The partisan debate over gun control is no match for Cody Wilson, founder of defence Distributed.
He’s leading the way in creating weapons with 3-D printers, as we’ve covered in the past. With his legal grey area of manufacture, Wilson has made 30-round magazines, complete lower receivers for the AR-15, and is working on a complete rifle.
Now, he’s taken to the popular networking site Reddit to answer questions, in an “Ask-Me-Anything” (AmA) format. Here are some of the highlights:
On the possibility the government will implement knee-jerk restrictions on the entire 3-D printing industry because of his creations:
I’ve heard there are legislative working groups that are right now studying how to regulate and licence printers or materials. We won’t have the luxury of going unnoticed. I share some blame, if you want to think of it that way, but I hope the community can band together with civil liberties groups and defend its technology.
On the advantages or disadvantages of a 3-D printed gun:
I don’t think there’s a direct personal advantage in printing a gun versus making or purchasing a traditional one. Printed guns aren’t even proven technology, and are extremely impractical devices from my experience. But there is a symbolic advantage to the individual in being at least capable of printing one.
On the idea that people classify him as a loner and a law student that doesn’t even go to classes:
I think there’s an interest in painting me as a marginal and lone figure to explain me away, but this just isn’t accurate. I’m an affable guy. Class president in high school and college. You might like me if you met me.
But I’m still happy to let that lone weirdo thing stay out there. Spooking progressives is valuable.
On what the objective of his project to print 3-D weapons really is:
I don’t see a clear path to money, to be honest. And the goal is more strict than you would think- we want it to be true statement that a firearm is printable. Turns out this takes a lot of work, and we’ve only just got the licence to begin trying.
On the possibility that the technology will be used by criminals to get around restrictions:
I actually hope that some people will use the tech to print magazines and other articles to demonstrate the futility of prohibition, but I’m not eager for people to do harm with the articles.
This project is clearly and directly opening up access to firearms to “inappropriate” (your term) groups because it is opening up access in a pure sense. Equality of liberty means potential for abuse.
On some saying he only wants attention and comparing him to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange:
I think what you’re seeing is that I enjoy the debate. I don’t feel intimidated by these talking heads. Then there’s also me being aggressive or outspoken on YouTube- this is all purposeful and calculated for affecting the debate.
I don’t count myself as among important figures like Assange, really. But I recognise that many people resent me for having fun doing this.
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