In one of the most valiant efforts at attacking windmills, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is trying to ban the production of ammunition magazines with 3-D printers.
Aside from the Constitutional issues–Rep. Israel’s efforts are an infringement not just on the Second Amendment, but also the First Amendment–this is an exercise in both futility and stupidity.
First of all, 3-D printer technology has the potential to be a great economic game changer. How? It will soon be possible for almost anyone–with sufficient skill–to become his or her own manufacturing company with low capital investment. This will spawn innovation on so many fronts, and drive real economic growth by literally creating home-grown manufacturing in ways no one would ever have thought possible.
Secondly, the 3-D printer will become for firearms what the World Wide Web was/is for pornography.
For those who are old enough to remember, there was a time that both sides of the pornography debate were in a stalemate over the “community standard”. As a result, more liberal communities allowed lots of “adult bookstores” whereas others used zoning laws to keep such establishments in check. When people wanted to purchase porn, they had to buy it in public unless they could afford to pay through the nose for cable television.
But the World Wide Web fundamentally changed the game: pornography became easily-accessible to the masses. Today, a large amount of it is available for free. In fact, the pornography industry–for many years–literally drove the development of technology for the Web. Early advancements in e-commerce, for example, were driven by the demand for porn on the Web.
(NOTE: I am not defending porn here; just stating the reality for what it is.)
3-D technology is that same type of game changer for manufacturing of all types, including firearms. While the technology is itself very pricey and still in its infancy, it will go the way of computer technology: precision and potential will increase dramatically and prices will also fall.
This will spawn a whole new wave of innovation in a variety of products, including firearms. The production of all-polymer weapons, customized ammunition, and accessories of all types, will be possible for anyone with the imagination.
And it will be almost impossible for the gun controllers to contain.
That is because if you cannot control the printing press, then you cannot control what one produces with that press, no matter how hard you try.
And given that the government will soon run out of money, their capacity to regulate anything will greatly diminish, as the capacity of the masses to innovate and produce will expand.
It will be checkmate.