that our two countries have ‘been there’ for each other for so many years. Once Trump is no longer making America ashamed, maybe your country men and women will respect us Yanks again. We have a long way to go.

      Take care, have to leave now and go make someone else rich! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi there.
        Firstly, thanks for your kind words and sentiments.
        I can understand how you feel, right now being in despair over this nation with folk thinking Brexit is the answer to everything and being upset because it’s not going their way….Did they really think all the other European states were going to play nice? Oh the naivety!
        Anyway, speaking from outside of the USA and being something of a history browser.
        From a cultural and historical point of view, the patriotic approach within the USA has a line of logic to it. Young nation, originally feeling threatened by foreign powers, having decided not to have an ‘Official State Religion’ and looking to limit central government would tend to bond together under the concept of ‘The People’ and ‘The Nation’. When it came for the USA’s turn to be a ‘big power’ and confronted by other ‘big powers’ (WWII, Cold War) this would get a new lease of life. Nothing new really, take a look at the’ Rise of Great Britain’, ‘The Glory of France’; ‘Holy Mother Russia’ (communists being subtle to appropriate that at times of crisis); ‘The Formation of Germany as One State’, all had their time on the stage; woebetide anyone who was not seen to be patriotic!
        So from 1950s USA- Big Kid on the Bloc. Now the rule is in world politics that a BIG nation is a bad nation as far as everyone else is concerned. Never mind what USSR or China got up to, let’s blame the USA for everything! (We Brits had it in the 19th Century). This of course brings out a defensive mechanism, wagons get circled. Odd ironies come into play. Second-rate folk who can scream patriot get more attention than they are due. And the situation is not helped by some hand-wringing on the other side and trying to apologise for everything American……Guys…Take it from me, you’re not that bad…You have a quota of loud a/holes, that’s all.
        This is a bad time for the USA, thanks to the shallow end of the media, a surfeit of Conspiracy BS and the culture wars, AND out of date Electoral College you have the most inept and unqualified creature slouched there in the Whitehouse, I mean this guy makes Millard Filmore look competent. Well it won’t be the first time an idiot has been in charge…take a look at European history, any era, any direction.
        Thus the USA, its vibrant culture, its ever shifting demographic, its urge to ‘Do’, its openness to opportunity (ask many a struggling UK author which market they prefer to try their luck on) and its vast variety still has much to offer the world.
        There is a danger, every country has a danger, a crossroads. You have reached one of yours. You got lucky with the 19th Civil War. The next challenge is even bigger, the transition from White Male dominance. Good luck folks and read history, not just USA history. It’s all there.
        Wow, my fingers ran away too!
        Best wishes you guys
        Roger (hard-left socialist, catholic, family-man, and writer)
        UK ✊✊

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      2. Good comment, OhioRealist. You have hit the patriotism nail flush on the head. Unfortunately most Americans are wearing hardhats, and did not feel a thing. There are many folk in the USA who feel what you have just put into words, but the brainwashing goes so deep they don’t see it as a real problem, or not a “now” problem. It makes me very happy to hear a “real American” not only say it, but mean it.
        My problem, being from Canada, is thst a large number of Canadians are starting to put the red maple lesf in their front yards, moreso now than before the Dumpy Trickster came along. More white Canadians are starting to talk like Trump and his Trum-Pets. We have our own racism problems, and have had since Europeans started coming to this land–especially where aboriginal folk are concerned–but now racism is coming out of the woodwork, and we are proving to be no better than Americans. We can no longer say that we are a nicer, more peaceful people than you, which means we never were, we just pretended better.
        Together, we are a continent of racists (excluding Mexico, I hope) and maybe it is time to join forces in combating our “oh so superior” citizens. We stole this land. It is about time to make it what it already was before Columbus, a relatively peaceful country where different nations st least fought with honour, when they did fight. There is no honour in using a gun, especially a plastic gun printed off the internet.

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      3. Great to hear from you Sir! A pleasure to be talking with one of our neighbors to the north! Just wanted to tell you that I will type a better reply once I get caught up on things around here. (In addition to working and doing my best to co-write this blog, I’m caring for two members of my family and time runs short by the end of the day.)

        I’m glad you wrote in… your comments are right on the money. Glad to know there are sensible people in Canada (I would not have thought otherwise.) Anyway… we love Canada and we go there frequently… we have the greatest respect for you folks!

