There’s a big push on right now by gun controllers, Democrats and the media (BIRM) to raise the alarm about the looming threat posed by 3D-printed guns (and 80% firearms, too). The prohibitionists are liberally tossing around the term “ghost gun” wherever they can. It’s just the kind of terrifying term the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex loves to bandy about to rile up the low-information middle and the moms in red shirts.
One of the latest efforts in this regard comes from the New Republic, which has been on something of an anti-gun roll lately. The writer for their latest effort at least had the good sense to get in touch with Ivan the Troll of Deterrence Dispensed for her piece. He, of course, is the author of our series on 3D printed guns (see here, here and here).
One of the article’s takeaways is that, well, you can’t stop the signal. What’s happened in the US and around the world over the last 60 days has taught a lot of people that having the means to defend yourself is a very good idea. And waiting around for government permission is something fewer people have the patience for any more.
“Given that most retail gun stores can’t keep popular firearms like Glocks or AR-15s in stock, doing a parts-kit build becomes a more and more attractive option,” Ivan [the Troll] explains. “In several states, the background check process is taking longer than shipping a parts kit to your house and printing a lower receiver would, so it’s even a time-save on top of being the only way to get popular firearms in some places.”
The future of 3D printing will map out in different ways, depending on the commodity in question, but a common thread is an underlying turn toward self-sufficiency, as well as an accompanying disregard for laws and regulations that attempt to block access to these products. Second Amendment absolutists and right-wing extremists are certainly a loud contingent in American culture and have always had a contentious relationship with centralized authority, but now everyone else does, too. We’ve been told that, unless we’re on death’s door, we must white-knuckle a debilitating virus at home. We’ve been told that the states are on their own in fighting this invisible enemy, that no cavalry is coming. There is a vacuum at the center, and we all know nature abhors a vacuum.
It is the type of environment that allows subcultures on the fringe to flourish. Gun rights activists have long maintained that people have to fend for themselves, that they can’t rely on the government to protect them—and in this case, it turns out that they were right. 3D technology’s full potential has yet to be unlocked, and we only have a tenuous understanding of the major players in this emerging market—the creators, the protectors, and the destroyers. The only thing that seems safe to predict right now is that the future belongs to all three.
– Kim Kelly in The Rise of the 3D-Printed Gun