Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Coming To a Theater Near You!

I don't know what's worse, the over-the-edge hyperbole, the purposeful intellectual dishonesty, or the blatant ignorance displayed by people like Senator Richard Blumenthal when they talk about these 3-D Printed guns.  I mean really - could these people possibly know any less about firearms or current firearms laws?  Or is it that their unchecked emotions are keeping them from realizing the simple principles of physics and mechanics upon which firearms operate?

Their chief concern is that people will be able to make these 3-D printed guns without background checks and without the guns being able to be traced.  They are also worried that these guns,  being printed from a plastic material, will be virtually undetectable, and therefore can be smuggled into any airport, onto any flight, into any school, into any ballpark, or into any other venue where weapons might be otherwise detectable with metal detectors.

Before I get into the practicality (or lack thereof) of an all plastic firearm, let me just point out that 1) federal law already allows individuals to manufacture their own firearms for personal use without any special licenses or permits.  2) If the people making them are ineligible to possess firearms and are caught with one, there are already laws in place to deal with that.  3) Firearms with plastic components already exist.  4)  Kits to make un-serialized firearms by individuals, typically referred to as "80% lowers," have been available for years. And 5) CRIMINALS already possess illegal firearms, whether they steal them, obtain them through straw purchases, or manufacture them themselves.

The 3-D Printed Firearms In The News:

About these little 3-D guns in the news right now:  They are what I refer to as "one-shot" wonders.  They are all plastic, basically, don't have any ammunition capacity to speak of other than one or two rounds manually loaded into the gun, and don't last very long anyway.  In fact, in early testing, the plastic material used in these all-plastic 3-D guns wasn't even strong enough to sustain being fired more than a few times before failing.

"Unlike traditional firearms that can fire thousands of rounds in a lifetime, the 3D-printed guns normally last only a few rounds before they fall apart, experts say. They don't have magazines that allow the usual nine or 15 rounds to be carried; instead, they usually hold a bullet or two and then must be manually loaded afterward. And they're not usually very accurate."  


These little guns are a cool concept, and I commend the designer for coming up with this.  As the plastics get better, I'm sure this will evolve into a very practical method for individuals to manufacture firearms components to use in their legal gun builds. This exercise of personal freedom indeed sends a strong message to those who would try to oppress freedom of design, freedom of ingenuity, and freedom to possess arms.  And shame to people like Richard Blumenthal for getting so spun up and frantic over something that is perfectly legal for the law-abiding citizen to take advantage of.  This little gun is just not capable of being used as a tool for some sort of mass shooting attack. And criminals will find a way to do others harm whether these are available or not.  But as usual, all the efforts of these uninformed people seem to forget all that and target the law-abiding citizen.  Their intent is to use yet another current event to spool up hatred of firearms by the general public because they want to ban ALL firearms, period.

The Future Plastic Weapons of War:

Now - let's talk about where the "frightened people" think this is heading.  Richard Blumenthal stands beside a picture of two AR-15 rifles, using them as examples of where these 3-D printed guns will evolve.  He appears to be trying to make the uninformed believe that these guns in his picture are completely made of plastic and seems to believe that even these will be easy to slip past security at various venues, including aircraft checkpoints.  He wants everyone to believe his fairy tale that these 100% plastic firearms (even though they aren't) will be a HUGE threat.

Well, I suppose that would be true IF the ENTIRE firearm in his little picture there, and all of the ammunition, were made of plastic.  AND if the guns themselves were visually and X-ray equipment invisible, the bad people might be able to sneak them past TSA.  But these full-size guns made with plastic components will be neither, so Blumenthal's argument is moot. 

What Richard Blumenthal and others like him fail to realize is that plastic, as well as aluminum "80%" AR-15 lower assemblies and various plastic 80% pistol frames have been available for years.  He is just now jumping on a bandwagon to spool up more public hatred of guns.  Plastic firearms components in general already exist!  But they are mainly used for the basic (stripped) lower assemblies and frames, and certain parts of upper assemblies, but with the other METAL components added to make the firearm functional, practical, and durable.  The firearms in their entirety are not, and will not be, made of plastic. 

The firearms components such as the barrel, bolt, firing pin, and springs, not to mention the ammunition, are all made of steel, brass, aluminum, or other metals.  They have to be in order to sustain the stress and pressures that firearms produce when ammunition is fired through them thousands of times. Fire ammunition through a plastic barrel sometime and see how long it holds up.  Likewise with a plastic bolt and firing pin.  There are not too many plastic springs that I know of that would hold up to the stresses that they endure inside a bolt carrier, inside trigger assemblies, or absorbing recoil over thousands of rounds being fired from the gun.

And let's talk about ammunition for a moment.  Plastic cartridge cases would melt, and I'm pretty sure you can't make a functioning primer out of plastic.  Those better be some hefty plastic bullets if a crazed shooter wants to commit mass murder.

Earth to Idiots:

C'mon, people!  If you're going to spin up public outrage about these things, then please at least use enough intellectual honesty to give people all of the FACTS.  And just when I thought that no one could outdo the ignorance or blind emotion based dishonesty of Kevin "Ghost Gun" DeLeon, Richard Blumenthal comes along and sets a new standard.  The sad thing is that there are many uninformed voters who lack critical thinking skills that will blindly fall for their hype.


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