Maybe it’s last weekend’s NRA Annual Meeting but over the past few days three separate items have come out that the anti-gun crowd are latching on to. All three are the work of very pro-Second Amendment folks. But, sometimes the path to damnation is paved with good intentions. All of them will be used in an anti-gun agenda. Personally, I look at each of these separately, with varying degrees of interest and support but the question we need to wrestle with as an industry is whether to throttle it back or to use the attention to further our own agendas. Despite what the Left will tell you, the NRA isn’t pulling anyone’s strings and there are lots of people out there with lots of disparate interests. Some personal, some philosophical, but all pro-gun.
Item 1. Forbes Magazine reports on the ‘Wold’s first entirely 3D printed firearm‘
Called the Liberator, a name of significant historical significance, this pistol is the creation of Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed. Over the past year or so, he’s had some wins and some losses, but all along, it’s been a serious case of ‘look at me’ syndrome.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the world’s biggest fan of innovation and turning things on their head, but following this story has been like watching a reality show. As I told a reader via email, “This is really bad timing but I highly doubt this is the first one ever. I’d say that other people who have done this have had enough sense to keep it under wraps. Some people just can’t get in the limelight enough.” I understand the kid wants to be famous, but some things need time to become ubiquitous lest they are vilified and made illegal. If everybody had a printer then it’s going to be harder to legislate. With few people owning 3D printers yet, it’s much easier for them to become a talking point for the media and an easy win for someone who wants to look tough on crime. When the public doesn’t understand the technology, they’ll believe what they’re told. And this young man is doing his best to call attention to himself and this capability.
There’s no real technological leap here. He’s just printing a gun out of plastic (you have to use a nail as a firing pin). He hasn’t developed a new method for making plastic rifled barrels or a new material that will stand up to the repeated shock of a weapon firing. As I said, I’m pretty sure this has been done before but those that did it, didn’t want it to become mainstream. I’d say that makes Cody Wilson less inventor, and more salesman. Expect half-truths to rule the day as this hits the mainstream media. Hopefully, as 3D printing has much more to offer the world than zip guns, we’ll see some cooler heads prevail as pressure mounts to throttle the technology.
Item 2. The Open Carry March on Washington
Organizers are using Facebook to bring 1,000 or more marchers together for an open carry march on the nation’s capitol as an act of civil disobedience. Here’s what they have in mind:
On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge. This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.
Reading through their Facebook page, I’d have to say that I have stumbled upon one of the actual intellectual battlegrounds for the war on guns. Apparently, I’ve been living in a bubble because I’ve never seen this level of people talking past one another. It is amazing how many anti-2A posters have been drawn there to vent. The Facebook page embodies the dangers of the internet and many of the posters seem to be breaking my basic rule of thumb when putting anything on the internet; civility. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to a person’s face. If however, they would say those things in person, the anti-gunners might ought to consider that the people they are threatening are armed.
Many examples of social change have been borne on the back of civil disobedience but unfortunately, I see so many ways this can go sideways. At any rate, expect this to become bigger and bigger news as the date approaches.
Item 3. During a seminar on home defense at the NRA convention, trainer Rob Pincus advocates placing a gun safe in a child’s room
The Huffington Post jumped right on Rob Pincus’ seminar on Home Defense where he proposes the notion of placing a spare weapon in a safe in a child’s room in the event of home invasion. But right off the bat, Pincus lays it out as he sees it. He knows it is going to be contentious.
“How about putting a quick-access safe in your kids’ room?” Pincus asks. “We have an emotional push back to that. Here’s my position on this. If you’re worried that your kid is going to try to break into the safe that is in their bedroom, with a gun in it, you have bigger problems than home defense.”
As you saw in the video, Pincus points out that a child you can’t trust in his own bedroom will just as likely try to get into the safe in your room as his. I agree on both counts. A lot of the negative that we see regarding children and guns can be traced back to parenting.
However, based on the media’s hypersensitivity to linking guns and children for maximum effect, this probably wasn’t the best timing for this line of thinking to go public. Anyone speaking at the convention had to know that they’d be placed under a microscope. But, if this is the best they can come up with based on the amount of coverage they dedicated to the NRA Annual Meeting, I’m not getting too worked up. Having said that, you won’t find me discussing in public where I might or might not put a safe of any type.