Apparently CNC Machines Don’t Exist

Cody Wilson stirred up a lot of controversy when he released designs for the Liberator, a single shot pistol constructed with a 3D printer. Why did a pistol constructed of materials that were guaranteed to fail after firing relatively few shots and couldn’t be scaled up to a powerful caliber? Because most gun control advocates have no concept of how guns work. That leads them to fear imaginary devices such as the mythical Glock 7 from Die Hard, which lead to the passage of the Undetectable Firearms Act. Another reason is that most gun control advocates are apparently unaware that computer numerical control (CNC) machines are a thing:

Even after reading his book, I’m still not sure what he means by this. Sure, plenty of open-source zealots favor software that can be edited, freely, by anyone. However, there is a crucial distinction here: no software, until the one created by Wilson and his followers, has ever been used to create a physical device that fires lethal bullets.

The Liberator was not the first gun created using software. In fact most modern guns are initially created using computer aided design (CAD) software, frequently simulated in software before being created, and sometimes built using a CNC machine. Software has been used to create guns for a while now. What Cody Wilson did wasn’t revolutionary, it was evolutionary. He managed to make a firearm with inferior equipment and materials that provided the most basic requirements to qualify as a firearm. I don’t mean to understate his contribution to firearms manufacturing but his real revolution, in my opinion, was to illustrate how irrelevant gun control is, especially as we march into a future where home fabrication will become easier and be able to utilize better materials.

Technology has always been the death knell of centralized control. While gun control advocates cling to their belief that a powerful central government can make all of the bad things go away the rest of the world is moving on and doing what it damn well pleases. I don’t fear gun control because I realize it’s a lost cause. Cody Wilson helped illustrate that to the world with the Liberator.

5 thoughts on “Apparently CNC Machines Don’t Exist”

  1. Agree 100%. If I had to make a gun at home, I’d turn to steel, not plastic. Already somebody used a very expensive printer to build a .45 automatic out of steel. Hard to be sure, but the price of such printers may come into what’s feasible for individuals to acquire. In any case, there’s sure to be some means to create useful firearms without government oversight. That THAT, you would-be-gun-grabbing control freaks!

    1. Yup. It was made using laser sintering, which basically takes powder metal and welds the individual pieces together. It’s still an expensive process but like any technology the costs are coming down. Soon they’ll probably be the same price as a consumer CNC machine and after that’ll they’ll probably be affordable enough where everybody with a table saw will consider getting a laser sintering machine as well.

  2. I followed the link to your 11.08.13 column and from there to your 12.19.12 column. I agree except perhaps I’d foresee individuals rather than “cells” engaging in freedom-promoting government-forbidden activities, just for security reasons. The government is sure to ramp up the number of spies it employs to infiltrate groups of liberty lovers.

    To be sure, groups help spread the cost of equipment needed, but someone of means can make the investment and recoup it gradually through sales (another area of vulnerability to government spies, but one for which steps can be taken to promote anonymity of sources, and make it likely that, if a bust is made, it will affect only a branch, not the root).

    It’s a shame that our government has declared war on us when all we want is to be left alone to live our lives and trade peacefully with others.

  3. “I don’t fear gun control because I realize it’s a lost cause”
    Agreed. However, I am somewhat worried about AMMO control, because:
    Even if production of guns could be suppressed, there’s a large stock of existing guns, which will get “consumed” very slowly compared to ammunition, no matter much ammunition might be stockpiled.
    While there’s almost no legal infrastructure for or public support of restrictions / prohibitions on metal raw materials and fabrication equipment, for pyrotechnic material there’s a great deal of both.

    1. I’m not even worried about restrictions on ammunition.

      People hate mentioning the drug market when discussing firearms but I think it’s a valuable market to look at. Even though there’s a lengthy list of prohibited drugs each and every one of them is available to consumers. Hell, most of those drugs can be easily found in any area. Laws don’t change markets. If there is demand somebody will work to fulfill that demand. If ammunition restrictions are put into place a black market for ammunition will develop. Most likely it will be people who import ammunition from other countries.

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