3-D printing is the wave of the future … and the first working gun has been printed.
Exactly what are the gun control people going to say and do about this? Interdicting the transfer of guns will simply not be an issue in the future.
And what about the use of guns? Think about it: we’re on the verge of being able to print a gun, use it once, and melt the evidence. The police are certainly not ready for that.
On the other hand, parts of the gun control lobby just want to slow people when they want to buy a gun because they’re hot-headed. Having stores that could print guns would actually self-enforce that.
Even worse, what if someone figures out a way to print ammunition? There would need to be some way to fill the shells with powder, but there are lots of gun enthusiasts who do that on their own already. But all of the regulations on “cop-killer” and other forms of exceptionally lethal ammo go right out the window.
Oh … and Europe … where centralizers have gotten rid of most of the guns? You are in for a wild ride.
My mind is boggled by this.
All of this is speculative. But the economics of gun production have changed dramatically. This has historically been an industry with huge fixed costs and low marginal costs: you make guns in factories, and if you make enough you can retail them pretty cheaply. Now, the fixed costs can be transferred to the individual at an affordable price, and the marginal costs of printing guns will plummet towards zero (the plastic is cheap, and the printing time factor will be improved by technology). Call me crazy, but this sounds a lot like the music industry in 1990.
Here’s a prediction: the biggest opponents of 3-D printing may be the gun companies.
Here’s another prediction: people uninterested in guns will start to have working plastic replicas of ones they like. That Luger from the movie you saw last weekend … it’s yours.
Here’s another prediction: there will be metal gun snobs around in a generation.
Via Carpe Diem.