        Take care for now and I’ll type more when I can!

        PS — We’re a new blog and we have great ambitions, but it will take some time to get where we want to be. Please feel free to follow us if you like and most importantly, feel free to join in any conversation you wish! Thanks again!

        — Greg / OhioRealist

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      4. Write when you can. I will read your posts when I can. You have an interesting way of looking at things, and I hope your new blog is a success.
        My own blog is about spiritual atheism, and is based on my life experiences, and little else. I look inside myself for my understanding, I try not to be too influenced by others either positively or negatively. I dedicated my life to finding “my way,” and that is what I am still trying to do. For better or worse, I wanted to bring a new perspective on life to the world, and now I am in the process of transferring my thoughts to (virtual) paper.
        Have a look if you care to: rawgodsspiritualatheism.wordpress.com
        jerry

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    2. Hi again Roger! 🙂

      I’m amazed by your spot-on knowledge of what’s going on in the states now, and by your knowledge of world history in general. (I want to sympathize about your Brexit situation. I don’t know as much about it as you obviously know about the USA’s situation, but I recognized the same type of ‘wave’ that pushed it through that we had pushing Trump through… and I knew that itself wasn’t a good thing.) I have a couple of email friends who live in Coventry, and they wrote me the morning after and they were just devastated — and I sure remember how our ‘morning after’ was with Trump as our new President-elect.)

      Anyway… thanks for digging deep and finding some compliments for America… I appreciate them, and they remind me that we really have some good people here (but I never forget the big problems we have as well.)

      In this information age, we have some major problems — not just in the USA, but in every country whose citizens are connected to social media. The biggest problem I believe facing humanity is the speed and pervasiveness of conspiracy theories on social media platforms. We are believing the wrong things, and the wrong things cause us to take the wrong courses of action. Conspiracy theories, as I’m sure know, wear suites of armor against logic and common sense, specifically where dissent and dissenters are simply dismissed as being part of the ongoing conspiracy. This has a nasty side effect. Any argument against the conspiracy theory only tends to strengthen the theory in the mind of the believer… and that is SO bad.

      This is a kind of leap, but I ran across something years ago called ‘Fermi’s Paradox’ which was a way to explain why we never hear radio signals by aliens from other planets, given that there are untold trillions of stars in the universe (many of which presumably support life such as our own.) It offers as one explanation that every technologically advanced civilization will eventually render itself extinct — and it was always easy to understand that with the possibility of nuclear holocaust as one ending of our own species on earth. Now however, I’m beginning to think there’s another one. It’s the rise of the conspiracy theories on social media in our world. I think it may already be happening. Just one quick example: Global warming is very real, but so many people on our political right in this country believe that it’s all a conspiracy theory created by Liberals and scientists who are being paid off…. and meanwhile, we are killing our planet. We may not need nuclear bombs to wipe out life in our world… worldwide ignorance will suffice.

      I see things this way because presently, conspiracy theories are running rampant in the USA, and I can easily connect the dots and get see the picture which emerges… and it’s a scary one.

      I hate to leave on a down note, so I would like to say that hope remains… though we do have to hurry if we’re to rescue ourselves from ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Again.
        Thanks once more for your kind words.
        It might have been the number of tv westerns, it might have been the Hanna-Barbera cartoons in my pre-teens or maybe MAD magazine, american SF writers and the US music of the 60s in my teens which had me hooked upon the USA, its many cultures, the political system and its overall fresher outlook. But to use the phrase ‘as long as I can remember’ the USA has held my attention, ‘warts and all’. And now as I rumble into my late 60s much to my delight and thanks to WP it’s possible to communicate with all sorts of folk ‘across’ the pond. (One of my secret pleasures is to declare my far-left political views and be supportive of Americans in general- it’s not supposed to be that way….tee-hee, it does confuse my more intense fellow brits).
        I am with you all the way on Conspiracy Theories, if it wasn’t for such outrages as that creature Alex Jones and his SandyHook BS I might find them amusing, but they are a great menace with their foolish nonsense. They cannot accept the random element of Life and they do so want to appear superior to the rest of us. One of your astute but very acerbic writers Ex-DA Vincent Bugliosi (now deceased) in his book ‘Reclaiming History’-which explains WHY it was Lee Harvey Oswald who shot JFK and WHY Jack Ruby shot Oswald- decries these folk for polluting the belief in History as it happened and thus undermining faith in systems as a whole. Well we can see that was one of the reasons the odious Trump became president (by a minority let us not forget).
        The Fermi Paradox is fascinating and much has been written about it (including arguments that it wasn’t Fermi in the first place). I have too many interests than is good for my brain; one being cosmology. When you get down to dealing with the numbers of stars, etc and the distances involved and the number of unanswered questions , I guess it comes down to ‘We don’t know enough yet’ maybe we never will; maybe all the possible answers are taking (or have taken place) so perhaps that’s why we don’t meet anyone. It’s great to speculate though.
        One great comfort I have from thinking about the vastness of Creation through Time and Space, is that all these self-aggrandising oafs who huff and puff about the place and think themselves so wonderful, in the scheme of things…what are they……nothing, not even a speck. Imagine telling that to an egotist like Trump, that in a thousand years or so even on just this planet….who will care..gone…dust!
        A pleasure to be ‘talking’ with you.
        Take care you guys.
        Best wishes for the mid-terms
        Roger

