Sunday, September 09, 2018

3D printed guns might actually help

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 8, 2018)

Why all the uproar over 3D printed guns? It has always been fairly easy to make guns at home. Having the computer code available online won't change anything. People enjoy weeping, wailing, and gnashing their teeth over the silliest things.

For now, 3D printers are too expensive for common muggers to bother with; guns are cheaper to buy and easier to steal. Even if thieves start stealing 3D printers as well as guns, I doubt it will be much of a problem. Few burglars would be smart enough to figure out how to operate 3D printers-- stupidity, along with poor impulse control, being an almost universal trait of thieves.

3D printed guns will end up being occasionally used in crime. It's inevitable. Yet, this will usually be a case of the 3D printed gun being used instead of some other gun, not a crime which wouldn't have happened without 3D printed guns.

Those who believe they should control the content of our pockets are worried these guns, being made of plastic, might end up in places where they don't want us to have them. Even if plastic guns were undetectable (and they aren't), the ammunition isn't. Without ammo, any gun might as well be a brick.

I see this as evidence that 3D printed, non-metallic ammunition is the next essential innovation. At least until reliable electronic weapons, like those in science fiction, are perfected and available for common use.

Home-printed guns may have signaled the death of "gun control" as anything other than the tantrums of political control freaks. I can hope.

As long as government employees are armed, guns will be in the wrong hands; an angle which isn't even seen as an issue by those most adamant about disarming the rest of us. Tell that to the homeowner killed by the responding police officer in Aurora, Colorado last week. If he had survived the encounter he might disagree.

I doubt 3D printed guns will ever become anything more than an imaginary crisis for those who don't want you able to resist them doing things to you which you wouldn't permit if you were properly armed. Murder will still be illegal for most of us. As will theft. It will still be (unconstitutionally) illegal to sell printed guns without government approval. If laws could solve anything, there would be no crime. Since they can't, 3D printed guns aren't going to do any harm, and they might even help.

Thank you for helping support

Upsetting thieves with truth


Years ago, long before I had a blog, I had a retail shop. I hated robbing my customers in the name of "sales tax", but if I didn't, armed goons would have come and murdered me. Insanity, I know!

But every time I wrote the check to the town's "tax" collector, on the memo line I wrote something like "sales 'tax' extortion for August". The "tax" collector called to question me about that-- or to whine-- a few different times. It drove her mad.

I wasn't rude to her, I simply said I didn't appreciate being recruited to rob my customers on her behalf-- that if she wanted to rob them she should go do it herself.

She would object, "but it isn't robbery, it's a tax!" Same thing, I'd tell her.

She would sputter, "but don't you want police and paved roads?" No, I really don't. There's nothing the stolen money buys that I want that bad. Can I stop robbing my customers now?

She actually showed up in person once, just to get me to stop writing that on the checks. Why did it even matter to her? I paid the extortion, but I never stopped editorializing on the memo line.

This blog is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.