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.
I think the hysteria about criminals suddenly being able to make their own weapons (e.g. here and here) is … well, hysterical.
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.