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Topic: gun control
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May 7, 2013 at 7:16 AM
A nonprofit group called Defense Distributed is providing instructions on how to make a gun with a 3-D printer. The plastic gun can evade metal detectors by leaving out a metal weight. According to this report by MSNBC and NBC anchor/correspondent Richard Lui, the gun can be made in four hours. Defense Distributed is providing the designs at its website, but as of Tuesday morning, the feature was not working.
Defense Distributed calls itself a “wiki weapon project” to defend the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. The MSNBC report says it requires four hours to print on an $8,000 printer.
On its website, Defense Distributed said its goal is to develop designs for cheaper printers. Here is its stated purpose:
To defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of, information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge in promotion of the public interest.
This is frightening news, and not just because it echoes the plot line of the 1993 movie “In the Line of Fire.” (Here is the IMDB recap” of the movie, in which a killer gets a plastic gun through a metal detector and attempts to kill the U.S. president.) We are already worried about terrorists who want to blow up planes with explosives molded into underwear. Now we have to worry about plastic guns? Will our next TSA screening require the removal of all plastic items from our carry-ons?
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for a ban on the plastic guns, according to the MSNBC report. I don’t see how a ban is going to survive a Second Amendment defense.
I am an advocate for controlling these weapons in some way, but Defense Distributed makes me throw up my hands in WTH disgust. (WTH = What the hell.) Because the problem with laws is that many are outdated by the time they survive the rigors of lawmaker debate and lawsuits. Trying to stop an army of 3-D printer owners with legislation? If the government shuts down Defense Distributed, another online outfit will pop up. The horse has left the barn.
April 23, 2013 at 7:40 AM
Federal Way shootings turned my thoughts back to gun control. According to The Seattle Times news story, witnesses were hunted down and killed by the gunman after he shot his girlfriend. He had a history of domestic violence.
After the Aurora movie theater shooting, the Colorado state Legislature passed a bill that would have stopped domestic abusers from purchasing guns. The state also closed the gun-show loophole that allows buyers to get around undergoing a background check.
A bill to expand background checks failed in Washington state. Read our March editorial calling out lawmakers for favoring gun lobbyists over the people of Washington state, who overwhelmingly support the measure.
Here is some more food for thought from opinion writers:
March 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM
I’ve made it clear in column after column that the public should have little tolerance for zero tolerance school discipline policies. Here’s another reason not to. A 7-year-old Maryland boy was suspended for two days for chewing a strawberry breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and saying, “Bang, bang.” In Pennsylvania, a 5-year-old was suspended for talking to classmates about shooting her “Hello Kitty” gun. The “gun” blows bubbles.
I get it. Schools are on high alert since Newtown. And I don’t disagree that when students present a real threat to others, they must be removed immediately. But the above cases didn’t come close to reaching that bar. Any infractions below that level can, and should, be handled at school by a team that includes the principal, school counselor/psychologist, parents and the students.
March 1, 2013 at 6:31 AM
Emergence of a well-funded gun control group this week made me wonder about a rumored boom in recent gun sales.
More than a rumor: the Department of Social and Health Services, which checks for serious psychiatric history during a gun-buyer background check, can barely keep up with the workload, according to spokesman Thomas Shapley.
(Decoder for the jargon: DSHS’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery processes requests from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA)). His email:
In November, following the presidential election, the number of requests that DBHR was receiving began to surge. Since the tragedy in Newtown, it has become a landslide.In one day, December 26th, DBHR received more than 800 faxed requests from LEAs. Each of these requests represented anywhere from one or two names to hundreds of names. The number of requests dropped off slightly in January. but continues to exceed our previous rate of requests by two or three times and surges again each time there is media coverage of an event that implies that the ability to purchase firearms may be restricted. This additional workload has been absorbed by enlisting the help of existing staff and allowing staff to work overtime.
In all, DSHS handled 35,000 background checks in January, after averaging about 16,000 to 20,000 a month in 2012.
A universal background check bill, House Bill 1588, is pending in the House. I also wrote about an editorial this week about the need for a streamlined database of psychiatric history for gun-buyer checks.
This excellent chart shows by the Guardian that Washington has gun laws which looser than Texas.