Distributed Defense

Recently there has been much brouhaha about 3D printed weapons. Mostly these reactions have been media-generated. Cody Wilson, an enterprising young lad has, for the past year, been perfecting the technical artistry behind the manufacture of a working gun printed out of ABS plastic. Before take-down by the bureaucratic late-comer U.S. Department of State, Cody operated a website, Defense Distributed devoted to hosting files that 3d printers could use to produce a wide variety of gun-related parts, including magazines, casings, flash hiders, handles, and the notorious AR-15 lower receiver. Wilson shares the view point of past violent radicals such as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams. He knows, without a shadow of doubt that defense is best provided in a distributed manner, as evidenced by the mission statement of his 501(c)(3) non-profit:

To defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of, information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge in promotion of the public interest.

Controlling the media, education, and minds of the subjugated populace in the United States that was America seems not to satisfy the powers that be. The media has convinced the people that they should not provide for their own defense, despite the obvious facts that (1) gun violence has been trending down and any perception otherwise should be blamed on media focus on incendiary news, (2) gun control laws have the opposite effect as that intended, and (3) need guns to be enforced, all documented by Marc Victor’s compelling summary of this viewpoint I am a Peaceful AR-15 Assault Rifle Owner. The Powers That Be must feel so uncertain of their control over the minds of the plebeians that they find it necessary to ensure their continued rule by depriving people of the means to revolt. The Department of Defense Trade Controls has shut down Cody’s site under pretense that it violates the International Traffic in Arms Regulation. To little avail! The plans have been downloaded 100k times, and now appear quite popular on The Pirate Bay bittorrent site.

However, in a lapse of Orwellian control, Forbe’s Ady Greenburg committed some competent journalism in his piece Meet The ‘Liberator’: Test-Firing The World’s First Fully 3D-Printed Gun, revealing what I find is the most amusing part of the media-driven outrage:

He’s spent more than a year dreaming of its creation, and dubbed it “the Liberator” in an homage to the cheap, one-shot pistols designed to be air-dropped by the Allies over France during its Nazi occupation in World War II.

Wilson’s knowledge of historical arcana impresses me. In my mind he has successfully made a very strong statement, proving the hypocrisy of any official indignation!

Yet Cody’s actions, and the statist reactions, indicate a dark undercurrent. Jim Karger, in an article describing What Anarchists Should Learn From Chairman Mao, notes that Cody’s battle with statism coincides with Kansas’s nullification of federal enforcement of laws violating 2nd amendment rights and Adam Kokesh’s armed protest march in D.C. As government debts climb higher, as crony capitalism siphons off the wealth of others, as the promises of employment go unfulfilled, as the media inundates those still watching with messages of fear, the fabric of our society stretches and thins. Perhaps I’m just becoming radicalized myself, but I have difficulty talking to and relating with most people. I don’t fear the proliferation of 3D-printed weapons, for I see the gun living up to it’s namesake: The Liberator.