People can now print guns and the implications for American firearm policy are huge.
This news might not seem to be a major pivot, but I foresee the advent of printable weapons magnifying the underlying problem with new gun control laws like the ones that recently failed to get anywhere in congress.
For the record, I personally do not own a gun and don't feel comfortable keeping one in my house. As a city dweller I won't be chasing off wild animals, and as a resident of South Florida, where everyone has a gun, I'd like to avoid any exchange of gunfire.
That being stated, we have in our founding documents a right to bear arms, and baring amendment, this is the law. At times, it may seem antiquated, as people like Bill Maher often argue. And I do agree that the firepower disparity between the public and the military makes the point (that the 2nd Amendment exists as a safeguard against government tyranny) nearly moot.
But then again, one cannot fail to consider the resistance put up in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last third of my life, and with weapons inferior to what an average American could buy, make, or presently, print.
One argument that most
Our current and rather lax laws were unenforceable even before this 3-D printer thingy was invented. Illegal arms not only existed but were the source for between 40% - 80% of arms used in crime, according to how you interpret this Justice Department report*.
And sooner than we think illegal arms dealers will only need to worry about smuggling printers rather than arms, as technology always, always gets cheaper and better with time. So what do we do to reduce unnecessary death and violence?
Transparency would help (and always does, I think). Deterrents seldom deter those who are unaware of them. We need to make it clear that guns are here to stay, both practically and in principle, for a long time.
That means the left must give up its fantasy of a gun-free world, and the right needs to practice what they preach about owner responsibility and stop waving shotguns around like American flags.
The power to kill each other should not be a point of pride, but rather an imperfection in humanity that we just have to accept, not unlike belly buttons... and neither are going away anytime soon.
Let's devise a less political and more reality-based way to keep weapons away from the dangerous and then move the fuck on. The time and energy wasted by the gun debate (on full display at the recent NRA convention) could be better spent on problems we might actually be able to solve.
*This appears to be the most recent data that is also easily accessible. Please correct me with fresher facts if you feel these 1997 figures are not representative.