- Well, isn’t that cozy? A top Obama donor is the founder and CEO of a company that will soon control about one half of all medical data on Americans.
- She’s 85. Just graduated from college. And already has herself a job.
- Ray Manzarek is dead. Jim Morrison might have gotten most of the press, but Manzarek was the real genius behind the haunting sound of The Doors.
- “Some of my best friends are germs.” Long, but fascinating. Maybe a leisurely weekend read.(H/T S)
- You see the wonderful thing about equality for women? We get equal opportunities for political corruption — and equal opportunities for paid vacations when we’re caught being bad. Boy, now that’s progress.
- “America isn’t Greece. Not yet.” Another reminder of the value of good old System D. (Tip o’ hat to JG)
- Two books I’m hearing very good word about: Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (an incredible story about a man who was born in one of those hellish prison camps and didn’t even have the concept of freedom as we know it); and Denied a Chance: How gun control helped a stalker murder my husband.
Archive for the ‘Guns and Gun Rights’ Category
Weekend freedom question a few days late (or a few days early depending on how you look at it): The ultimate impact of 3D printingWednesday, May 22nd, 2013
A friend and I got to talking about the deeper implications of Cody Wilson’s “alarming” achievement (which, naturally, has already been trumped and will soon be trump-trump-trump-trumped ad infinitum).
My friend said that the real achievements will be in 3D-printed firing mechanisms and make-at-home-and-throw-away magazines. (Perhaps he’ll come here and give a more thorough explanation than I just did.)
As far as firearms go, that may be correct. But he got me thinking about the broader, long-term implications of 3D printing. Cory Doctorow speculated about that clear back in 2006 in his short story “Printcrime.” (Amazing foresight there, CD.)
So the question for today is: Will 3D printing do for physical objects what the Internet has done for communications? To wit: What will happen to patents and trademarks? Will this lead to a vast decentralization (right down to home-workshop level) of manufacturing of everything from toasters to automobiles? How will governments and mega-corps fight against the technology (as you know they will)? Will there be a huge burst of creativity as high-tech “tinkerers” get their hands on ever-more-affordable printers and open-source plans? Will innovators get screwed over by opportunists? Will there be greater prosperity as the price of thousands of objects drops? Or higher prices and political repression? What products will be most changed? Where will we be with this five years from now? Ten? Twenty-five?
- Lessons from the singing spaceman (and a reminder of how only NASA could ever have made outer space so darned dull).
- Beretta says bye-bye Maryland.
- The Lulz Liberator. This one was made on a cheaper printer, fired multiple shots, and has a rifled barrel. Nope, you really can’t stop the signal.
- “We’ve comforted ourselves in all of this with the belief that, while government might potentially have all of this power, it would rarely use it or that, when it did, its use would be well-intentioned and circumscribed. Plus we had rules and systems to stop any abuse: The Bill of Rights, the due process clause, oversight by the media and courts, the two-party system, and strong procedural requirements.” Ha ha ha ha ha.
- “Even billionaires keep their mouths shut.” John Kass recalls how he learned about Chicago-style politics. (We’re all living in Chicago now.)
- Gold markets rigged? This time, even respectable Barrons admits gold bugs have a point.
- Yeah, what Kent said on Kokesh’s armed march. And on Kokesh’s kidnapping-by-cop”.
- I do find it odd, though, that in all this flapdoodle about Kokesh’s proposed armed march on DC, not one person has mentioned that the same thing was tried not so long ago in even more radical form. Big hoo-hah over it then, too. But that was in the Fidonet days when hoo-hahs didn’t make so much noise in the wider world. Linda Thompson. Ms “Acting Adjutant General” indeed …
- ADDED: Awesome. And a high school girl did it.
Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration tried to snuff out PGP using the very same obscure regulation it’s wielding against Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed now.
Yes, PGP was (and IIRC, still is) a “munition.” The regs didn’t change; the fedgov just knew that was a battle it was going to lose so it backed off. Encryption is everywhere and Phil Zimmerman is a free man. But nothing’s new under the
sun reeking pall of Mordor.
Now a new generation of regulators — and a new anti-gun president who has vowed to take covert action against firearms if he can’t get his way in the legislature (whimper, whine) — wants to use absurdly complicated ITAR once again to stop the unstoppable.
Question: What’s the outcome going to be in the case of Furiously Frustrated Fedgov vs Cody Wilson?
There are lots of aspects to consider here. Not only what will happen to Wilson and DefCad. Not just what will happen to the banned “blueprints” (we already know that).
But aspects like: Will the feds back off the their King Canute routine? Or will they end up drowning in this rising tide? Will the ATF get into the act? The FBI? Will there be some attempt to control/surveil 3D printers (e.g. force them to keep records for the feddies, as photocopiers do now)? Will the tech community wield its power — or will the big tech voices keep mum because this is “a gun-culture thing”? What kind of laws will be proposed or passed? Will people get that you can’t stop this any more than the Church could stop Gutenberg’s outrageous information diseminator? Will they laugh at the folly of the pols and bureaucrats? Or will the media buffalo them into hysterical fear? Even if they buffalo and legislate their little hearts out for a decade, where do technology, freedom, and the best sort of Bad Attitude take us from here?
