I’m sorry Obama, Sandyhook victims, and everyone else. You’ve already lost the gun issue. Not because of politicians, but because of technology. We have working 3D printed guns. It’s over. On 6 May my RSS feed reader was ablaze with articles about the working 3D-printed gun including this article from Ars, another article from ars, and one from Boing Boing. This is the same guy who previously created the ability to hold more bullets in semi-automatic guns using 3D printing. The articles all made sure to mention that the CAD files that were uploaded for this new gun had a section that was purposely made of metal to ensure it could be detected by magnetometers. Only one article mentioned that this was a bull-crap attempt at not getting too much flack from anti-gun people. Because there’s no reason why someone who got the CAD files couldn’t change that to be made of plastic and have a nearly undetectable gun. The gun only fires a few rounds, but under the right circumstances that could be more than enough.
Jonathan Hickman, writer on Fantastic Four and Avengers, tweeted that this is the beginning of the end of being able to declare things illegal. I tend to agree with him. The government can make an effort to stop the proliferation of CAD files for things it doesn’t want private citizens to build, but there isn’t an effective way to do that. Look at the horrible job they’re doing of keeping music and movies from being shared. And if they were somehow able to make it so it couldn’t spread online, it’d be all but impossible to prevent its spread via USB sticks and other offline media. If they tried to force Microsoft and Apple to make this (or any other contraband) unspreadable via USB, people would turn to Linux and BSD. If they tried to make the 3D printers unable to print it, people would come up with custom ROMs. 3D Printing may end up being the most disruptive technology to society since the printing press.
So, just stop worrying about gun control. Who will run background checks when people can print their own guns?
note: for the record, I’m for gun control and all that. I just think it’s pointless at this point given technology