Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Response to post 3D printing & guns [Komron MacLean]

Watching the first five minutes of the video, which is probably more than 99% of viewers would watch before forming an opinion and running off to tell their Congressmen, led me to believe that Vice was attempting to convince viewers that you can print a fully functioning firearm using a 3D printer. By the completion of this video, still no mention of the fact that there are nearly 200 other parts of a rifle based on the AR-15 platform that are not printable on the printers that they are referring to!

At 18:20, you will notice that a prototype lower receiver that he picked up from a licensed manufacturer lacked a vital element of the design that would render the part unusable. He then had to go and thread the buffer tube tower himself, using another specialized part that takes skill and understanding to operate properly, let along precisely. So the most advanced machines are incapable of completing even basic parts of a firearm. The whole process requires the work of a skilled craftsman, not a child, or a teenager, or a person who wants to take firearm manufacturing up as a hobby in between jobs.

A term Mr. Wilson and the producers used often and incorrectly is “printable gun”. When in reality, it is a printable part of a hypothetically functioning firearm.
This is language that is selectively chosen to instill the belief in uneducated viewers that they may one day be capable of printing an entire firearm out of a slab of plastic. This literary device is referred to as a red herring. The producers of Vice are using slant and subjective reasoning to infer that this technology poses a significant risk to the safety of our children and society.

Other things that everyone who is of voting age and has an opinion on this matter should know/consider:
(yes these are technically off topic, but isn’t this video?) 

1- Assault rifles are ALREADY illegal. The rifles that you see being demonized by the media and Senator Feinstein (D-CA), among others, are NOT assault rifles. Please Google Assault Rifle and read the definition.

2- Reconsider your definition of the word assault weapon. Are baseball bats, broken Heineken bottles, keyboards and Toyota Camrys not “assault weapons”? This is an informative link regarding the topic: http://www.assaultweapon.info/

3- It does not matter what a tool is designed to do, bad people will find a way to make it do their evil.

4- The rifles that have been used to commit horrific crimes on innocents over the past few years are nothing more than weapons of choice. They did not make the crimes any more deadly, terrible or tragic than those committed the same day by other means (but the media did). http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/14/15901085-villager-slashes-22-kids-with-knife-at-elementary-school-gates-in-china?lite

5-Take away a tool, and a criminal will simply devise another to commit their crime (or acquire the same illegally because wait, they’re criminals). Take away a tool and a law abiding citizen is put at a disadvantage when defending their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (how soon we forget). I’ll cite some examples chronologically:

1911 – Turkey disarmed its citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
1929 – Russia disarmed its citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.
1935 – China disarmed its citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.
1938 – Germany disarmed its citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 6 million Jews.
1956 – Cambodia disarmed its citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.
1964 – Guatamala disarmed its citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.
1970 – Uganda disarmed its citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.

6- Violent crimes committed using firearms went UP between 1994-2004 when the previous Assault Weapon Ban (AWB) was in place, for reasons that I cited earlier (see 5).  http://www.factcheck.org/2013/02/did-the-1994-assault-weapons-ban-work/

7- A “scary looking” weapon does not a deadlier weapon make:

Take-home messages- 

Cody Wilson wants attention so he can continue paying for his apartment with dat Google Money.
Printing firearms is a highly inefficient means of acquiring any tool by which to commit a violent crime. So by nature, it cannot significantly contribute to violent crime.
If a person were so skilled, wealthy and had a desire to manufacture firearm PARTS using a 3D printer legally, that would make them a firearm PART manufacturer. Which makes them no different than Colt, LaRue Tactical, Spikes Tactical, Bushmaster and any number of other legitimate sources of an AR-15 variant rifle.


  1. One more note to clarify: the part that was discussed in this video is technically (legally) the firearm, but does not, alone, constitute a working firearm.
    The concern is that people will be capable of manufacturing untraceable "firearms". Manufacturing the unserialized lower receiver and buying necessary components elsewhere.
    This is not a problem. Firearms are not currently associated in any database with any legal owner. The BATFE does not have a database of who owns what firearm. The dealers who sold the firearms are required to maintain a written (not electronic) record of such purchases that the BATFE may inquire upon individually but they may not access the files nor maintain a database of their own.

    This being said, firearms are already virtually untraceable.
    It makes as much sense to serialize knives, bats and other weapons possibly used in crimes to trace them back to a possible owner.
    Considering 95% of crimes are committed with firearms acquired illegally, the argument to serialize and maintain a "gun database" doesn't hold water.

    Kleck, G., "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America". New York, Aldine De Gruyter, 1991. ISBN 0-202-30419-1.

    Kleck, G., "Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control". New York, Aldine De Gruyter, 1997. ISBN 0-202-30569.