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Roger! You continue to amaze me! I ran out of writing time before work this morning, so this is just to let you know I’ll type a worthy reply later today or in the next day or two. Take care for now and keep on being awesome! 🙂

        Thanks!!

        — Greg

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      3. Hi Greg.
        Happy to be writing back and forth across the pond and exchanging ideas and views.
        Being 67 and retired, in theory I have lots of time to write, although as every who retires discovers…..’How did I get to find the time to work?????’ 😄
        All the best
        Roger

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      4. Good Morning once again Roger!

        At age 57, I’m 10 years your junior but I’ve probably watched the same TV Westerns and Hanna-Barbera cartoons as you… and I would ride my bicycle to the corner store every month for the latest issue of MAD magazine! Well, I’m glad you like America of course… Thanks! 🙂 To give some of that back to you, I’m English on my mother’s side, and I grew up listening to both her and my grandparents telling me stories of how tough and resilient the Brits were during WW2, when they alone stopped the Nazi war machine in the Summer of 1940, when nobody thought they could be stopped. I grew up with an admiration for you Brits which I still have to this day. Although our countries had a rocky start, we’ve been with each other ever since through thick and thin. I hope to visit the UK someday, although I’m quickly running out of ‘somedays’.

        I’m also amazed we can ‘talk’ to each other across the pond, and that’s one aspect of the internet I definitely enjoy. In a way, I’ve never gotten over it… it’s sort of a modern miracle… I type words onto a screen, I hit a ‘send’ key and an instant later, my words land on your screen, thousands of miles from my own. I have great problems with social media platforms (which will be future subjects for writing) but I love how we can communicate with friends on other continents!

        I’ve read quite a bit about cosmology over the years, and if I ever get to retire from my job, I hope to read even more about it someday. I enjoy the subject because for me, it puts everything in a more proper perspective. In the end it leads me to the conclusion that Earth is our only home and it’s up to us to take care of it. If we kill the earth or only ourselves, it really won’t matter in the big picture. The earth will still orbit the sun as it always did, but just as a lifeless world instead. And our sun is nothing but a typical star, one of about 250 billion other stars in our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of about 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe. Our universe is large enough where the death of a species on one particular world orbit one particular star in one particular galaxy certainly won’t be noticed or cared about. This face puts a huge responsibility on us to take care of our world — that’s how I see it — which is why climate change deniers and those who think climate change is a conspiracy are the worst kinds of people to me.

        I’m agnostic on most days, and full-blown atheist on a few days, depending on how I feel (It all boils down to definitions.) I hope none of that alarms you, but it’s the way I feel and until something comes along to make me feel otherwise, it’s the ball I have to run with. One of the nice things about being agnostic is that it allows for uncertainty, and the ability to say, “Well, I could be wrong about this.” And it’s true because the first thing I admit is that I don’t know. I mention this because I can’t resist leaving you with a video passage of Carl Sagan reading from his book, ‘A Pale Blue Dot’, with the theme music from his ‘Cosmos’ series running in the background. Sagan was an atheist and a person who passionately believed in caring for our world. Here it is… let me know if you enjoy it! Take Care Roger!

