I LOVE the thought of 3-D printers being able to reproduce just about anything, even guns. The revolution of 3-D printers could be huge for the issue of gun control and I’m hoping it will lead to a new burst of freedom with regard to the Second Amendment, rather than more massive government intervention.
On the one hand, 3-D printers, as they become more available and more effective, will make it nearly impossible for gun control to have any substantial effect; any citizen would be able to potentially reproduce a gun right in their own home. Even if you go to the extreme of confiscating weapons, a 3-D printer could easily replace any gun that would be confiscated. But then, it’s easy to believe that the federal government wouldn’t stop at that; they could conceivably license who may own and operate 3-D printers, and regulate what can be legally produced on such a printer. Even worse, I could see them banning 3-D printers generally; they would probably reserve the right to use such printers to the government itself, so as to choose for everyone else what will and will not be printed. They would try to make the assertion that “it’s for our own good” and that somehow “society cannot be trusted with this power because we will abuse it.” But since when has the government not abused its powers? Have we not learned that the government cannot be trusted with any power? The reality is using a 3-D printer to produce a weapon would be no different that using any other machine to do so. It would just be simpler and cheaper, which should be applauded. It can admitted that any gang in possession of a 3-D printer capable of producing cheap weapons wouldn’t be desirable. However, we also have to understand why gangs have power: they’re only capable of holding power when honest citizens cannot be armed and when activities (such as drugs, etc.) are made illegal and are therefore immensely profitable to those willing to defy the law. If we get the government out of all these areas, we can mitigate all these unwanted effects the are created by government prohibitions and aren’t inherent in a free society.
I sincerely hope the government stays out of this business and lets it evolve unabated so the industry can flourish rather than be stifled by government.