It has been some time since I have found it in me to add some words to this blog. Not that I’m apologizing or performing some act of contrition for my tardiness. I merely view the frequency of my contributions as happening when they do. As is custom however, I am stirred most often to write when some subject prompts me. In this case, Mr. Wilson’s Gun has set my fingers to hunting and pecking at the keyboard.
As reported in the BBC Web pages: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22464360
Mr. Wilson has produced a ‘gun’.
For anyone who might be unaware, Mr. Wilson, unsurprisingly of Texas, has developed and produced a 3D print version of a pistol that is able to be fired and is producible by anyone with a 3D printer and the raw materials. Ammunition is eventually a requirement, I suspect available at one’s local firearms store.
Being an American, Mr. Wilson has apparently no moral or intellectual issues with the development and production of a firearm via 3D printing – and from the perspective of the technology used, neither do I. What is the difference between forging weapons components and producing them in plastic? Where my eyebrows raise and that bell sounding concern goes off in the back of my head, is in consideration of the distribution of the plans via the web.
Before anyone paints a picture of Mr. Wilson as some sort of amoral, intellectually bereft Neanderthal, let me just say this. From his perspective, the US’ 2nd amendment and his constitutional rights would suggest his moral and intellectual right to endeavour to build such a weapon do not constitute some dangerously illegal, amoral, or for that matter ill-conceived act. Moreover, he did seek the appropriate licensing to produce the ‘gun’. Still, his uploading the plans is another matter altogether.
While it may be a 2nd Amendment right to ‘bear arms’ in the US, this is not necessarily the case elsewhere. In fact, local regions might be quite annoyed by the notion of such plans being widely distributed. While ‘background’ checks may be an anathema to the US, they are not elsewhere. Mr. Wilson’s plans circumvent that annoying wrinkle quite neatly.
Now, let’s not thrust the full weight of blame upon this Texas College Student. If not him, someone else would have come up with the plan and performed the test. Even still, someone else would have uploaded the plans. Mr. Wilson was first (that we know of). Yet, herein lies a conundrum for nations everywhere – just how much of this ‘free’ information sharing is the right amount? Then, having the data really isn’t an issue until one attempts to ‘print’ a pistol.
Regardless Mr. Wilson has made us think, perhaps unthinkingly. His achievement, if it can be called that, has been to thumb his nose at global authorities – not those of his own country, he wisely covered his bum in that regard. No, Mr. Wilson flipped the bird to everyone else, everyone who frankly couldn’t bother him through any of ‘their’ laws. 100,000 downloads and counting.
Welcome to Mr. Wilson’s world.
P.S. The US Government has since demanded that the plans be taken down – suggesting a breach of arms control regulations.
- World’s first 3D-printed gun test-fired (thehindu.com)
- World’s first 3D-printed gun fired (thehindu.com)
- US demands removal of 3D printed gun templates (telegraph.co.uk)
- World’s first 3D-printer gun fired (bbc.co.uk)
- 3D printed guns: it seems you can make them after all. So go ahead and shoot me with one (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Gun factory fears as 3D blueprints available online (metro.co.uk)
- ‘I’m not an arms trader…. It should be understood as software,’ creator of first 3D-printed plastic gun explains (news.nationalpost.com)
- Working Gun Made With 3D Printer (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Just what we needed Dept: The 3D printed gun (treehugger.com)
- 3D Printer Made Gun (newsfromtheloop.wordpress.com)