If you have read some of my past articles, you probably know I appreciate the rights we enjoy as Americans, but I also think some of those rights may be being interpreted in a way that doesn’t make sense,; such as guns and gun ownership for civilians. Our government is currently debating gun control laws and methods of enforcement and distribution which is a fine thing, as long as they actually can enforce the laws or control the firearm distribution. If you can download a gun from the internet and print it out on a 3D printer, control becomes a very difficult thing. In this Ars Technica article, Cyrus Farivar explores the legality of creating these firearms and the group behind their creation.
I am a fan of disruptive technology and the questions it forces established businesses and potentially unprepared lawmakers to ask. Home manufacturing and the power of crowd sourced engineering takes those questions to a very interesting, if not possibly Orwellian place. As the article explains, downloading and printing a gun for personal use (not for resale) under current law is a legal activity. Should laws be enacted which further control which weapons are legal to own or sell, the enforcement of said laws could quickly creep into 1st Amendment infringing territory. The government would effectively be attempting to control the flow of information on the internet, when it si not the information that is the danger, but rather its use. Free speech on the internet is becoming an increasingly complex topic as technological advances enable the average person to produce content and products in their own home that would have previously only been possible for medium sized corporations. As prices drop on current technology and new and better technology becomes available, this questionable area will continue to grow. Fascinating time to be living.