Gun Control?

Any comment about about gun control is pretty moot as technology advances.

Just like anti-trust cases against Microsoft in the 90s and legislation proposed to try to control guns will be superseded by technology marching on despite the efforts of legislators.

3D Printing is likely to see an end of traditional mass production manufacturers of firearms.

TechCrunch has a great article about “gun control” and how pointless it is.

If you were to attempt to write a law governing media copyright in 1998, would you attempt to do so without acknowledging the existence of the Internet and compression methods like MPEG-3? Any law crafted under such restrictions would be laughably incomplete.

Likewise, if you were to discuss a law that allows or restricts the creation and distribution of firearms, would you attempt to do so without acknowledging the existence of 3D-printed weapons and the ability to transfer blueprints for them online?

Here’s the problem, though. Like the digitization of music, the digitization of objects, guns or otherwise, is a one-way street. Every step forward is ineffaceable. Once you can make an MP3 and share it online, that’s it, there’s no going back — the industry is changed, just like that. Why should it be different when you reduce a spoon, a replacement part, a patented tool, or a gun to a compact file that can be reproduced using widely-available hardware? There’s no going back. So what is “control” now?

Will ISPs use deep packet inspection to watch for gun files being traded? Will torrent sites hosting firearm files be taken down, their server rooms raided? Will all the ineffectual tactics of digital suppression be tried again, and fail again?

Will 3D printers refuse to print parts, the way 2D ones are supposed to refuse to print bills? Will printers have to register their devices, even when those devices can print themselves? How is it proposed that control is to be established over something that can be transferred in an instant to another country, and made with devices that will soon be as common as microwaves?

Part of the discussion has to be that, government or otherwise, there can be no more control over printed guns than there can be over printed spoons. Regulation or banning of firearms, whether you think the idea is good or bad, will soon be impossible.


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  • Remy The Punisher

    Just make owning or possesing full or semi automatic weapons illegal and hammer any one who breaks the law! Why does a house wife need an assault rifle? A pistol fair enough in the states but an assault rifle? cmon

    • Mike

      Yeah, because no criminal would ever dare to try and procure something illegal!

      • Magor

        Alas, but they do..!!

      • Remy The Punisher

        Its not the criminals who are doing the mass shootings!, they just shoot themselves which is fine. The weapons involved in the mass shootings come from mums and dads personal collections!

        • Greatscott1

          A password coded gun safe should be required by law.

          Or as Chris rock would say – Bullet control, $1000 a shell.

    • disqus_XQTYMFVKlf

      Fully automatic weapons are illegal in the states anyway, also please tell us what you class an assualt rifle as ?, becuase an AR15 isnt for sure.
      Also you do realise that simply banning something doesnt stop criminals from obtaining and or modifiying firearms to serve their purposes, the laws are already pretty harsh on criminals that use firearms illegally.

      • Remy The Punisher

        All im saying is there needs to be more restriction on who can buy what in the states just like here.
        When you have more guns stores than Mcdonalds or more gun stores than supermarkets in your country things might be a little out of control!

  • Red

    It’s an interesting discussion regarding the 3d printing of weapons. The technology is at the point that metal can be “printed” so any safeguards are pretty much never going to stop that. Anyone could knock up a reusable zip style “shotgun” in about an hour flat with water pipe & a nail, so essentially that tech is here today albeit low tech (and dangerous!!) I saw at lunchtime an SKS rifle that fires the same round as an AK for $399 at the local outdoors store. There’s something about the US psyche that makes people pick that rifle up & carry out these crimes, not the fact that they are able to buy the weapon. They need to start licencing in every state & getting tougher on the buyers suitability, as we do here. Any President who rolls that out though, will be a gonner come election time

    • the one printed in plastic works pretty well

      This chap made a rifle out of PAPER!!!
      (him test firing it with a blank here: )

      And he made aworking AK-47 out of paper and some metal.

      oh and here is a chap who converted a shovel into an AK-47:!?p=2695046&viewfull=1#post2695046

      • Honcho

        Thanks for sharing, also wanted to add that under current US law a reciever less then 80% complete doesnt constitute a ‘gun’, right now the availability of these genuine ‘unfinished’ ar-15/M4 parts are probably the biggest security threat.

      • Mediaan

        What a Crock. The AK47-shovel guy is a liar.

        He tells us he looked so suave in his city BMW that a country guy on a gravel road hesitated to sell him a $2 shovel. He took it home and suddenly he had everything up to a plasma torch; enough gear to do things like “rivetize a Romy trunnion”. (But no shovel, until he bought this one.)

        To make the gun, he says he lit a fire in what looks like a small metal drum in his yard and got it hot enough on waste oil to reshape the metal shovel blade. Steel melts at 1500 degrees.

        • Uhhh, I think you need to realise he is telling the story of how he made it in a humorous manner.
          And the reason why he used the $2 one he bought from a farmer was the fact that it cost him $2. rather then using one he bought from a shop for $20 or $50 or whatever.

          And that looks like a typical small furnace to me.

          And he wasn’t casting it so he didn’t need the steal to melt. he annealed it so that it could be shaped….at max he would have needed it at about 750 C

  • cows4me

    It’s all fine printing guns but a gun ain’t much use without ammo. I don’t think we are at the level of printing the chemicals to mix the powder needed to make a bullet fire and some formulas are rather complicated. If a government was hell bent on limiting firearm use those producing chemicals and ammunition would be the ones to chase. Sure there will always be the black market but a push by big government to stifle ammo production would slow things down somewhat.

  • kiwidon

    Of course a zillion anti drug laws have solved THAT problem…….