It is often true that improvements in technology help usher in improvements to safeguard individual liberty. The printing revolution of the 1400’s is but one example. Today, consider the uptick in 3D Printing—the ability to furnish items right before your eyes based on a digital design. No longer the realm of Star Trek, 3D Printing stands to revolutionize many aspects of our lives.
One twist on 3D Printing also illustrates how it may help safeguard individual liberty. The startup, Defense Distributed, has bold plans to design Wiki Weapons. These would be simple guns easily printable and cheaply reproduced. Its goal is to revolutionize the “printing” of guns worldwide, making self-defense a reality for many.
Another inspiring aspect of Defense Distributed’s plan is the regulatory upheaval it would cause. Governments insisting on disarming their citizens would face a new, devolved means of gun production. No longer would just large manufacturers or hobby specialists produce guns. Every family or community could have reliable ways to defend themselves as prices for 3D printers drop. Instead of tracking down and regulating a small band of producers, governments would face impracticable burdens attempting to outlaw all 3D Printing near and far.
In Defense Distributed’s own words, “WikiWep is about challenging gun control and regulation. Economic or reliability advantages vs. traditional guns or gun production aren’t even at issue. We look to inspire and defend those who live (and are threatened to live) under politically oppressive regimes. Firearm Rights are Human Rights.” Bravo.
While this new world is not yet fully upon us, it will be soon. As 3D Printing becomes more accessible and startups gain traction, the right to self-defense will be a right more fully realized worldwide—an encouraging development for those concerned about individual liberty.