"This project might change the way we think about gun control and consumption. How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out."
"Five months ago, the group of homemade gun enthusiasts known as Defense Distributed set out to create a lethal firearm that could be downloaded and 3D-printed entirely from scratch, circumventing all gun control laws. But as new gun bills have been proposed in the wake of recent shootings, creating a bootleg weapon with digital pieces may soon be far easier: As simple as printing a spring-loaded plastic box.
Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip."A fully functional 3D-printed firearm is still a ways off, but a while ago not even a functioning 3D-printed magazine was possible to make. The technology is on its way. This is a good thing.
As per the quote at the top of this post, that's what it's all about. Despite what the anti-gun crowd thinks, that the 2nd amendment is what gives us our right to keep and bear arms (it does not, it merely describes a right that we naturally possess, and exists to restrict governments from impairing that right) and can be legislated away, and that it's really all just about hunting deer, the truth is that our ability to possess arms is to have the means to resist tyrannical governments.
There's a quote out there often attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When people fear the government, there is tyranny." There's some debate as to whether or not Jefferson actually said that. Much like the anti-gunners that think they really have something because memes attributing total gun control to Hitler are historically inaccurate, they would probably foam at their liberty-hating mouths if they discovered that this is in fact an incorrectly attributed quote.
That's what the lazy thinkers that populate the statist ranks love to do, catch people on trivial technicalities and substitute that for independent thought and truth (not to mention superficially reading the Constitution and concluding from that all kinds of restrictions on us that do not exist). So Hitler didn't disarm everyone, and in fact did enact firearms laws in Germany that actually expanded ownership. Great, right? That means supporters of the 2nd are wrong and you can go on your merry, brain dead statist way. Except for one thing: Jewish people were not included in those relatively more liberal firearms laws, nor were people in lands conquered by the Nazis. We know how that ended up.
As for the Jefferson quote, would it not be true if it were someone else who said it? Of course, it still would be. Government's power correctly comes from the consent of the governed. Governments do not always remain legitimate, as history has shown again and again, instead becoming an entity staffed by individuals who see government as an end in itself, something that exists for its own sake. Such governments derive their power from what force they are able to wield. Then, what government wants (really, what the individuals who happen to make up the government want) becomes what the government gets. Whatever stands in its way simply gets moved (or eliminated).
In a nation dominated by such a government, one that has turned rotten and corrupt, what you want in life simply does not matter. The priorities and goals for "the nation," "the people," "society," etc. identified by the elites in charge take precedence. You become the muscle that will be used to achieve those visions. It won't matter if you happen to agree or if you do not, the choice will not be yours. If you are deemed to be too troublesome, too much of an impediment to the achievement of the elite's goals, then you'll have to go.
Naturally, such a government cannot tolerate any rival power, and it will not so long as the rival power is weaker. At the first available opportunity, that government will attack the smaller, weaker rival and attempt to eliminate it.
“If [a firearm technology] is used by law enforcement or military, you can bet they say it shouldn’t be used by you.”
-- Cody Wilson, Founder, Defense Distributed
For now, possession of firearms is our ultimate backstop against our own government turning all-out tyrannical. Even so, look at how they treat us with contempt! They pass laws and create agencies that seek to harass us in our day-to-day lives. They have taken to demanding that we buy certain products as a condition of being alive. They create regulations "for our own good, for our protection" that limit the average person's opportunities while preserving their own. They swear oaths to uphold our Constitution, and then they openly mock it and seek ways to circumvent it. They constantly seek ways to undermine the integrity of our elections so as to further cement themselves in power. They recklessly incur greater and greater amounts of debt that they then demand that we repay, even as the amount becomes so large that it cannot be repaid. The list goes on.
Think it's bad now? Further restrict private firearm ownership, or even eliminate it all together. How much better behaved do you think they'll be then?
That's the beauty of this new technology. Right now, production of firearms is more or less a centralized activity - there are only so many manufacturers in the world, after all. The fewer points of production that exist, the easier it is to shut them down. Limited production also increases the cost of the end product, especially if it is in high demand.
What if the points of production literally became almost everywhere, all at once, and it were impossible to find them all?
The answer: power, in the form of physical force, becomes more widely distributed and therefore more balanced. A rotten government bent on total centralization of its power will do so to the extent that it can use its available force unopposed (relatively speaking). The greater the extent that force can be centralized, the easier it will be for said government to dominate its subjects. Conversely, the greater the extent that power in the form of physical force can be decentralized, the ability of any government, gang, mob, etc. to dominate becomes less, even eliminated. They are then returned to their proper place: allowed to exist and deriving power only by the consent of the governed.
I look forward to the continued development and success of Defense Distributed's work. This technology cannot get here soon enough.