One of the biggest stories this week has been the Liberator, the first fully functional gun created with a 3D printer. After proving that the plastic gun can fire a live round, the Liberator’s creator, Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, uploaded the blueprints to the gun so anyone could download them for free and use a 3D printer to create their own.
The State Department has since ordered Defense Distributed to remove the download, but not before it was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and shared to uncountable sharing web sites like The Pirate Bay.
Even in name, the Liberator brings to life the Libertarian fantasy of every person having unrestricted access to firearms to defend against the tyrannies of government, terrorists, or "street thugs." For the right, the Liberator is the embodiment of the Second Amendment, that holy part of the constitution meant to “empower the governed to overthrow the government should it become tyrannical,” according to one TPB commenter.
“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?” Defense Distributed asked. “Let’s find out.”
Actually, let’s not.
Let’s instead focus on the Second Amendment, that holy part of the constitution that makes guns like the Liberator such a necessity; a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
There is not a single thing about the Liberator than can possibly be considered “well-regulated.” It's a gun that, by design, is undetectable, untraceable, and easy to produce. One of Defense Distributed’s goals is to adapt their gun designs for cheaper printers, so “any person has near-instant access to a firearm through the Internet.”
Great idea. You know all those tyrants, terrorists, and “street thugs” you so desperately worry about? They can print the gun too. They can bring them on airplanes, government offices, court rooms, and businesses without getting stopped by a metal detector. When one of these dangerous people you fear uses the gun, no one will be able to trace the weapon back to them.
We have driver’s licenses because, like guns, cars are very dangerous and capable of killing someone. We want the users to be trained in operating cars so they are as safe as possible. We have to take tests to prove that we are both physically and mentally capable of operating a car. We even have different levels of licenses, so only the most qualified people can operate the most dangerous vehicles. Sure, accidents and tragedies still happen, but the system helps.
It’s the same reason why every person should not have access to a gun, and why every gunowner should not have access to high-explosive, anti-tank warheads (another blueprint created by Defense Distributed with 3D printing and uploaded for free on the Internet). Recent tragedies continue to remind us that dangerous people have little trouble accessing firearms. Let's not make it easier for them.
Regulation is not oppression. It’s constitutional. It’s written right there in the same amendment that allows for the right to bear arms.
The Liberator, an un-regulated gun, is what's unconstitutional.