I’ve heard of MakerBot and the cheap 3D printing movement a few years ago by listening to a FLOSS weekly episode by driving on my daily commute. For me it was far away, costly and not something to think about. But listening to a couple of Dot Net Rocks shows and watching an Elementary episode I came to realize 3D printing may well starting to affect our lives, and it in the next five years it will greatly influence how we live. And not always in positive ways.
The internet was always full of dangerous things, the anarchist cookbook was one of the early examples. People could download it and learn how to make bombs. Want to hack a pay phone, you can find it on the internet. Learn how to pick a lock or steal a car. Find it on the internet. Learn how to torture someone. Internet.
Learn how to make gunpowder. Well on Wiki how you have picture by picture instructions even my six year old can follow. And once again, the internet.
Of course the majority of the people don't do that. Most people are not interested in those stuff. For me I’ve learned how to make a poncho from fleece, how to fix a broken sink and how to roll a cigarette.
I’ve read this article on endgadget. And I was scared. Home made guns. Readily available to everybody, without supervision and control.
I picture kids going to school with weapons, with sharp plastic knives and maces. With crossbows and other stuff they’ve printed on their home printer. Metal detectors would not detect them, well they are made of plastic.
The world just got scarier.
I and the majority of my generation have survived a war. We have witnessed first hand what war and weapons do to people and their lives. Thus I’m really glad I leave in a country where the majority of the population is legally disarmed and the right to bear arms is not in place.
I believe that firearms and lethal weapons have no place in modern society. What would be the use for them? We are not being invaded, or have to defend our selves by murdering war bands or have to survive a zombie apocalypse.
There are dangerous people out there. deranged, sad people with issues. But they are far an few between and you and me know where those people can be found and any sane person knows what to do to avoid them.
When I first heard of mainstream availability of 3d printing I thought “Oh, wow, how cool! Now I can make toys for my boy and Warhammer 40k figurines for me”. Predator Annihilator here a come. A 2000 pt Ultramarine army right at my fingertips. Special terrain, bunkers and all the things we made from scrap before just waiting to be printed and be used.
If I was thinking of making a weapon with a 3d printing I wouldn’t create a gun. A crossbow and darts would actually be better for me or short sword, mace or morning star. And lets go LARPing.
But seriously I wouldn’t do any of those things. I would think I have a weapon, but to use a weapon is to kill a person. I do not need nor whish to kill a person. I don’t really relish going to prison and do not really think about a scenario where I would need to constantly armed.
The place I currently live is filled with rolling hills and valleys which once were diving lines between great empires. In ages past the area around me was filled with fortresses where armies clashed, and maundering parties were common. Byzantines versus the Lombards, the Franchs, the Romans, the French , the Turks , the Germans and the Italians, the Americans. I live in the most peaceful battlefield in the world.
I wish it to remain so. I wish people would not make plastic guns at home. I know people in general can not be trusted with other people lives and safety, that’s why we have so many checks and balances.
I drank coffee today and watched clouds roll bellow me, following the Mirna valley hugging the land and covering bright lights for houses scattered across hills and forests. An artist discussed her new exhibition and people from all over came to see my land. In peace.