The 2nd Prohibitionists vs Reality – When Gun Control Politics Meets The Free Market

We are swiftly coming up on another “mugged by reality moment” regards firearms similar to the one that was created with the Clinton era gun magazine ban.

Few remember today that the “next big thing” in civilian pistol market in the early 1990’s was how many bullets a pistol magazine could handle. Post Clinton magazine ban, the civilian shooter market wanted the _smallest_ semi-automatic pistol that could hold 10-rounds. And the gun manufacturers responded to the market demand with a host of pistol makes and models that effectively replaced the “.38 Special” as the little hide out gun of choice. Now police across America are under greater threat, from much wider base of stolen, small, concealable, semi-autos in criminal hands, than they ever were prior to the Clinton magazine ban.

We are again in much the same situation with the Obama gun control executive orders.

See this July 28, 2012 Forbes piece titled “The End of Gun Control?” on the arrival of metal material vat 3-D printers that are capable of making functional AR-15 receivers. Now consider the implications of the much more widely installed base of plastic material vat 3-D printers for making _gun magazines_. In a few months we are going to see lots of designs for plastic gun magazines, of many sorts, with maybe a spring and a cheap stamped metal lip to fit available firearms. People will soon be selling spring and lip kits for 3-D printed plastic magazines at gun shows and “off the books” person to person gun trading networks. Hell, manufacturers will be redesigning guns to more effectively use 3-D printed magazines before the year is out.

In the end we will have a much larger base of high capacity magazines in this country, because the price of them is about to drop an order of magnitude, all thanks to Obama’s E.O. Regulations creating a market opportunity for a disruptive technology.

All of this is easily foreseeable and the people about to cause this turn of events just don’t care. This is not about the safety of ordinary people. The answer to the violent mentally unstable is to identify them by their pattern of behavior and involuntarily drug them to non-violence.

The fact that gun control is on the table as “The Solution” is because the people in favor of it, these “2nd Prohibitionists”, would rather have the power to oppress ordinary people than the authority to medicate the violent mentally unstable. They get more ego boo from oppressing ordinary people — just like the original Alcohol Prohibitionists — with the added bonus of leaving the violent mentally ill on the streets to give them the chance to go there again and again.

10 thoughts on “The 2nd Prohibitionists vs Reality – When Gun Control Politics Meets The Free Market”

  1. We are seeing the technological merging of the 1st and 2nd Amendment in a quite literal sense.

    These 3D metal printers are already working in larger sizes than currently affordable by gunsmith/hobbyists. The article author was worried that it was coming to smaller facilities soon…a good bet, IMO.

    The article author also has far too limited an imagination in that this 3D metal printing technology will make thing like television guided rocket propelled grenades trivial, and small kamikaze UAV’s only slightly more so.

    What the high powered model rocketry people will be able to do with 3D metal printing will have Homeland Security staying awake at night.

    The BATF almost shut down model rocketry after 9/11/2001 until the home model rocket industry and people like G Harry Stine mobilized a lot of kids to visit Congressmen. The support base for all forms of 3-d material printers is much larger and economically powerful.

    I suspect we will see printed shell cases as a part of hand reloading first, with experiments in how the shell cases can take pressures at which part of the propellant pressure curve to get the most accurate .50 round and how such cases reload over time.

    It is highly likely that there will be a Linix like “open source” race develop to see who can program the best ammo case and in which calibers.

    _That_ is when the BATFE & Homeland Security will go apoplectic.

    It will be interesting to see what new sorts of calibers and designs people come up with when they don’t have to have an xthousand dollar C&C to do the work.

    The SOCOM folks will go with whatever works best with their budget. Their example using bleeding edge 3-D printing technology with small arms is going to make the life of the Army Material Command Generals, and their USMC/USN/USAF equivalents, dealing with small arms procurement a lot more politically complicated. None of the usual DoD contractors will be able to compete with that kind of rapid prototyping vice the work structure break down DoD bureaucracy…short of buying several of the 3D upstart small guys.

