The 3D printed plastic gun issue

Such hostile invective being thrown around with regard to the 3-D printed plastic gun issue.

The folks who can’t understand why the government would take action now, that they’re stupid for pulling the plug after the plans have already been released, and that they shouldn’t even be getting all up about it, since it only fires a single round at a time… these folks really need to look up Moore’s Law. While this is not technically a mere technology evolution issue, it involves materials sciences and technology and chemistry, and all of these areas have seen phenomenal growth over the last several decades. Look at some of the phenomenal polymers of today like Kevlar and Nomex. These things didn’t exist before the 60’s. Put together with Moore’s, the rate of change is itself increasing, and so it is not unreasonable to expect that in another decade or so there will be “plastics” that will be as strong and heat-resistant as metals are today. There will be plastic guns capable of firing multiple shots, with reasonable accuracy, perhaps with now conceivably lethal plastic bullets as well.

3D printing has only just in the last few years come into the consciousness of all but a handful of people who knew about them longer. And here we are, already, with a 3D printed gun. Now, with zero experience, no metalworking skills, no knowledge of how guns even work, anyone who has a capable enough 3D printer, will be able to generate one of these devices, snap it together, and fire a bullet. Kids doing them as science projects, bringing them to school, undetected. Persons of ill intent doing the same, bringing them onto planes or into offices or banks or sports stadiums and using them for whatever reason they may imagine is worth it.

Doesn’t this set off alarms in everyone’s heads? As far as what the right answer is, who the hell knows? But to just let it go, and say, well, the cat’s out of the bag, nothing we can do, really is not at all reasonable. They had to shut it down in whatever ways they had at their disposal, to buy time to at least form an opinion. I think it’s a very complicated issue, and I’m glad for the extra time to work this out, thank you.


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