Envision a scenario, envision the future …
On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website Defcad.org. The government says it wants to review the files for compliance with arms export control laws known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.
Love the way they just order files taken down because of a bunch of “may haves” and “wants to reviews.”
The signal has already been beamed, people. Already been beamed.
If you have any of the banned files, Mike Vanderboegh would like to have them to … continue enhancing the signal. UPDATE: After just a few hours, Mike got copies of all the banned files — “20 times over.”
Yeah, that signal ain’t gonna be jammed …
UPDATE 2: Several sources that were publicly posting Liberator (and other DefCad gun-related) files have taken them down in the last 24 hours. “Advice of lawyers” and all that. Robb Allen still has The Liberator. I presume Sipsey Street will soon have that and all the other banned files. People more techie than me (e.g. Brad at WendyMcElroy.com) are working to ensure that files being distributed are the unaltered, verifiable real deal.
(Tip o’ hat to JB.)
Her brother blew himself away with a shotgun on this date. Her anti-gun “friend” wants her to suffer — and hate the gun. She suffers — but knows better than to blame an inanimate object.
Or maybe I don’t. But one of the most vocal Sandy Hook gun controllers has apparently been writing bad checks all over town.
It’s awful that Neil Heslin lost his son so tragically. But it’s equally awful that he wants to use that to demolish the rights and safety of millions of good people.
He should clean his own house before he tries to make criminals out of the rest of us.
I think this makes me the 3,456th gunblogger to “announce” Defense Distributed’s proudest new achievement, The Liberator. Although their video pairs it with images of the Liberator bomber, we know which WWII equipment they really named it after.
I believe I’m also the 1,274th blogger to immediately think (if not immediately say), “You can’t stop the signal!”
And you can’t, you know. Nobody can.
I think Cody Wilson is a brave genius — who’s cruising for a terrible fed-bruising and who’ll deserve our ardent support (and contributions to his legal defense fund) when it comes.
Because aside from the marvelous modern technology of 3D printing, “criminals” (and schoolkids and anybody else) have had the ability to make their own single-shot .22 firearms for decades. The darned thing was called the zip gun, and the last time the media got its undies in a bunch about it was ca. 1955.
But how many zip guns have you seen or heard of in your entire life? They seem to have only one modern application (if the New York Times has got it right; always an iffy proposition): being tossed together in a hurry to be turned in for profit at anti-gunner buyback programs. Even that was apparently a brief, limited, though seemingly lucrative, revival.
And isn’t that a marvelous bit of enterprise?
Still, if criminals haven’t been making their own firearms all this time when all they needed was a metal tube, a rubber band, a block of wood, and a nail (BTW, exactly the same firing pin The Liberator uses), Schumer & Co. can unclench their sphincters about the possibility of the meth-head down the street setting up his $8,000 (or even $1,200) 3D printer and whipping out weapons of mass destruction.
But the signal is being sent. It can’t be stopped. And The Liberator (bless you, Cody & friends) is merely the beginning. No, the beginning of the beginning.
Is it true that 3D printers can print new 3D printers? Well, why not? And the printing goes on.
It’s entertaining to watch politicians squirm and media blondies tsk tsk. It’s instructive to speculate about what pols will attempt to ban, license, or otherwise control next. Three-D printers? Plastics or metals that can be used for printing? Homemade guns? Plastic guns? Guns whose serial numbers aren’t in a government database, complete with owner’s name? (Oh yes, they’d love that one.)
Warning: chaos ahead as the try to jam the signal Defense Distributed is beaming.
The one sure bet: They’ll focus on controlling guns, printer technology, gun parts, tech buyers, gun making, gun, gun, gun, guns — when what they really fear (and need to fear) is information loose in the world.
I don’t know how to build a gun. Don’t care. I have no interest in building my own. But I can download all manner of files, including ones that have already been subject to suppression attempts. And so can you. And so can we all. And it only takes one person saving those files and making them available to others (and of course it’s already gone dramatically beyond that) for the signal to beam across the universe.
I keep remembering that the Soviet Union was brought down, in part, by fax machines — inferior technology that barely lasted a few years in the U.S. before being obsoleted by better tech. But given the USSR’s own long-term problems, all it took was one creaky bit of information technology in the hands of dissidents and malcontents to give the rickety old structure a toppling push.
Obama surely didn’t mean it the way some of us might like to take it when he burbled and blathered recently about government not being some far-off tyranny, but ultimately being us. In the cliched and moronic way he meant it — well, happy horsesh*t, Mr. O. But in the way things might really unfold one day, yes — we are the best and ultimately the only valid governors of ourselves.
Interesting times, interesting times. And today, on this lovely spring afternoon, the sun of freedom is shining a little brighter than before.