Well, someone has done gone and got their knickers into a half-hitch regarding the 3D printed pistol (the fact that the pistol is called “Liberator” brings a smile to my heart) and has used the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to order the plans pulled from the website.
The entirely predictable result — well, predictable to anyone who knows human nature, the Internet, or has a passing knowledge of the movie/video game/music business in general — was that a significant number of netizens cocked snooks in the general direction of the Department of State, and about ten squillion copies of the 3D gun hit the torrents about three microseconds later.
I’m pretty sure that today a whole bunch of folks are irritated by having to pick gun designs out of their pirated music and porn downloads, but macht nichts.
The whole excitement involving the 3D gun raised an eyebrow at Rancho LawDog, but not much else. Oh, it’s interesting, in a techie sort of way, but anyone can buy a CNC mill (or get access to a machine shop) and do the exact same thing, but in metal instead of plastic, with less chance of explosive disassembly, and pretty much the same bite out of your wallet.
Hell, the original FP-45 was pretty much designed to be manufactured by an assembly line consisting of three trained chimpanzees with hammers, a shop steward who had enough brains to pick his nose without giving himself a lobotomy, and a UPS truck.
The STEN gun was a little more intricate, requiring some familiarity with the location of the nearest plumbing warehouse.
Since I’ve personally seen a 3rd world blacksmith with a charcoal fire, hand tools, and a donkey make perfectly-functional copies of late 19th Century and early 20th Century rifles and pistols; and a brief search of the Internet will turn up the saga of the gentleman who made an AK47 in his garage out of a shovel and a $30 barrel blank — well, the whole Fed.gov melt-down over the 3D pistol just goes to reinforce my view that the critters who are allegedly running this country don’t know a single bloody thing about history, human nature, smithing, guns in general, the history of guns, or engineering.
Matter-of-fact, this whole sorry episode is going to be another footnote in the annals of history that future scholars will point to and say, “This was the period of time in which the Government of the United States consisted solely of people who didn’t have any business running anything more complicated than a lemonade stand without adult supervision.”
I swear, it’s getting to the point where someone needs to walk into the next session of Congress with a malacca cane, give every single Congresscritter and Senate-critter five good strokes and send them to bed without their supper until they start acting like bloody adults.