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  2. There is another issue with this 3D printed gun. Once the design is out there, it becomes ‘open source’ and the hallmark of open source designs is that they are meant to be refined and improved upon. This assassin’s weapon as you call it, is just the beginning and unfortunately, it will make guns more readily available in other countries where gun control is much more stringent. :/

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    1. Greetings acflory! Nice to hear from Australia! (How I do envy your citizens’ attitudes about guns & your common-sense gun laws. We could learn so much from the Aussies if our lawmakers would only open their eyes and clean the wax from their ears!)

      You are so correct. I didn’t mention that point in the final version simply because my article was getting to be book-length already, but in all my edits… that point was in there. Call it an oversight — a simple sentence or two could’ve kept it in there. Glad you brought it up, because it’s an important point. Yes, the genie is out of the lamp now, and no way will it ever go back in. This fool whom I’m embarrassed to admit is a fellow American not only did America a disservice with his actions, but also the world. Excuse my language, but what an ass (at least in my opinion.) People all around the globe will now take his idea and tweak it, and other more effective guns will no doubt be the result.

      It’s amazing the kinds of people there are in this world. In reading about plastic printers, I’ve come across people who’ve designed a plastic trachea for an infant who was born without a natural one, and people who’ve 3D printed a brand new shell for an injured tortoise, and a new beak for a bald eagle, and so many other people who’ve designed and printed new hands and other prosthetics for people who’ve been seriously injured in accidents…. all of which proves what a wonderful technology it is if used in a responsible way. And yet in my country, we have this pathetic little man who took it upon himself to use 3D printing to make a new way to kill people. It’s revolting, nauseating, disgusting… all of those things put together.

      Our primary reason for starting this blog was to convince undecided American voters to think about the consequences of irresponsible votes in our elections, to hopefully never again elect another moron like Donald Trump. I guess that means our target audience are American voters, but we’re eager for any dialogue from anyone who wants to comment — so thanks very much for commenting here, acflory — please feel free to add your opinions anytime! Take Care! 🙂 –Greg / OhioRealist

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      1. Hi Greg. I think you are all doing a great job of bringing important issues to people’s attention. Sadly, Australia is not completely free of guns or gun related violence. Just recently we’ve had a couple of shocking cases that serve to reinforce the need for continued gun regulation.

        And I agree completely about the benefits of 3D printing. I’ve loved the concept from the first time I learned about it. I guess we can safely say that 99.999999% of 3D printed items are of benefit to people or the world in general. But human nature just can’t let a good thing continue without finding something bad to do with it.
        All the best and I hope you get the message across, loud and clear. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well Thanks so much Meeka! (Is that your name, Meeka?) I appreciate your comments and your input! I suppose no country is perfect… even Australia may have some problems here and there. Even still, you folks are light-years ahead of the USA in terms of your overall attitude about guns, and are worthy of praise. At the bottom of this reply, I’ve linked an article about your 1996 massacre which examines your success at gun control legislation but also how you’ve dropped back a bit. Even still… you folks have the right idea. Glad to hear citizens like you recognize the need to keep after it!

        Thanks for commenting! Please feel welcome to chime in anytime here! — Greg

        Here’s that article:
        https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/australia-gun-control/541710/

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      3. That’s a good article, thank you. And yes, Meeka or Meeks is the name I prefer. It’s just a nickname but it feels more like ‘me’ than my real name.

        Australia isn’t completely gun free, but you have to have a damn good reason to own one. And, of course, they do come in via the black market, but we’ve managed to almost eliminate the kind of gun violence where a nutter walks into a public place and uses people for target practice. We’ll never end violence, but we’ve made it a lot harder. The US will get there too. So many people want change, it has to happen eventually.

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  3. An excellent, thoughtful and informative post! Great comments, too! My fear is that, while these tools may not yet be viable for much other than, as you say, close-range assassinations, there will always be those who will work toward improving them, and over time they will likely succeed. My own personal opinion, shared by very few people, is that since people in this nation have proven time and time again that they cannot be responsible gun owners, I would have no problem repealing the 2nd Amendment altogether. However, I am a realist and know that will never happen. Look how hard it is just to ban military grade assault weapons that were NEVER intended for civilian use! Why, you would think we were trying to take their firstborn from them! In fact, I did a post a while back about a couple who, when given a choice by Children’s Protective Services between their guns or their kids, refused to give up their guns and their children were taken from them!

    I have been contemplating writing a post about these 3D printable guns and had done a bit of research into the technology, but since I hadn’t managed it yet, and you have done a terrific job with this one, I shall re-blog! Many thanks!

