The good old US of A, a country that is the self-proclaim leaders of the free world, which brings democracy where ever they damn well feel like. It has created a dream for many people to aim for, either being a family man with their own business of a Hollywood red carpet walking star. The USA though has had its problems recently, and if you have been hiding under the rock there has been several incidents with guns. The senate is torn apart as the president push for stronger regulations; many Republicans believe this goes against the constitution of the “right to bear arms”, refers to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, contained in the Bill of Rights. I won’t go into great depth into this controversial topic; I would like to focus a little bit about how technology plays a role in this.
As much as some people would like to deny it, technology is a huge source of information. The internet is hard to regulate with millions of websites floating around, some carrying useful information and others being somewhat similar tosomething.com. Now the reason I mention about the gun debate in the USA is because a young and proud Texan has produce a gun via 3D printing. 3D printing is a procedure by making a three-dimensional solid object of almost any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where layers of material are placed in different shapes. 3D printing is considered different from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods for instance cutting or drilling. This Texan known as Cody Wilson, has successfully used 3D printing to produce a gun that actually fires and being the good sport that he is, he has decided to put the blueprints online so the rest of us at home can give it a try. Cody Wilson’s masterpiece is a pistol known as “The Liberator”, sounding like an 80s action hero or pro wrestler “The Liberator can actually fire meaning it can cause harm if someone holding it wishes to do so because remember guns don’t kill people, people do. The gun itself does not look like a traditional gun as it is made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) but with a little modification it could support bullets allowing it to fire these bullets. In recent days since the blueprints for this gun were made there has been over 100,000 downloads. Should people be worried? I don’t think so because let’s face it if you really wanted a gun you can always find a place to buy once, especially in countries like the USA. Are the people that are downloading these blueprints doing it out of interest? Which is more of a worry? The fact the internet holds this information or the fact that now a tool that can be used to instrument the death of others can be made from the same material as LEGO bricks can be made via a 3D printer. This is an ethical question.
There are many things online that insist people on how to commit suicide or how to build their own nuclear bomb (I don’t how factual it is), but the whole process of creating this gun is considered so simple thanks to 3D printing. Also for this gun to actually work you need to require bullets and a metal firing pin, which at the moment nobody has developed through 3D printing. Gun related attacks are going to happen again, no matter what the government does, it may reduce them but it will never eliminate them. 3D printing it becoming more popular and will become more common as technology advances. Of course the internet will offer every piece of information that is needed and not needed as it has always done. To read a longer and more detailed account please click here.