Huffington Post reports that “(t)he plans of a University of Texas law student and amateur desktop gunsmith were put on hold last week when the company that had leased the sophisticated 3-D printer sent a team to his house and reclaimed it.” We reported on Defense Distributed’s open source weapon project here. This is significant because the capabilities of home produced weapons will eventually lead to technologies such as 3D printers and associated materials and designs being restricted by the state or outright banned. John Robb theorized about the eventual restriction and banning of drone technology. Widespread, cheap, home production of weapons is a serious threat to the state’s monopoly on violence, so you can imagine that they will be cast as dangerous to the public. However, John Robb says that widespread access to such weapons is necessary:
One big reason is that drones/bots make the emergence of police states more likely since they allow a very small number of people to automate their control over a great many people. So, in order to ensure the future doesn’t careen in that direction, we should democratize the technology as a counter-weight.
A second issue lurking in the background is that open source manufacturing is clearly a threat to state enforced intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are “an artificial, rather than natural, property right; creating scarcity rather than managing it,” as put by Kevin Carson of the Center for a Stateless Society. How will the state maintain it’s control over the economy if everyone has the capability to produce what they need at home?
From Huffington Post
The plans of a University of Texas law student and amateur desktop gunsmith were put on hold last week when the company that had leased the sophisticated 3-D printer sent a team to his house and reclaimed it.
“I didn’t even have it out of the box,” said Cody Wilson, director of Defense Distributed, the online collective that was overseeing the controversial Wiki Weapon Project.
Wilson and Defense Distributed had hoped to design, test and make publicly available the blueprints for a 3-D printed weapon, according to Wired.
They also hope to revolutionize the question of gun control in America. “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,” the group writes on its website.
Speaking to Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg, Wilson emphasized the importance of the project’s main principle.
“You don’t need to be able to put 200 rounds through it,” Wilson said. “It only has to fire once. But even if the design is a little unworkable, it doesn’t matter, as long as it has that guarantee of lethality.”
This “guarantee of lethality” may have to be momentarily put on hold, however, after desktop-manufacturing company Stratasys notified the collective that their business was no longer welcome.