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A recent Popular Mechanics article shows that it understands technology much better than the New York Times or the Washington Post.  This isn’t too surprising, given the politics of the the two prominent newspapers, but it was not always so. The PM article sums it up the the current climate nicely . . .

So, should we be afraid to live in a world where anyone can afford the equipment to manufacture a gun in his or her basement? I hope not—because that’s the world we live in now. Guns are comparatively simple devices. In fact, plenty of custom firearms are manufactured today using equipment that wouldn’t be out of place in a basement.

The utility of 3D printed guns isn’t so much that they make the technology of firearms available to anyone. That’s really been the case for centuries. The utility is that it demonstrates that fact in a way that resonates with the “progressive elite” especially those in the old line media, that they were blind to otherwise.

They may never have operated a drill press; they may never have filed a washer to make a shim of the right thickness; they may never have ground a screwdriver blade to the proper size and shape for the task at hand.   But, they have operated a printer.

So when someone talks about 3D-printed guns, it comes as a revelation. A “road to Damascus” moment. They understand that it would be possible for them, and almost anyone, to set up a relatively simple machine and hit the “print” button.

They ignored the Pakistan shops in Darra Adam Khel. They ignored the thriving underground Philippine gun industry, the percentage of homemade guns in the District of Columbia, and the Brazilian workshop submachine guns. Yet they find a 3D printed single-shot pistol terrifying.

Ultimately, though, this is a good thing because it brings them a bit closer to understanding the reality beyond their “progressive” theories. Some progressives have actually been known to mature out of progressivism. The more who do, the more we have a chance to escape the devastating consequences of willfully ignorant policy makers.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. A form of main stream media that knows what the hell they’re talking about? Gasp, shock!

    The article also points out an important distinction I’ve wanted to shout at stupids for a while:
    Plastic guns are not undetectable, because the ammunition is made of metal!

    • While I’m pretty sure modern x-ray devices would spot the tell-tale outline of a polymer pistol, it is true that without the unnecessary inclusion of a metal bar they would not trigger any metal detector.

      It would not take much imagination at all, however, to disguise a small cartridge amongst other ordinary bits of metal you throw in the tray with your keys and coins. A high-end ball point pen with a metal barrel comes to mind immediately. Properly machine the whole thing could write like a normal pen while still allowing a portion of it, complete with the cartridge, to slide into the printed pistol as a metal barrel. This would be a practical solution to the metal detector problem AND the plastic receiver splitting when fired.

      • How much ammo do you think you could effectively hide in that manor? 2? 5? You can maybe commit a murder with that much ammo, but not exactly a terrifying mass shooting. And I doubt .380 would be sufficient to breach the door of a cockpit these days. Also, wouldn’t the TSA confiscate such a nice pen for security reasons? Mostly the reason that somebody just got a kick ass new pen.

      • If someone really wanted to do harm on the other side of a metal detector they could use 1000 year old technology – the obsidian or knapped knife.

        Then again (and I rarely make blanket statements like this but I really believe this to be true) the majority of progressives are women and less-masculine men who have no idea stone knives are even lethal, much less that they’re relatively easy to make and use no metal parts (which you’d think would be obvious).

        If you mention ceramic knives they /really/ have a tizzy.

        I’ve shared simple facts like this with people at work and their heads almost explode. They act like I’m DeVinci because I can make a small blade out of the bottom of a glass bottle.

      • Anyone else remember John Malkovich’s polymer handgun in “In the Line of Fire”, and the way he smuggled his ammunition on his keyring?

        For that matter I only realised recently I’d been regularly flying with a very sharp knife in my pocket for years… it’s one of those baby Swiss Army knives (one-inch knife, scissors, file/screwdriver) that hangs on my keyring, which goes in the jacket pocket with wallet, torch and phone when I go through the scanners. Not really a reliable killing tool, but way more sharp metal than the rules allowed when nail clippers were being confiscated in case someone started trimming fellow passengers to death.

  2. Popular mechanics is one of the better publications out there, so I’m not surprised they would have a reasonable take on the issue.

        • Unfortunately reading many of these posts confirms my beliefs that the 2nd amendment is doomed. Too many believe the propaganda vehicles of Fox News and display the cognitive dissonance that is prevelant in today’s society. Good luck all.

        • @Pg — And you buy into the propaganda vehicles of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and all of the rest of the veritable alphabet soup of network “news” agencies. You’re not any different than whatever it is that you’re trying (and failing) to only erroneously brand us as, and that’s what we call psychological projection. Back under your bridge with you, partisan troll.

    • Just because they live within the realm of reality doesn’t mean they lack credibility… those of us who also live there actually give them more of it.

      But I’m sure in your world where Occam’s razor is to take the most ridiculous and complicated conspiracy as gospel, they’re probably doing ‘hatchet’ jobs.

