Necessity Is A Mother

Posted on May 5, 2013

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This, the ‘Liberator’ is one of her newborn offspring.

It’s said that Necessity is the Mother of Invention.  No, that wasn’t Frank Zappa – I believe it was Plato. Well, invention may have leapfrogged necessity by a few feet here, but an emerging technology – 3-D Printers, has the momentum to render all of the debates about gun ownership and gun control, a moot point going forward. Engineering geeks have been using 3-D printers to replicate all sorts of things that ordinarily were subject to an assembly line production sequence.

The process is referred to within the industry as ‘Additive Manufacturing’. Now, the ultimate frontier has been conquered – the acquisition of a firearm without licensing, background checks or one’s name sitting in some government registry.

I debated whether to get into the weeds of how 3-D printers work and how they were developed. I decided not to, because there is good information out there already, because it is above my pay grade in terms of expertise and because others will do a better job explaining it.

If you want to take a look under the hood of one of these amazing machines, you can go here to the excellent and comprehensive industry website ‘Additive Manufacturing.com’. If not, just approach it as you would, the mysterious mechanics of an automobile. You know all you need to know when you turn the key in the ignition. Actually (the ignition key), is kind of ‘last century’ as well, I’ve noticed.

Back in 1993, I watched the Clint Eastwood movie, ‘In The Line of Fire’ and pondered the plot line of the crazed assassin building a handgun out of wood in his machine shop, capable of delivering a fatal bullet. It struck me as far fetched at the time. It turns out it was prophetic, with the exception of the wood and the machine shop and the assassin (John Malkovich).

The creation of various parts of guns have been underway with the use of 3-D printers for a couple of years now. For example, one designer has engineered a blueprint file for the receiver of an AR-15. Magazines for Semi-autos from 3-D prototypes have been tested to withstand hundreds of rounds without failure. Work is underway on the design for a complete Semi-Automatic rifle of the same type as the AR-15. In fact, there are so many projects in development for 3-D printed guns, space doesn’t permit remarking on all of them.

The leading innovator in this new field is a non-profit group, Defense Distributed, headed by Cody R. Wilson, 25, who also attends the University of Texas in their Juris Doctor program. It seems logical that Cody is pursuing law at UT. Can you imagine the uproar at some liberal school like U.C. Berkeley, for example? Cody, by the way is our newest ‘Anti-Blasted Fool’ (our moniker for Patriot / Hero), here at Blasted Fools.

I love the line, “Joe Biden – this is no country for old men”.

Some thoughts about the Motherboard documentary. First is my impression of Cody. He is an incredibly bright young man. If anyone is concerned about any sort of brain drain going on in America, please note that there are Codys’ innovating in all manner of diverse fields. He’s not self-effacing. That might be considered a character flaw by some, but not by me. He is not putting on any pretense to the world, but instead, just being himself.

He’s talented, proud of his accomplishments and doesn’t waste time naval gazing or beard scratching. He’s not riddled with doubt and apprehensions. That’s probably not garnering him a lot of style points with people who must always view the future with what they think is a healthy measure of pessimism. So be it.

The New York Times writer, Nick Bitton, starts off reasonably well, but lets trepid visions of teenagers running around with guns they’ve printed off the internet, derail his objectivity.

I was also struck by Cody’s crystal clear take on politics in America. He is correct when he says “there aren’t genuine politics“, but rather, the news media plumping up our ‘choice’ between one or another ‘Globalist Neo-Liberals’ put forward to protect the interest of the “autonomous class of Goldman Sachs bankers”. Precisely! I might call them ‘Globalist Neo-Fascists’ but that’s just a quibble.

Next week, Wilson has scheduled for release, the 3-D printable CAD files for a complete handgun. The gun is dubbed ‘the Liberator’. Forbes’ staff writer Andy Greenberg, provides further details:

“All sixteen pieces of the Liberator prototype were printed in ABS plastic with a Dimension SST printer from 3D printing company Stratasys, with the exception of a single nail that’s used as a firing pin. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition.”

Stratasys, in October 2012, for reasons centering on the controversial nature of Wilson’s use of their 3-D printer, retrieved one of them that was on lease to Austin based Defense Distributed. Publicity whore politicians and bloviating media bobble heads, have popped up like Jack-in-the-Boxes, to denounce this innovation and call for its prohibition as well. Forbes goes on to report that:

“New York congressman Steve Israel has responded to Defense Distributed’s work by introducing a bill that would renew the Undetectable Firearms Act with new provisions aimed specifically at 3D printed components. In January, personal 3D printing firm Makerbot removed all gun components from Thingiverse, its popular site for hosting users’ printable designs.”

Chuckie Schumer himself went on a hysterical rant:

“These guns are just as deadly as any you’d see in a gun store, impossible to detect, and can easily be made by anyone with an internet connection and a thousand dollars, the cost of a 3D plastic printer.  Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” he said. “It must be stopped.”

I’d actually argue that anti-freedom demagogues like Schumer ‘must be stopped’.  It’s important to note that what Cody, his fellow engineer Benjamin Dineo and their associates at Defense Distributed are engineering is not illegal. As a matter of fact, Cody applied for and recently received, a manufacturing permit (Federal Firearms License – FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). He has sat down with them in meetings and answered all their questions openly and voluntarily. None of the process is being conducted under the cloak of darkness.

As a matter of fact, the files on all of the prototypes are available on-line at DefCad.org. DefCad.org is a repository for all the projects that Defense Distributed’s former web host, Makerbot Industries decided were too hot to handle, i.e. – too politically incorrect.  This Genie is out of Aladdin’s lamp and is not going to be coaxed back in by any self-appointed, grandstanding do-gooders – politicians or otherwise. The Aladdin in our story is of course, Cody Wilson, but the implications of his innovations go well beyond just the marvel of 3-D printing technology. What he has introduced is nothing less than a monumental game changer in the current debate over the Second Amendment and Gun Control.

We’ve made the argument that guns will be available to those who want them no matter how much futile and expensive effort is made on the part of law-makers to prohibit them. I’ve also clearly demonstrated that evil and crazy people have any number of means at their disposal with which to create public mayhem. The gun legislation crowd, that has so far, failed to strike a hammer blow against lawful gun owners and our rights – has just met their Waterloo.

As is true with any first generation technology (remember Microwave ovens, CD and DVD players, hand held Calculators, Faxes, Photocopy machines?) – the cost of manufacturing eventually comes down to household affordability. In the not too distant future, you will own your own 3-D printer and be using it to make an incredible array of domestic items out of raw chunks of Polymer or other carbonites under development.

The only alternative now for the frustrated, would be gun grabbers, will be to entirely criminalize the gun owning population in this country. That just isn’t happening. The national government will be pulled out by its roots before that happens. This amazing trend of technology now places anti-gun politicians and their backers in the dubious position of continuing to fight battles in a war that has already been lost.

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