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    1. Thanks Much Jill, not just for your great comments but for the re-blog! (We can definitely use the exposure!!!) Yes, feel free to re-blog anything you see on our site, should it move you that way!

      I wish we didn’t live in a world where folks feel the need to protect themselves with a firearm. I work in a county which is known for having more meth labs than in any other county in the USA (whether that’s true or not, I’ve not bothered to verify.) For some people, I *reluctantly* concede there may a benefit to owning a personal gun for protection who live in areas where the violent crime rate is high, and who genuinely believe their lives are at risk. I also recognize some people are terrified by people who are stalking them (for example, domestic abusers and ex-partners who can’t accept rejection, etc.) In these cases, having a gun may provide genuine protection against those who would selfishly murder a whole family before turning the gun on themselves. So… I can see a credible reason for some folks to own a gun, though I may wish it were otherwise. And of course — I guess — if people really want to hunt, I guess that’s okay too… we can’t get away from that. By all means, I guess folks should be able to have a 30.06 rifle or a shotgun (even though hunting is not my personal cup of tea.)

      I’m a realist too… and I agree with you. Guns are truly here to stay in America. But do we need to have the types of firepower that we have?? And what’s so danged wrong about common sense gun control measures?

      I don’t see ANY reason to own the some of the types of firearms which are available to us in the USA! When I said that I agree that a personal gun could offer some self-defense in certain situations, I meant a handgun capable of firing more than one round… maybe 6 or 7? Okay… I do see the practicality there. But there is simply no genuine reason for weapons such as the AR-15, none at all. If you press a rabid gun owner enough, he or she will soon admit that the ‘reason’ they must have guns of this nature is to “protect our country against tyranny” — and that’s just silly and unrealistic fantasy on their part. While that may have been true in 1776 when citizens had the same black powder muzzle loading muskets as the government, it’s all BS now. I once was in a discussion online with an angry gun owner after the Sandy Hook massacre and I asked him just how he thought he could use his AR-15 to defend against a tyrannical government which had tanks, aircraft, guided missiles and bunker-busting bombs. He very angrily told me, ‘Well, sooner or later ‘ya gotta climb out of the tank, and that’s when we’ll get ‘ya!!” (Good Lord.) That’s what we’re dealing with here. There is no arguing with them. These people vote and elect leaders like Donald Trump.

      It’s a huge problem. I hope it’s within the capacity of the USA to arrive at a solution.

      All we can do is try to make sense of it all for good people who are legitimately in the dark about these things, and that’s what my buddy and I are trying to do with this blog. All of us need to become passionately engaged if we’re to restore sanity to our government and our policies.

      Thanks again Jill for the re-blog and for your wonderful comments and praise! Take care and please comment anytime… you are always welcome here! 🙂

      Greg / OhioRealist

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is always my pleasure to share yours and Jeff’s work … you guys are doing a terrific job and the more people we can all reach, the better, for your goals and mine are much the same.

        The inane love of guns in this country is beyond belief. When I look at our gun deaths in a year as compared to those of other countries that have relatively strict gun laws, the numbers speak for themselves. Probably 25%-30% of my readers are in the UK, EU, and Australia, where there are strict laws and guns in the hands of civilians is almost unheard of, and the people are quite satisfied to have it so. Especially, I think, after they look at the U.S. and say, “No way do we want to live like that!” I’m with you on the automatic weapons. They cannot claim they want them for hunting, for it would shred the animal! And the self-defense argument falls down, for it is rare that a mob invades one’s home in the middle of the night searching for valuables, so a simple 6-shooter ought to be plenty. I have a friend whose brother-in-law literally has an arsenal taking up an entire room in his home, claiming that he will need them to protect against the government. Your argument to that is spot on, but … they don’t listen. Might as well talk to my cat … no wait … he has more sense!!!

        Thanks again for your excellent work!

        Like

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    For a couple of weeks now, I have been contemplating a post about the new concept of 3D printable guns. The concept disturbs me greatly, but as yet I was still in the process of researching the technology to better understand it. Meanwhile, tonight I came across a terrific post by fellow-blogger On The Fence Voters, aka Greg, and decided not to re-invent the wheel, especially as Greg has done an excellent job of explaining what they are and whether we should worry … or not. Please take a minute to read this informative and thoughtful post, and also check out the comments, for there is much more food for thought there. Thank you, Greg, for implied permission to re-blog and for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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