    Wright, J. D., and Rossi, P. H., "Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms". New York, Aldine De Gruyter, 1986. ISBN 0-202-30330-6.

  2. Komron, are you seriously concerned that the USA is about to "disarm its citizens" and usher in a Holocaust?

    We can't even get the Congress to agree that it ought to make just a minimally symbolic gesture of legislative acknowledgement that there are too many deadly weapons in the hands of too many unstable gun owners.

    No, we'll just wait for the next Sandy Hook, we'll repeat the usual handwringing and will deplore violence in our sick society, and then we'll again throw up our hands in frustrated futility and do NOTHING.

    I really think you need to extend your list of dates and nations who've "disarmed" to include all those who HAVE instituted effective civic regulation of deadly weapons and HAVE NOT experienced serial brutality in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, movie theaters et al... and to include the MORE THAN 3K GUN-DEATHS here since Sandy Hook, when so many insisted things would be different now.

    With all due respect: we either institute sane regulation or we surrender to the inevitability of more genuinely-innocent blood on our hands.

    (I wasn't intending to rant, but I get irritated with myself for being among those who always greets these atrocities with outrage and then, inevitably, simmers down while gun enthusiasts continue to advocate the unqualified right to bear arms as though nothing had happened.)

  3. I understand the frustration of individuals and groups who feel the not enough is being done to stem the current of violent crimes committed using firearms in the US. I myself want to see "change" and a legitimate effort on behalf of those who are given some responsibility to protect us. The entire point of my discussion was to assert that making a firearm illegal to own solely based on its looks and its misunderstood role in our society is a cheap attempt at making us "safer" and an action that has proven ineffective at achieving the same goal in the past. I believe I presented ample examples to justify my reasoning. Could you explain what you meant by "unqualified right to bear arms?" Also, you referenced "too many unstable gun owners", is this a statement of fact or merely an "unqualified" assumption?

  4. First, let me acknowledge that my post was a little heated (and ungrammatical, at the end). Frustration, as you say.

    But frankly, Komron, I could care less what a weapon "looks" like. I care deeply that shooters are capable of walking into an elementary schoolroom and firing off round after round without pause, mowing down little children whose implicit trust in our protection is our greatest custodial responsibility as adults. Their trust far outweighs the rights of gun owners to bear this or that model of firearm.

    I was referencing the assertion of some that the 2d amendment "right to bear arms" is a straightforward and transparent defense of individual rights to any weaponry anyone can lay hands on. Scholars do not agree on this point. But whatever the constitutional provision meant to men who carried muskets and fought for the independence of the new nation, my position is that "founders' intent" is neither conclusive nor even wholly relevant, two and a half centuries on, to the question of what a responsible society will tolerate with respect to "gun rights." This is a decision that awaits OUR judgment, not the old cold judgment of men long dead and gone.

    You don't think there are "too many unstable gun owners"?

    (BTW: I'm not sure we're using "qualified" in the same sense...)

    Can we at least agree that too many crazies in our society have too-easy access to weapons that make it too easy to murder our children, and that too many politicians are too craven and cowardly to stand up against the NRA?

  5. Here are some really cool uses for 3D printing that may fall more in line with medicine and discussion in Bioethics:


  6. and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9962798/How-doctors-printed-my-new-face.html

  7. Oh wow. I wish I had gotten in on this earlier. Lol
    Great topic by the way Komron!
    My opinion is that the lines between two topics are blurred together when dealing with this topic.
    "Mental people" vs. gun control.

    When was the last time you intentionally sat down and had a conversation with someone you thought was a little..... "unstable"?

    If it has been awhile... and/or your excuse is "I just don’t like those kind of people" or "I don’t have enough time.", then I attribute you to the problem we have in America: the problem of people killing people for no good reason.

    Guns. Yes, guns are a very deadly weapon. A weapon, that someone who got really tired of chasing down his meal, and decided he instead wanted to sit in a tree and wiggle his finger in order to kill it, thought up.
    Good for him and his "hungry" family.
    I wish that guy had not invented the gun, however, since he did, and now we have guns!!!!- It is kind of imposable to get them ALL back. (I sure know the military isn't giving them up. lol) and unless EVERYONE turns theirs in… I do not think it is smart for anyone to turn theirs in.
    And don’t think even for a second, that you can tell the difference between a mentally and emotionally stable person and a serial killer when selling them a gun. – Keeping in mind that “monsters” in real life, look like you and me-because they are!

    My plea is this: Please treat everyone with respect, remembering that at any second, any of us could fall, and the only thing keeping us from making a bad decision when we are down, is the support of those around us and God.
    Sometimes reaching isn’t enough: we have to PULL people back up. :)