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‘No One Really Needs a Third Dimension’


Just now, I noted that 100,000 people have already downloaded the digital blueprints to Defense Distributed’s 3D-printable gun. This gem was among the comments on my post:

The answer is we have to ban 3D. No one really needs a third dimension. If it will save just one life, it will be well worth it. Living in a two-dimensional world is just a sensible limitation on our depth perception.

This is pretty funny but, as with most things that are pretty funny, it strikes at a real point – that being that the Second Amendment implications of limiting the printing of guns are the least of America’s worries. If previous panicked attempts to prohibit items of which the state disapproves are anything to go by, the whole Bill of Rights will eventually find its way into the crosshairs of the censors, liberty interests being subjugated as usual by ostensible “necessity.” There is simply no way of making a serious effort to prevent — not prosecute after the fact, but prevent — people from making, carrying, and transporting 3D-printed guns without going after Americans’ First Amendment right to distribute whatever blueprints they wish and without undermining in some way their Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Moreover, as we have seen with the disatrous War on Drugs, in the absence of a Prohibition-style constitutional amendment, the Constitution would likely get quite the run around in the process. The Gonzales v. Raich decision made clear that when it comes to prosecuting people of whom the federal government doesn’t approve, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments are deemed to be irrelevant in the face of the all powerful Commerce Clause. Do we really trust Chuck Schumer to consider the implications of his new hobby horse?

True, “. . .sensible limitation on our depth perception” is a hilarious line. But it would be even funnier if one couldn’t imagine somebody in Congress actually going there whilst in hot pursuit of their own tail.


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