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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Gun Control Defeated by 3D Printing
Monday, Jan 28, 2013 6:21am
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Alright, you gun control opponents! I have a concession to make, so pay attention.

I am changing my position on the plausible effectiveness of enforcement on the gun control proposals. It is common to hear the analogy that outlawing marijuana didn't eliminate it from our society and that outlawing alcohol only made matters worse in our country. I have rebutted these analogies by stating that a person cannot produce an assault rifle in their home without extensive skills and resources, making it different than marijuana or alcohol. This is no longer factually accurate. Enter 3-D printing, a NASA-endorsed technology that I have long embraced as the answer to many manufacturing and distribution issues in modern industry. Ironically, it has done precisely that.

Announced on Popsci this past Saturday was an article relating the story of HaveBlue, an amateur gunsmith with a 3-D printer. According to Popsci, HaveBlue succeeded in producing a plastic, but fully functional, AR-15 assault rifle on his 3-D printer for roughly $30 in materials.

For me, both a gun control advocate and advocate of sustainable technologies, this changes everything. No longer is it be plausible to track the production of guns. No longer is it plausible to track who acquires them. No longer is it plausible to ban any type of weapon that can be printed in your home on a child's allowance. Legislation would be required to step up and legislate who has a 3-D printer, a degree of government involvement that would turn off even me.

I still believe we need some avenue to remove the volume of guns in our society. The problem is that the legislative avenues for doing so that have proved effective in other countries are rendered ineffective with this information. I am left with no effective avenue except social pressures. Unless the Popsci story proves factually inaccurate, which I see no reason to believe that it is, I must concede that even the existing gun control legislations have been neutralized, let alone adding more.

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