A Nightmare Scenario

As many of you know, I am a strong supporter of gun-control laws, and wish such laws would go even further, all the way down to the complete elimination of guns in our society.

I’ve written about my thoughts on gun violence several times:

I would probably have to say it’s my number one issue when I go to vote; it’s an issue that I care about a great deal.

While there has not been much progress made with respect to gun control legislation, there has been a little.

But my fear is that all of that progress will be for naught.

People who are currently barred from purchasing firearms or want to own a gun that is illegal in the jurisdiction where they live may soon have an easy way to get around the law. All they would need to do is download a computer file and use a 3-D printer to stamp out a gun. No background check would weed out felons, those with mental illness, domestic abusers or possible terrorists. No serial number would allow police to trace a weapon used in a crime. And there would be no problem getting past metal detectors with a gun molded from high-quality plastic.

Plans by a Texas organization to publish, starting Aug. 1, downloadable blueprints for 3-D-printed plastic firearms — so-called ghost guns — have rightly alarmed leading gun safety groups, law enforcement officials, and me.

After a multiyear legal battle, the federal government last month entered into a settlement with Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson, permitting him to publish his arsenal of firearm blueprints online.

My guess is that the NRA played a key role in getting this settlement approved.

I see zero benefit from allowing such a ruling, except to those who want to own a gun and couldn’t do so through existing laws.

I don’t see anyway to now stop someone from owning a gun, no matter what laws are passed.

One of my thoughts was that perhaps there could be some control at the bullet stage, but apparently 3-d printed bullets are a thing too.

I guess the only way to end gun violence now is not through gun control laws but through a shift in attitude.

And that will be even harder to change than gun control laws.

But I’ll stay optimistic and hope that eventually people see guns for what they are – a tool with one purpose, to kill, both people and animals.

2 thoughts on “A Nightmare Scenario

  1. Jim,
    I’m a life member of the NRA. It would be personally rewarding for me to sit down with you and exchange views on gun control.

    I think your closing comments about changing attitudes are the key. I often ask myself, “how did we get here?” Most of my life has been lived in a time of responsible gun ownership. Why is our society coming off the rails now with these shootings?

    You portend a future that I believe will become true. In my field we now worry about the counterfeit production of parts by vendors who seek to avoid the cost of quality control testing.


    1. Hi Ken,

      It’s always nice to read your thoughtful comments, and I would welcome the chance to sit with you and talk about gun control issues (especially if it took place in Hawaii – by the way, we are on our last day of a two week visit to the Big Island, we’ve had a great time).

      “How did we get here” is a good question, and it does seem like we live in a different time with different attitudes. Thirty years ago I gave little thought to guns and gun control. My current thoughts on gun control were formed as a result of both the rise in the number of violent deaths involving guns, as well as when I became a vegan.

      I think another issue is how can our legal system keep pace with technology. It’s not only 3-d printed guns, but self-driving cars, privacy issues, artificial intelligence, etc.

      Your issue of counterfeit parts is not one I had thought of, but I can see how that could be of grave concern.

      Hope all is well with you and your family; I always like seeing your Facebook posts!


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