A recent post by Navi of Boomhandia (a well-known name in the 3D-printed gun community) about the politics and culture of 3D-printed guns really impressed me, and I think it bears sharing and discussing further here. It came after a dustup where some said that LGBT (especially the T) enthusiasts were too loud about 3D-printed guns, and thus were discouraging people from getting into it.

Instead of taking a side, Navi took the high road, and explained that one of the key benefits to a truly open and free gun community is that nobody can dominate it, chase people off, or gatekeep one way or the other. Here’s a key quote for people who don’t like to click links:

“This pure marketplace of ideas wasn’t created by accident, even if it’s wildly more successful than Stark or I ever imagined – back when we first contemplated what a “the community” would actually look like, when we first thought about how to build such a thing.

And even as we imagined it, fostered it, an watched it run wild, if Stark was still with us, even with him and I working together, even if we both wanted to, we couldn’t change the simple fact: the guns will still be there. That is what “the community” means, this is what it stands for.”

He says over and over that “the guns will still be there”, which is true. No matter how awful any particular faction of developers, printers, promoters, enthusiasts, or detractors might get, the designs are still readily available and anybody can work on them.

There’s no Fudd in an orange cap telling people that they can’t have an AR-15. There’s no old man who runs the only range in town who says bigoted things to run people of any skin color, religion or sexuality off, because it’s literally impossible for that to happen on the internet. If one group of developers don’t like you, another group will. Or, you can start your own group.

There are people on all sides who want to cancel, discredit or destroy people they disagree with, but nobody can reach through the anonymous internet and do that. Even governments, with all of their power and weaponry, haven’t been able to stop the signal.

It all starts to look at lot like this scene from Lord of the Rings:

The people who think they can wield power over others and control the means of self defense are finding that they can’t play dirty tricks and dominate people like they used to.

Even better, the skill needed continues to drop while the quality of what you can get through technologies like 3D printing continues to improve. So, not only is gun control dying, but freedom for everybody is winning along with it. That’s going to make narcissistic people of all kinds very angry, but they can’t do anything to stop it.

In many ways, what Jeff Cooper said of the rifle is only being taken to the next level:

“Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons.

The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.

The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

Between this and other technologies like private internet communications, cryptocurrencies, and other things we haven’t though of yet, authoritarians and narcissists of all kinds are going to have a rough time during the remainder of the 21st century.

Read the full article here


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