90 Miles From Tyranny : 3-D Printed Guns Are A Reminder That Gun Control In America Is Futile

Thursday, August 2, 2018

3-D Printed Guns Are A Reminder That Gun Control In America Is Futile

An American’s ability to build a firearm is limited only by his or her ingenuity, and we are an ingenious people.

In case you missed it, Americans are up against yet another imminent doomsday scenario. If you weren’t already killed off by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, or by the Trump tax cuts, or by the repeal of net neutrality, or by Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, we’re now told that you will certainly be killed by 3-D printed firearms.

In 2013, Cody Wilson and an organization called Defense Distributed released plans for the first fully 3-D printable gun: The Liberator. The design was named after the eponymous sheet metal pistol that the Allies airdropped behind enemy lines during WWII to arm resistance fighters. That gun was crudely made and unreliable, but it was far more successful as a propaganda point. In Nazi-controlled France, where private gun ownership was illegal, anyone could secretly have a gun. Even worse, they could use that gun to get their hands on a better gun.

Wilson’s plan was similar. Outside the Defense Distributed headquarters, Wilson is installing a tombstone etched with the words “American Gun Control.” The point is well taken. As gun control advocates look for new ways to chip away at the protections guaranteed in the Second Amendment, the Liberator undermines all of that. How can gun control possibly work when Americans can use a 3-D printer — now available for as low as $100 — to build their own firearms in the comfort of their homes?

The Obama administration used an obscure regulation governing military arms exports to force the Liberator designs off the internet. They reasoned that sharing the blueprint to build a gun online, where it could be downloaded by anyone on earth, was just as dangerous as exporting a machine gun or missile launcher overseas. But the fact that not one Liberator has been used in a crime, despite being downloaded over 100,000 times, should tell you all you need to know about the “risk” these designs pose.

The thought of Americans building their own guns may seem terrifying, but the truth is that homemade guns are as American as apple pie. When the American colonists declared independence against Great Britain, they faced a serious shortage of firearms. They scrambled to seize as many caches in the early days of the war as they could, but quickly found themselves outgunned by Britain’s well-oiled supply chains. That is, in part, why the colonies relied so heavily on militiamen. The militia was expected to show up for service with their own personal muskets or rifles, so there was no need for the colonial army to arm them.

The Continental Army would capture weapons and import them from overseas when they could, but they needed to source them domestically. The Continental Congress founded the Springfield Armory in 1777 and relied on a network of smaller gunsmiths scattered across the colonies to meet the army’s needs. Without that gunsmithing knowledge, the American Revolution could not have...Read More HERE

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