Most of the coverage of Defense Distributed
and 3D printing of gun compnents and accessories has focused on the
scary/gee whiz (take your pick) aspect of generating a firearm at
home without any special knowledge. But there’s a deeper political
agenda behind Cody Wilson, the head of Defense Distributed, and the
efforts of he and his colleagues to render gun control laws
impotent by giving everybody the ability to be their own armorer.
Specifically, the goal is to empower individuals and disempower
those who would control individuals. And flip a bird at likely
targets in the process. It’s heady stuff.
Over the next hour, we converse about everything from the
methods and mechanics of printing a gun, to the why of it, to the
philosophy of Democratic politicians like Dianne Feinstein, Andrew
Cuomo, Chuck Schumer, and Steve Israel, who believe that there is a
legislative solution to everything, and that they have those
solutions or are smart enough to come up with them.
Wilson is no fan of any of them. And they may not be smart
enough to come up with a legislative solution to Defense
Distributed. Distributing printed firearms via download may be a
case of politics failing to stop the signal.
He is also no conservative in the typical sense. He’s either a
libertarian or an anarchist or believes in “socialism from below,”
but mostly he’s just a young man who “wants to remain a human
being” by realizing an idea that up to now has only lived in the
mind. That idea is printing a gun, not for hunting or for
self-defense against criminals, but to defend himself against
“You’re printing guns for a set of specific reasons,” I say to
Wilson. “What are they?”
“The unstated assumption is that you wanted to do 3D printing so
you picked guns,” he replies. “It’s the exact opposite. We imagined
a world of liberalized access to firearms. So the question is, ‘Why
“This was a project with a political goal. Yes we know that
there are things like C&C milling and there are gun files
already online, but the idea was to take a technology, celebrated
by these people-power, mostly skewed liberals, ‘Oh it’s the new
revolution in manufacturing!’ Take their precious technology, make
guns with it, and show them, yes, it is revolutionary, and in fact
that has more meaning than you think it means.”
Incidentally, I addressed the liberating power of 3D printing
and other new technology in an interview with RT that’ll be coming
to a TV or computer monitor near you! Soon! I’ll let you know when
Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.
If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason’s
readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us stories at ;@reason247.