It’s hard to know how many guns are floating around in the United States. Gun ownership is not well-regulated so exact numbers are hard to come by. Various studies, however, put the number of guns at somewhere between 265 million – 300+ million.
There’s a little more than 320 million people in the U.S.
That’s a lot of guns. Lots of guns produce consequences.
As an exercise, try reading your city’s daily paper tomorrow and count the number of deaths by shooting that are described there. Better yet, do it for a week or a month.
And it might just get worse:
Americans will soon be able to make 3D-printed guns from their homes, widening the door to do-it-yourself versions of firearms.
The choices will include the AR-15, the gun of choice in American mass shootings. All 3D-printed guns will be untraceable, and since you can make them yourself, no background check is required.
A settlement earlier this year between the State Department and Texas-based Defense Distributed will let the nonprofit release blueprints for guns online starting Aug. 1, a development hailed by the group as the death of gun control in the United States.
Gun-loving Missouri crack-pots are already trying to get in on the act:
Nearly a year after he was temporarily booted by Facebook for raffling off an AR-15 rifle, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is giving away a machine capable of printing parts for a similar firearm.
Austin Petersen, who ran for president as a Libertarian in 2016, issued on Tuesday a press release and a letter to potential donors announcing the giveaway, saying that Republicans had not done enough to protect gun rights.
Petersen plans to give away the Ghost Gunner 2, which costs about $1,200. The machine is capable of milling parts for a firearm.
Brian Krassenstein of 3-DPrint.com observes that at this point guns manufactured in this manner are not especially durable, but that the technology does exist to print more durable guns and it is advancing regularly.
The floodgates will soon be wide open. Unless something is done, anyone will be able to print an undetectable gun and take it anywhere. And shoot anyone.
This development won’t be a victory for the good life Americans aspire to. It’s already scary to be exposed in public places in America. There’s lots of anger floating around. Lots of politicians using it to make hay. Resurgent racist thugs glorify force. Things may soon get much worse than we imagined they could.
Congress could push back against the court decision legislatively and Sen. Schumer and a handful of Democratic legislators are making sounds about doing something. But as long as Democrats are in the minority, “sounds” will probably be all that is forthcoming.
One thing for sure; if long-shot Austin Petersen were to make it to Washington, we couldn’t count on him to help us.
Maybe somebody should ask GOP senatorial primary front runner Josh Hawley how he feels about 3D gun printers.