  2. -It should be possible to make plastic magazines without metal feed lips. The only metal part you would need would be the spring. Such mags already exist.

    -Something like a Sten gun would be even easier to make than an AR. All you need is a barrel.

  3. >>Something like a Sten gun would be even easier to make than an AR. All you need is a barrel.

    G. Harry Stine, under his science fiction pen name “Lee Correy”, included a cheap, reliable & disposable fully automatic machine pistol in one of his stories as an “Standard assassin weapon.”

    That is likely what a a 21st century version of a FP-45 Liberator pistol (See link) would look like with 3-D printers.

  4. I have already the capability to make all parts of the AR15, with the traditional materials, with plain old machines, short of the rifling in the barrel. Even that is a 16th century technology, so I should be able to work it out. I can even make real metal magazines. The thing with the 3D metal printers, is it’s a sintering process, fusing particles of an alloy, which may not be suitable for the purpose, together into a fairly weak structure. The plastics are at a higher level these days. Cool thing is, there have actually been plastic springs formed for the magazines

  5. Mr. E:

    You have skills that not everyone has. The point about 3D printing is the ability of unskilled people to produce high-quality specialized products merely by loading patterns into a printer and pressing a switch.

  6. “Something like a Sten gun would be even easier to make than an AR”: my father practised with a Sten gun in the war – whether he used it in anger I don’t know. (He wasn’t keen on talking about the war – I had to work at it.) He approved strongly of it: he said that if your tank “brewed up” your Sten gun was a good enough weapon to defend yourself with but too poor a weapon to tempt you into becoming an amateur infantryman. You therefore were inclined to follow orders i.e. hurry back so that you could be get a new tank.

  7. Mr Evilwrench,

    Anything that can be easily manufactured in your own home with minimal effort cannot be effectively regulated by government.

    We are there with gun magazines and fast approaching it with the rest of a fully automatic fire arm.

  8. LOL, I have been predicting this for OVER TEN YEARS now, since the first home-priced computer-controlled lathes and milling machines were introduced. Those worked in plastic, brass, and aluminum, so probably weren’t ideal for gunsmithing, but it was clear to me that ones that would work steel would, sooner or later, come down to a household price. As a matter of fact, it’s possible to get SERIOUS used CA milling and lathe machines for a reasonable homeowner’s price, in the 5k to 10k range.

    I know this isn’t exactly the same thing, mind you, but it’s rather obviously an offshoot of the idea that what was readily made with 1880s machining technology cannot be rationally stopped with 2000s(2010s) machining technologies in place.

    And, of course, this also is the War on Drugs thing, too — if the Federal Government cannot stop people from obtaining something — cocaine, or heroin — that can’t even be MADE in the USA, how the #^%%^ can these idiots stop stuff from getting made IN the USA and then sold?

    Has the Federal government been able to actually shut down marijuana? Eph no!

    And just as an example, note the Philippines:
    Philippines shootings illustrate worldwide gun violence problem
    Ignore the idiot headline, it basically makes the obvious case that gun control doesn’t stop murders since the culture is the problem, not the guns.

    The relevance to this thread comes in the following, a precursor of what will happen here:
    Filipinos are required by law to be licensed to possess a firearm, and civilians are restricted to a single pistol and either a rifle or shotgun. Even so, there are an estimated 160,750 illegal guns in the Philippines, according to, which did not have comparable U.S. data available.

    Tighter gun restrictions actually encourage illegal gun trade, Reuters notes. “With legal access denied, Filipinos simply turn to the many illegal gunsmiths who ply their trade in back alleys and on the edge of rice fields despite government crackdowns.” In addition, gun laws are not vigorously enforced, and availability is as easy as visiting a gun shop in a Manila shopping mall.

    Even with them vigorously enforced, you only revert to the marijuana sales situation.

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