If you had access to a 3D printer and could create only one thing out of plastic, from scratch, what would you make? An implantable human ear replacement? A filter for pumping clean water in thirsty third-world nations? What about forming something fun and whimsical like, say, an acoustic guitar? Or, would you take the tunnel of least resistance, and the road of the lowest common human morality, and choose to print a plastic gun for killing people?
Unfortunately, you can likely guess the pathway University of Texas law student Cody Wilson picked:
For the first time, this weekend, a plastic gun created by a 3-D printer successfully fired a real bullet. That success, starring on its own promotional video, has stirred up many questions and concerns about its potential impact.
The world’s first fully functioning 3-D printable handgun is the brainchild of Cody Wilson, a University of Texas law student. Dubbed the “Liberator,” it’s fashioned from 15 plastic parts created on an $8,000 dollar three-dimensional printer. The technology is already commonly used in various industries.
“The Liberator” is so un-aptly named it’s comical — unless, of course, we are purely literal and take the name as meaning “being liberated from living.”
When historic human invention is used to kill people, we all need to take a step back from the 3D printer and ask what we’re doing here. Do we only live in fear of others? Is there any other way to perhaps use a technology to lift up humankind instead of always burying us beneath gravestones?
Is there anything more debased than creating a gun out of plastic that cannot be detected by current safety standards and metal scanners? There is only one reason to build an invisible murder machine: To live in historic infamy as the ostracized father of an undetectable weaponization in the sinking dusk of the Computer Age. What a horrible legacy to leave behind. What an accomplishment that defines nothing but dust. What a sore mind it takes to create such a quiet kill.