Civil Liberties

Covered at Reason 24/7: 3D-Printed Guns Activist Sees Opportunity To Empower Individuals


Reason 24/7

Most of the coverage of Defense Distributed and 3D printing of gun compnents and accessories has focused on the scary/gee whiz (take your pick) aspect of generating a firearm at home without any special knowledge. But there's a deeper political agenda behind Cody Wilson, the head of Defense Distributed, and the efforts of he and his colleagues to render gun control laws impotent by giving everybody the ability to be their own armorer. Specifically, the goal is to empower individuals and disempower those who would control individuals. And flip a bird at likely targets in the process. It's heady stuff.

From PJ Tatler:

Over the next hour, we converse about everything from the methods and mechanics of printing a gun, to the why of it, to the philosophy of Democratic politicians like Dianne Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Schumer, and Steve Israel, who believe that there is a legislative solution to everything, and that they have those solutions or are smart enough to come up with them.

Wilson is no fan of any of them. And they may not be smart enough to come up with a legislative solution to Defense Distributed. Distributing printed firearms via download may be a case of politics failing to stop the signal.

He is also no conservative in the typical sense. He's either a libertarian or an anarchist or believes in "socialism from below," but mostly he's just a young man who "wants to remain a human being" by realizing an idea that up to now has only lived in the mind. That idea is printing a gun, not for hunting or for self-defense against criminals, but to defend himself against government. …

"You're printing guns for a set of specific reasons," I say to Wilson. "What are they?"

"The unstated assumption is that you wanted to do 3D printing so you picked guns," he replies. "It's the exact opposite. We imagined a world of liberalized access to firearms. So the question is, 'Why 3D printing?'

"This was a project with a political goal. Yes we know that there are things like C&C milling and there are gun files already online, but the idea was to take a technology, celebrated by these people-power, mostly skewed liberals, 'Oh it's the new revolution in manufacturing!' Take their precious technology, make guns with it, and show them, yes, it is revolutionary, and in fact that has more meaning than you think it means."

Incidentally, I addressed the liberating power of 3D printing and other new technology in an interview with RT that'll be coming to a TV or computer monitor near you! Soon! I'll let you know when I know.

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