Can you feel it? That low background rumble you’re hearing, the one that’s resonating into your very being, is palpable fear. No, dread is more like it. It’s being stoked by gun control activists and their media stenographers over Defense Distributed’s impending release of plans for printing 3D firearms.
What’s that you say? You’re not terrified? Maybe it’s because you know that people have been building their own guns in the United States since before there was a United States. Or maybe it’s because you know that plans for 3D printing firearms have been available on Al Gore’s Internet for years now.
For the rest of you, for all the muggles out there who don’t follow these things in any detail, the full-court press is on to sow fear and loathing.
Imagine this: the convicted domestic abuser next door tries to buy a gun. He’s turned down because he fails his background check. When he gets home, he opens up his browser, and in half an hour he’s printing out his own undetectable, fully functional plastic gun, with no background check and no record of his purchase.
That’s the dire warning being raised by the noted technological and ballistic subject matter expert, Alyssa Milano.
It is not hyperbole to say that this could mean the end of our ability to have meaningful gun violence prevention in America.
There are those who will say that 3D printing of guns is not a major issue — that it’s unpractical or too expensive, but many people said the same thing about tablets, e-readers, cell phones, laptops, home printers, computers and cars. And in 2013, for a printer that then cost less than $2,000, it was possible to make a plastic gun that successfully fired at least 9 shots.
Some might say it’s “unpractical” to turn to a vacuous, uh, entertainer for an opinion on, well, anything of import, but we couldn’t possibly comment. To hear Milano tell it, it won’t be any time at all now before we’re all packing our own undetectable GLOCK 7s.
But to a certain extent — and against all odds — she’s right. 3D printers will come down in cost (they already have), just like every other bit of whiz bang technology ever invented. And at some point in the not-too-distant future, turning out a frame for a 1911 or an AR-15 lower receiver will be as easy as printing off a recipe for watermelon gazpacho. Assuming you want to do that.
So efforts like those of the New Jersey Attorney General or the Los Angeles City Attorney to try to strong-arm Defense Distributed are not only ultimately doomed to fail, they’re utterly beside the point. And while DD may block Pennsylvanians from accessing their plans for now, Keystone Staters who really want to will be able to easily access whatever plans they want with a couple of clicks of a mouse.
But that won’t stop these new Luddites from furiously trying to stuff their fingers in the electronic dike.
Gun violence prevention organizations — Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence — filed a lawsuit to get an injunction to keep these downloadable guns from becoming legal, but on Friday a judge denied their motion to halt the sale of these deadly weapons.
Partnered with The Newtown Action Alliance and Fred Guttenberg of Orange Ribbons for Jaime, the No Rifle Association (NoRA), my organization, is helping to build a coalition of state attorneys general to also fight in court. We hope that we will be able to keep us safe long enough to enact a permanent legislative solution to this menace.
It may finally be dawning on the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex that governments’ ability prohibit civilian firearm ownership — or keep individuals from building their own — is quickly becoming even more futile and lulz-worthy than ever. They’re doomed to fail and the death throes of gun control will be fun and fascinating to watch over the next couple of days, let alone years.
As Defense Distributed is about to demonstrate and we’ve been fond of saying, you can’t stop the signal.