It’s not about the size of the gun, Fellow Reckoner…it’s about how easily you can download it!
The national debate on gun control underwent a kind of paradigm shift last week when non-profit outfit, Defense Distributed, introduced The Liberator, a fully 3D-printable weapon, to the Internet. Many hailed it as a game changer.
Until that moment, the public discourse had been focused on what the government “should” or “should not” do with regards to regulating citizens’ means of self defense. Then, with the click of a mouse, the conversation shifted from what the government “should” do to what, if anything, it “could” do.
If one could simply print a gun in the privacy of their own home, what, exactly, was anyone going to do about it? The Liberator is a single shot, .22 calibre plastic handgun. To be sure, that’s no match for the kind of heat The State’s goons are packing. But how long would it be before the blueprints for more complex weapons — semi- and/or fully-automatic weapons — become available online? Not long, we’d reckon.
Wasting no time to think, windbag senators with names like “Schumer” bravely donned their chainmail and went about loading bronze-tipped arrows into their bows. Lest we forget: these are people who have dedicated their entire lives to acquiring permanent residence on the front lines of the last battle. And so they stood, lances pointed into the dark, ready for action. Alas, the enemy was nowhere to be seen. Before the senators even thought to look up the term “asymmetrical warfare,” The Liberator’s files were busy zipping across cyberspace at warp speed, finding their way into the digital quivers of users all over the world.
The Liberator was free.
In a frantic attempt to demonstrate its own ignorance as to how the Internet actually works, the US State Department counter-attacked on Thursday, sending a letter to Defense Distributed demanding the removal of the online files which allow users to 3D-print their own, unregistered Liberator at home.
It’s as if they thought the toothpaste could just be pushed right back into the tube. Wrong.
Cody Ross, the brains behind Defense Distributed did, indeed, comply with the Fed’s demands. But by the time the files were removed from his site, over 100,000 people around the planet, in hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of separate jurisdictions, had already downloaded them…and posted them on hundreds more sites. It takes a half-baked chimpanzee about six seconds to find the blueprints online. Granted, that puts them out of the senators’ reach…but that’s hardly the point.
The message from The People was clear: Your move, State.
Of course it is true that, in addition to their intellectual arsenal of rocks and spears, The State, through a combination of brute force and dumb luck, has also managed to acquire a vast and impressive cache of extremely deadly weapons… like Predator drones, Abrams tanks and nuclear-armed atrocities of many and varied descriptions. But what good is a rocket-launcher against a swarm of killer bees? And is that even the point?
As Fellow Reckoners know, we have a soft spot for the underdog…the misfit…the downtrodden. And so, sensing that Defense Distributed will be assuming the “Little Guy” role from here on out, we penned a few unsolicited notes on the company’s behalf…
Dear The State,Let’s be clear: our 3D gun doesn’t attempt to compete with the big, manly weapons you’re always prattling on about (at least not directly). Rather, it calls into question your claim to be able to control and regulate every aspect of our lives, from whom we form relationships with, to whom we contract with and on what terms, to what substances we put in our own bodies, to how much of our life and property you are entitled to and, yes…to the inanimate objects with which we choose to defend ourselves and our families.So please, feel free to fixate on the “adequacy” of your own big, strong weapons. The rest of us will be busy downloading ours.Sincerely,The People
Dear The State,
Let’s be clear: our 3D gun doesn’t attempt to compete with the big, manly weapons you’re always prattling on about (at least not directly). Rather, it calls into question your claim to be able to control and regulate every aspect of our lives, from whom we form relationships with, to whom we contract with and on what terms, to what substances we put in our own bodies, to how much of our life and property you are entitled to and, yes…to the inanimate objects with which we choose to defend ourselves and our families.
So please, feel free to fixate on the “adequacy” of your own big, strong weapons. The rest of us will be busy downloading ours.
Joel BowmanEditor at Large for The Daily ReckoningFollow on Twitter: @JoelBowman
Some have struggled to reconcile Ghandi’s pacifism with an opposition to disarmament.
Joel Bowman is a contributor to The Daily Reckoning. After completing his degree in media communications and journalism in his home country of Australia, Joel moved to Baltimore to join the Agora Financial team. His keen interest in travel and macroeconomics first took him to New York where he regularly reported from Wall Street, and he now writes from and lives all over the world.
I fear the gun nuts much more than the government. If the state is after you, you think your gun will save you?
And many so called law abiding gun owners are killing a lot of people.
John, your a pussy…grow a pair and go buy a gun..you’ll wish you had one soon, obama’s after you and everything you love
Governments have killed about 200,000,000 people in the last century. “Gun nuts” cannot compete with that.
That’s CRAP ! Ever one in Denmark is required to have a gun ,and most often carry one. Guess what country had NO deaths by gun shot ? You guessed it !!
More than a decade ago, Addison Wiggin helped co-found the Daily Reckoning with Bill Bonner. Today, he recalls this life-changing experience, and explains how - despite being rooted in the world of finance - it is and will always be about much more than money. Read on...
Halloween is tonight! And just in case you waited until the last second to think about what you're going to wear, here are four costume ideas you can easily put together in about 10 minutes or less. With these costumes you'll be the hit of your friend's party - provided you're friends with a bunch of economists. (Downloadable masks included...) Happy Halloween!
The financial news is full of misinformation - reported by unreliable pundits and taken at face value by an easily swayed public that doesn't really no better. That's why today, Bill Bonner relays the four basic truths he's discovered during his 30 year career in the financial industry to help you make sense of it all. Read on...
For those who doubt the effectiveness of the Swiss Gold Initiative, Grant Williams has a few startling charts to show you. Today, he relays just how popular this movement is, and how you can actually influence the outcome... no matter where in the world you call home. Read on...
For most of the year, no one wanted small cap stocks in their portfolios. But over the last three weeks, few sectors of the market have performed better than small caps. Greg Guenthner explains how to use this to your advantage... and what to expect for the rest of 2014. Read on...