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.