Banning 3D-Printed Guns

Scott Adams says 3D-printed guns will be effectively stopped (or severely limited) with “friction” by government “laws” or 3D printer company policies/apps. (You did save the files before the anti-liberty bigots of the U.S. feral government threatened everyone into taking them offline, didn’t you?)

He believes 3D printers will end up being manufactured by just a few big companies, as usually happens with products like that, and you’ll have to download their approved apps from their app stores to print items. And that they’ll simply forbid gun-printing apps. He’s probably right.

Yes, he admits hackers might get around this, and some people will build their own printers without this limitation, but this is where his “friction” fetish comes in play. For the average person, this added difficulty will be enough to prevent them from printing guns.

But will it, though?

If guns required gun-specific parts which couldn’t be used for other things, he might be right. But they don’t. That’s why you can build a gun from plumbing.

And, if 3D-printed guns were banned by government or the printer manufacturers, don’t you think more effort would go into designing guns which are built from parts no one could possibly recognize as gun parts? Or parts which have other, actual uses.

Print this lamp part, this repair piece for your coffee pot, this game piece, etc., put them all together in this way, and you’ve got a gun. No gun or gun part was printed. Yet a gun was printed after all. By someone who didn’t have to be a hacker or build their own 3D printer, but who just wanted a gun enough to print one. Kind of like the way it happens now.

Does he really imagine the app stores would be able to tell all the parts which can be used to make a gun from the parts which can’t?

Yes, it still might reduce the number of guns being printed, and if you start with a flawed assumption you might see this as a win. But that’s an admission that you aren’t thinking rationally.

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Kent McManigal

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