If you've been paying attention to the news at all for the last few years, you likely have heard about 3D printed guns. If you were to believe the news, you can just download these 3D plans and just click print, and you'll have a gun. The truth is that it's nowhere near as simple as that. 3D printers are hard. They're not for everyone. They;re like running a homemade CNC machine. Unless you spend quite a few thousand dollars that is...
You don't ever just click print on a 3D printer. It takes a lot of knowledge and patience to work with the machines. Of course, you can learn to run them pretty easily. There are forums out there that can teach you. But you can also build and run a homemade CNC.
With a homemade CNC you "print" out a gun as well, and you have been able to for many years now.
The truth is that anyone if they have the patience and know-how, can learn how to make their own guns. You can order almost every piece of a gun online with little difficulty, and make the final piece yourself.
Of course, it's not easy. None of it is easy.
You can make a lot of things at home, but very little of it is "easy".
For years upon years, there have been tons of books that tell you how to make all sorts of dangerous weapons. But people don't often make guns and bombs in their garage. Few even make homemade fireworks, despite some of the most fun ones being made illegal for entertainment purposes. In some states, you have to cross a border to get fireworks, or sign a piece of paper that they're for scaring birds. Yet people don't build their own. They just sign the paper.
If you are to believe the news, 3D printed guns are the end of the world, and an extreme danger to society.
Technically you can make a gun in your house or garage. But you have been able to do that for as long as guns have existed. Who do you think invented guns? Some guy who liked to tinker in something similar to a garage. He messed around in his workshop and figured out how to make something that actually has changed the world. The only difference is that now you can make one with a 3D printer. And technically, you could print a gun that you could take through a metal detector. But you can technically make one too. Now it's just easier.
The bell has been rung. We can't un-ring a bell. It's been done. The plans are out there and people know it's possible. No one needs those plans really to print a gun. They just have to do the same thing that the guy who printed the gun did. Just experiment and try things out until you're successful.
3D printed guns don't really scare me. Someone's able to make a weapon in their garage. That's been true for as long as people have had garages. What scares me is that every time we've heard it talked about, there's been an incredible slant to the news, and what seems like an intentional manipulation. They're using terroristic propaganda to make people afraid, based on lies.
It's possible to use a computer controlled machine to make a weapon. That's been true for a long time. Except now you can print the weapon in plastic, using devices that are pretty widely available now that a patent has expired a number of years ago. You don't need to "print" it in aluminum or steel or some other kind of metal. You do need a stronger piece for the firing pin though, which often uses a nail in most designs, but can be printed on some printers.
Surprisingly, the news doesn't seem very concerned about the fact that the guy who figured out how to do this had the plans yanked from the internet.
These publications are supposed to be all about free speech, yet they're trying to make us all afraid that it's technically possible to print a gun, rather than a much worse fear, that if the state thinks that your data is dangerous, they can just decide to take it away.
They can violate our freedom of speech, and the news won't care. They'll only present us as a danger, which is what the government is presenting us as.
Yet we're supposed to believe that our media is so much better than other countries because it's free. Then why does it seem like so often they back the government? Not necessarily individual politicians, but the voice of the state, and what it might have a real problem with. It doesn't feel free.
Weapon: Pistol - Poly Count 3,399 - part 00 by BlakkPanther August 22, 2012 CC BY-ND 3.0 (source)