  3. In fact, plenty of custom firearms are manufactured today using equipment that wouldn’t be out of place in a basement.

    Bing,Bing,Bing,Bing,Bing,Bing,! Congrats Popular Mechanics, you won the Finally Someone In The Media Has Common Sense Award!

    • I’m guessing it was really, really hard for these eggheads, who have been soldering circuits their whole lives, to repeat any of the BS “gunsense.” At some point, the integrity of their intellects is all they have as a “nerd” publication and they don’t want to soil it with that sort of uninformed hysteria.

  4. I don’t know where else to post this so mods if need be place it elsewhere:

    I encourage all to report Bloomberg’s “Everytown For Gun Safety” FB page, label it as “hate speech” or “offensive”. I did it repeatedly and got a notice the page has been removed. Here’s the message from FB:

    You reported Everytown for Gun Safety for containing hate speech or symbols.

    StatusThis page was removed.
    Details: We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols. Since it violated our Community Standards, we removed it. Thanks for your report. We let Everytown for Gun Safety know that their page has been removed, but not who reported it. Facebook never discloses who submits a report.

    You reported Everytown for Gun Safety for containing graphic violence.

    Status This page was removed
    We reviewed the page you reported for containing graphic violence. Since it violated our Community Standards, we removed it. Thanks for your report. We let Everytown for Gun Safety know that their page has been removed, but not who reported it. Facebook never discloses who submits a report.

    • Oh, this will definitely give them something to complain about. 😉

      I wonder how many times it can be removed before they simply give up posting it again?

  5. They’ll never understand how to solve any problem with anything other than the expansion of State power.

    They still are, always have been, and forever shall be hopelessly enslaved to this inane and asinine belief that when the State arbitrarily points its collectivist finger at something and declares it “illegal” (Rule of Law be damned of course), that it suddenly starts to go away or is instantly gone altogether and eventually nobody will have it.

    They’re already plotting to try, and will forever continue to try over and over even long after the public takes to ignoring them, to ban or otherwise bring under the control of the State the means of production of banned goods.

    They failed to learn the lessons of Prohibition in the 20s.

    They failed to learn the lessons of their failed War on Drugs.

    They failed to learn the lessons of their failed War on Poverty.

    They will fail to learn this lesson, too, and all the better for us. The more they wallow in their own ignorance, hopefully the more people will eventually learn to never take them seriously enough to allow them to dictate policy to us. On anything. Ever.

    But, I fear that I’m being overly-optimistic.

    • All these ‘wars’ on this and that are nothing more than wars on the American experiment. Apparently they have all worked very well.

      • They sure have, haven’t they?

        Highest incarceration rate in the world. The family unit being completely dismantled. Moral values sinking to new and depressing lows. A floundering education system. Health care that sucks and is crumbling. Decaying infrastructure that won’t last another decade. Tens of millions held firm on the government plantation of weakness and dependence. An inept and apathetic electorate, and one that buys into the false dichotomy of Dempublican and Republicratic politics (see what I did there?). Both halves of a deeply divided populace wanting to fully subjugate the other.

        The American Experiment is, currently, a running failure.

  6. The word “progressive(s)” should ALWAYS be in quotes as nothing about them is progressive in the true sense of the word.

  7. Didn’t Popular Mechanics do the top guns list too? The genie is definitely out of the bottle.

  8. @excedrine, you assume too much, I don’t buy into any mainstream propaganda, even the false left vs right puppet show that so many think is legit. I don’t brand you or anyone, most do it themselves by thinking along manufactured party lines.

    • Too bad for you that I’m not the one who started throwing blind, bullshit assumptions at everyone here. You did that, and yes you did do just precisely that and only that so don’t even bother trying to lie by saying you didn’t because you absolutely did, and in so doing rendering yourself absolutely nothing more than a hypocrite.

  9. I work airport security and getting ammo through the xray machine is not easy. The lead blocks the xrays so it sticks out and immediately draws attention. There are definitely ways to smuggle ammo through but you’re looking at something like that other article about the girl with a mini revolver in a bodily orifice.

  10. Exced, sad for you, I get the feeling u understand little of what of you see and read. Where in what I’ve written have you any indication of being a ‘partisan troll’? That was comic relief. U are decent at throwing insults and accusations, yet you label me the troll. Ok, whatever Exced. Maybe if reread my posts you might realize we likely agree on much. Or maybe that’s too high expectations.

  11. Heh. Indeed.

    Look at the author to the article. It’s Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit.

    He’s a law professor at UTenn, leans libertarian and is a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment. His 2nd Amendment legal work is pretty good, IMHO. He’s one of the good guys.

  12. When I first subscribed to PM about 10 years ago, they would review a new gun every month or two. Then, the editor changed & no more gun reviews.

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