Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Printer...My Gun?


Have you been paying attention? This is one that no one is quite sure how to handle. How do you control a gun that cannot be read by scanner or x-ray?  Technically the law proscribes that any gun made of plastic must have a metal piece placed in it so that it can be detected since the only other metal part it requires is the firing pin which is not actually big enough to show up on a metal detector.  Up until now, plastic guns were manufactured with this required feature.

Dita Von Tease models the first 3-D printed dress which
which comes complete with shoes.
Then along came this gun.  The picture above is a gun that was printed.  It has by the way all the required elements of an inserted metal plate, but there is a problem.  Any one can own a 3-D printer. Any one can print a gun at home.  Printer is actually something of a misnomer for what it does.  A 3-D printer actually layers in materials like plastic to a proscribed pattern making whatever is designed.  Theoretically, a 3-D printer could be used to layer in organic tissue to make anything from food to human organs for transplant.  It is just a matter of time.  It is an amazing technology.

Until recently, the 3-D printer was out of the price range of most everyone starting at a cost of $10,000 on the low end with printing material kits starting around $500 per kit.  This is no longer true.  While they are still pricey, a low end 3-D printer which can make an object 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches costs around $1500 with a kit that will print about 12 cell phone bodies costing around $50.  I do not know what size of printer one needs for the gun.
New Balance introduces a line of 3-D printed shoes.

So what is one of the first things someone comes up with? A gun.  As they say, only in America.  There have, of course been other things printed like a dress, shoes and even a car.   It is, though, the weapon that creates the problem. Gun Control advocates have no idea how to control a weapon.  The blue print for the gun was downloaded several hundred thousand times before it was taken down by National Security.  Folks on the anti-gun control side, except for a few extremists, also realize the profound problem it is for someone who can print the gun and leave out its metal piece.  It can be carried anywhere.  It is a true security threat.  There is of course the one thing they haven't printed, yet - plastic shells and bullets.  Not far behind, I am sure.

A 3-D printed car, called the Urbee
I, honestly, have no idea how we can control such a weapon.  It is now another danger which we must live with, I guess.