Friday, January 18, 2013

My Opinion on Gun Control that, however much we may like to believe otherwise, effective gun control laws as we currently imagine them are doomed to be irrelevant. Not just ineffective, but irrelevant, and not in a good way.

Before I explain why, let me make clear: I have never been a gun owner, although I'm from the USA I didn't grow up in a gun-owning culture, I feel no emotional attachment to the 2nd Amendment, I don't mind living in a country (Taiwan) where gun control laws are very, very strict, and if I move back to the USA I sincerely hope I never find myself in a situation where buying a gun seems like a good idea. I am not a gun person.

But here's what I see, looking towards the future. From what I hear about where technology is going, from all I've read about 3-D printing and the plummeting cost of small-scale manufacturing, it looks like we're just a few years away from a time when any ordinary person can manufacture firearms in their home workshop, for a very small initial investment.

These guns aren't likely to be military-grade assault weapons, but that doesn't matter. Especially not when hobbyists put their minds to work creating better and better iterations of open-source firearms which can then be downloaded freely by any old schmuck.

What's the government going to do? Make it illegal to download guns from the Internet? Yeah, that worked really well with pirated music. Ironically, it'll probably be the NRA that pours the most resources into trying to prevent people from doing this, if it's really true that the NRA cares more about gun company profits than the individual rights of gun owners. But I don't see what they could do to prevent the following situation from coming true:

A few years from now, anyone in an industrialized country who wants a gun, will be able to have a gun. Unlicensed. Untraceable.

That is the situation we should be preparing for. All this arguing about gun control right now is just a load of sound and fury that won't mean a thing in a few years' time. Do I have any suggestions for this future of gun proliferation? Nope.


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