Final thought on the 3D printed gun thing

I’ve been browsing through the Twitter feeds of politicians, celebrities, and anti-gun activists clutching their pearls over the “3-D printed guns” and what they think that means.

What I am noticing reinforces just about every political stereotype I have.

I remember reading one of Mike Rowe’s (of Dirty Jobs) Facebook posts where he mentions that he’s never seen anybody burn a flag in protest at a trade school.

Working as an engineer in the defense world, I have watched bar stock and billet get turned into weapons.  It is not magic, it is a process of machining, broaching, milling, tumbling, finishing, and assembly.

Depending on how many pieces you want to buy vs. how much you want to make yourself, a garage machinist with an end mill and a lathe can turn a block of aluminum or steel into an AR-15 lower or 1911 frame.  Then, of course, there are simpler designs that can be made out of mostly steel tubing.

This country is full of guys with garages who make knives or restore old cars and make parts themselves.  Any one of these guys, with a little effort, could make a gun.

The I see the hysteria over “3-D printed guns” and how gangs and criminals are going to print untraceable guns and it will be the end of law enforcement as we know it.  I go into the Twitter bios of these people and I see a lot of moms, activists, artists, and Lefty college students.

The people who are going nuts about this are the people who have no idea how stuff is made.

These are the same people that have no idea about what happens to food before it ends up at the grocery store.

If gangs making their own guns was such a problem than every Mexican gang that has a shop that can make Lowriders would be making AK receivers.  The sheet metal work that goes into fender flares is far more complicated than an AK.  This equipment is much easier to buy and use than a 3-D printer.  A drill press and break press at Harbor Freight will set you back a couple of hundred bucks.

If these people had any clue how stuff is made, I’m not sure if they’d be more calm – “this is a non issue since gangs aren’t cranking out home made guns from their autobody shops already” – or if they’d hyperventilate to death – “we need to ban people from buying sheet, bar, or billet steel and aluminum, or possessing a CNC without a license.”

What I do know is that this level of hysterics can only be born of an incredible level of ignorance.

The politicians who are trying to make hay out of this clearly have never laced up a pair of work boots and stepped foot into a factory to do more than take a photo op with some union shop workers.

The pearls are being clutched in soft hands of loafer wearing money fondlers and Liberal Art degree having snowflakes who know NOTHING about either the technology they are worried about or how anything is made.

But of course, these out-of-touch elitists want to regulate something they do not understand.  And therein lies the rub.

9 Replies to “Final thought on the 3D printed gun thing”

  1. This is so right on. i just wrote something very similar. If these people only knew what a competent, or even half competent machinist could do they would retreat to their safe spaces and never come out. Hmm. Maybe we should make them aware so they go cocoon themselves. Just a thought.

  2. Well said. When I get in a discussion with the we need track every firearm crowd, I like to point out that the Haganah was building STEN copies under the noses of the British long before the birth of modern Israel. It’s usually a mic drop moment.

    The ignorant regulating what they don’t understand isn’t limited to firearms. Thus we have rules regarding how much water a toilet can use per flush. What fuel consumption you are allowed in your personally owned vehicle. How much energy you can use to heat and cool your home or business, etc. Some of these regulations are contradictory in nature. For example, the automotive fuel economy requirements and crashworthiness requirements. If you want high mpg then you need a lighter car, if you want it to survive a head-on crash without killing the occupants, you need more steel. The amazing thing is that somehow we’ve been able to navigate these regulations somewhat successfully. How much longer can this go on? I haven’t a clue.

  3. Sometimes I am reminded of the C. J. Kornbluth story, “The Marching Morons”. (It’s a SF classic). By no means am I casting myself as the protagonist, but, rather, as one adrift in the morass of willfully unlettered.

  4. Ever see the articles in The Backwoodsman mags about the “hill people” in Tennesee,West Virginia, the Carolinas making RIFLED flintlock muzzle loaders without electricity with hand tools…in cabins with dirt floors
    More fake out rage from ignorant assholes with too much time on their evil hands. When ever I hear these useless moron start brayin I hear “blah blah blah f’in blah.” Yeah, gang bangers are gonna lay out 40 grand to print something they can buy in Mexico for $75bucks ( soldier of fortune mag article)

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  5. Lest we forget, these selfsame clueless elitists look down their noses at those of us who can, you know, hold down a productive job. And they wonder why we tell them that they are idiots to propose a guaranteed income for everyone. Sheesh.

  6. It’s been conclusively demonstrated long ago that the anti-gun left isn’t just ignorant — they are PROUD of their ignorance and consider it an important qualification.
    As for “turn bar stock into a weapon” I had that driven home to me when I read of Arne Boberg turning out his first prototype on a manual Bridgeport mill. A semi-auto handgun, with a newly invented action. And it worked, and didn’t blow up.

  7. I like to point out that at 12 I figured out how an open bolt machine gun works by converting my paintball gun to auto… At 12 I didn’t realize what principle I discovered but at 18 when I going though my paintball stuff my eyes were wide with revelation.

    Point being of course if I can do it with no knowledge and equipment at 12 imagine what people with a modicum of knowledge can do.

  8. BTW- Austin Peterson is running for senate election in Missouri and you can enter on his web site to win one of those evil ghost gun printers.
    I noticed some one consitantly “ thumbs down” my posts on here…. 👅

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