3D printers are rapidly evolving into creation tools for anything from jewelry to blood cells.
Ever more affordable, 3D printers can now be found and purchased online for as little as $1000, meaning it won’t be long before many households have them as common appliances.
Meanwhile, designs for the printers are easily found online and can be manipulated to create anything a person could dream of, from spare parts to new shoes, with no specific knowledge of mechanics or engineering necessary. So far, so good, then, but can 3D printing go too far?
Take the case of the home-printed semi-automatic weapon, created by engineer Michael Guslick this week, just after the tragic Colorado shooting incident in Aurora which claimed 12 lives.
Guslick first announced his achievement on an Internet forum, and said in a later interview with the New York Daily News that the process of printing it “wasn’t that difficult.”
For anyone with any doubts, rest assured, it works. The firearm used a printed reinforced AR-15 lower receiver and successfully fired over 200 rounds.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the world's first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested,” he wrote.
“It was extremely large and ungainly, but it worked,” he said, adding that the “barrier to entry is certainly being lowered.” Templates like the one Guslick used can be easily accessed online, and anyone with even just basic technological knowledge could probably do what Guslick did, which begs the question; never mind gun control, do we actually need 3-D printer control?
The destructive possibilities of 3D printers in the wrong hands are almost entirely overlooked by mainstream media, and that doesn’t just apply to 3D firearms. The reality is that, in the wrong hands, 3D devices are as capable of destroying things as they are at creating them.
Take another example of Glasgow University chemist Lee Cronin, who recently found a way “to turn a 3D printer into a universal chemistry set.” When built, Cronin’s “chemputer” will be able to produce illicit drugs.
When heroin and semi-automatic weapons can be produced at home with a tap of the print button, how can we ensure the safety of our communities? Will those with 3D printers be required to register like gun users? Should there be legislation barring or tracking the distribution of blueprints for potentially dangerous items?
Machines are as productive or destructive as the individual that interfaces with it. The majority of 3D printer owners will produce things that are completely innocuous and non-threatening, but like any other potentially lethal device, we must have a way of tracking what is being produced and by whom....don’t you think?
The US Armed forces cannot use nuclear bombs upon the citizens of the USA without employing them upon the USA. Accordingly, your argument is nonsensical.
I get that there is a disparity. How'd that work out in Viet Nam? Did they capitulate?
And this disparity is actually a result of the ever increasing infringement upon the 2A.
The 2A _has_ been badly weakened. Ever since the NFA of 1934, the right to keep and bear arms has been increasingly infringed upon in an almost monotonic manner.
Machine gun? Hand grenade? Howitzer? Missile launcher? Flamethrower? Can you make a cogent argument that claims these are not arms?
The lower receiver is the part that the ATF considers a gun. The other parts are not tracked in any manner by the ATF, and do _not_ require purchase from an FFL. If 7-11 wanted to stock these other parts, they'd be legally able to.
"Why is it that the second amendment is the only part of the Bill of Rights that hasn't been badly weakened? "
Because the Second Amendment is the last resort for defense of the Constitution and the other Amendments, including the First Amendment.
This seems to be getting political.
There are groups of loonies on both sides of the fence, but most major Christian religions (including Catholicism) view faith and science as not being in conflict. It was a Catholic priest after all who helped lead to our understanding of the 'Big Bang'. And at the time, it was predominately non-religious (including Einstein) who rejected his work as being possibly religiously motivated and standing against the existing view of a 'static' universe.
In any case, in my local area, the conservatives seem more interested in improving education and offering more freedom of choice for parents (since that is the one subject you brought up) while those on the left are more inclined to fight for the support of the teachers union, even if it is to the determent of the student and their families.
But sorry to interrupt your intellectual crusade against the loony right...
Homemade guns have been around for as long as there have been firearms. Years ago I saw pictures of zip guns made by gangs in the 50s. Could be made just with hand tools, but a metal lathe would have made the project go a lot faster.
As long as people have malicious intent, they will be able to find a way to kill. Started with rocks, sticks (clubs) and progressed to knives, spears, and arrows etc. Until the intent can be eliminated, the evil will be able to kill. Eliminating guns will just make it impossible for the weak and small to defend themselves.
"let's take off the gloves as the opposition want's us back in the dark ages "
I fear we must.
PS. It is ironic that at the same time that science is beginning to uncover the deepest secrets of life and the universe, some of our follow human beings want to take us back to the dark ages!
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.