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Pertinacious Tom

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Senator Nelson woke up and thinks it's 1987

“It just defies common sense and yet this is what the Trump administration has done,” Nelson said. “Just think of the billions of dollars we spend trying to protect national security. And now, suddenly there is going to be published on the internet the plans for making a gun that can evade the detection systems in airports and seaports and all of these governmental buildings as well as some sports stadiums.”
That has been illegal since 1988.

The Florida Democrat introduced a bill on Tuesday that would block the online publication of gun blueprints, after the Trump administration decided to settle a lawsuit by a Texas anarchist who built a gun out of plastic in 2013 and posted the instructions online.

...

Nelson’s legislation to ban the blueprints, the latest push for stricter gun control measures among Florida Democrats after the Parkland shooting, was largely symbolic given the tight deadline to enact it before the blueprints were to go online. He tried to pass the bill with unanimous approval on Tuesday, but Utah Sen. Mike Lee blocked Nelson’s fast-track procedure. It is already possible to access the blueprints on the dark web to make guns that range from single shot pistols to AR-15-style assault rifles.
Good for Mike Lee.

This is so eerily similar to what happened with PGP. The government was using the same munitions export laws to censor publication of that code while at the same time people like me were sending copies of it all over the planet.

 
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Grrr...

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Normy, the panic may be unjustified, but remember, the technology still isn't there, so your point isn't exactly emboldened by reality. Right now, 3D printers are still fairly expensive and require a level of expertise to operate ... and oh yeah, most of them only print in plastic, not exactly the best material for making firearms.

But someday soon, when that piece of plywood next to your barn has weathered to dust, and every shmoe in Kalamazoo has a 3D printer that sits between their microwave oven and their Mr. Coffee, and that printer uses titanium powder to additive manufacture devices, that's when your support for those blueprints will take on a new level of urgency.
You can get a chopped-carbonfiber markforged for around $3500 now, and they're pretty near bullet proof printers.  It's not as far off as you make it out to be.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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Volokh has some interesting thoughts about hardware vs software
 

...consider (I'm just picking one book of an Amazon search), Gunsmithing at Home: Lock, Stock & Barrel—A Complete Step-by-Step Fully Illustrated Guide to the Art of Gunsmithing. Say the government tries to ban it, because of a worry that people will use it to make guns.

This ban would clearly violate the First Amendment to the extent that home gunsmithing is itself legal. But even if home gunsmithing were banned, banning the book would raise very serious First Amendment problems, and would likely be unconstitutional. Such a ban would certainly be treated as a content-based speech restriction, and subject to very demanding First Amendment scrutiny. And this is so even if the government argues that it's banning the book simply because of what people can physically do with the information they learn.
And as for this:

You can get a chopped-carbonfiber markforged for around $3500 now, and they're pretty near bullet proof printers.  It's not as far off as you make it out to be.
Also down the road...

Alexa, read this book and make me a gun

 

mikewof

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You can get a chopped-carbonfiber markforged for around $3500 now, and they're pretty near bullet proof printers.  It's not as far off as you make it out to be.
You're right, those carbon fiber printers are really disruptive at that price point, so are the titanium printers. But it would still be hard to make a gun barrel and action out of that, no? And then even if you did do it -- unlike high thermal stress polymers and ceramics -- those two materials are fairly easy to detect with conventional Gauss detection or millimeter wave scanning, no?

And legally, this is a non-starter, you can't even bring a wooden knife through restricted Federal checkpoints, so what's the issue here?

I get the gun fun fans here, but when I think of 3D printers, I'm far more interested in rapidly prototyping tooling and components and actually make useful things, rather than in making yet another bullshit Saturday Night Special piece of crap gun.

Honestly, I don't know how all these gun guys can keep their attention this for so many months and years at a time. Guns aren't motorcycles, guns aren't sailboats, guns aren't women and guns aren't liquor. You use the new gun, get good at it, find its characteristics, improve your skills, but eventually you're going to get bored with it, at which point you have to go buy another gun to stay interested and relevant. This continues, until you have an arsenal. But in the classic Second Amendment context, that arsenal is still mostly useless against the contemporary methods that armies can use to upset rebellions.

I like guns. (Do you hear that Normy? I like them.) But at some point, the addiction becomes a kind of emotional defect. Read a damned poem, visit an opera, sniff a line of inositol off the forehead of a kitten. There are more things in this world other than guns, guns, guns, guns, and guns.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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Honestly, I don't know how all these gun guys can keep their attention this for so many months and years at a time. Guns aren't motorcycles, guns aren't sailboats, guns aren't women and guns aren't liquor. You use the new gun, get good at it, find its characteristics, improve your skills, but eventually you're going to get bored with it, at which point you have to go buy another gun to stay interested and relevant. This continues, until you have an arsenal. But in the classic Second Amendment context, that arsenal is still mostly useless against the contemporary methods that armies can use to upset rebellions.

I like guns. (Do you hear that Normy? I like them.) But at some point, the addiction becomes a kind of emotional defect.
You'd think that if this inevitable path to mental illness and gun obsession were real, I would have acquired a new gun in the last decade or so. But I haven't. Because it's not real. Just more shit slinging. "I like guns but people who buy them are mentally defective." Thanks, Cliff, that's a big help.

I get the gun fun fans here, but when I think of 3D printers, I'm far more interested in rapidly prototyping tooling and components and actually make useful things, rather than in making yet another bullshit Saturday Night Special piece of crap gun.
I'm interested in whether blueprint files or other computer code can be censored because of what it might be used to do. It's an issue that can have implications beyond guns. As I said, it's the same issue I saw in the 1990's with PGP. It was and is about censorship, not just guns or cryptography.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Shootist Jeff said:
How are guns any different than sailboats, booze or women in this regard?   Many people are constantly buying new and different models of each when they get bored.  Just saying. 
I can field this one. A new gun safe is waaay cheaper and less trouble than a new Boatport.

 

mikewof

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Shootist Jeff said:
How are guns any different than sailboats, booze or women in this regard?   Many people are constantly buying new and different models of each when they get bored.  Just saying. 
To me, they're different because at its core, a gun is a tool to do something more efficiently. My Skilsaw allows me to cut wood more efficiently than clawing at it with my nails or breaking it over my knee, a gun would allow me to hunt a deer more efficiently than running an unfortunately marked doe down with my friends, the knife helps us cut away the meat more efficiently than ripping at the skin with our incisors.

Yeah, there is an allure of a good tool. I have a certain vernier caliper by Startett that is so beautifully constructed that it gives me pleasure to hold it. I like to look at the handwork of my pre-WWII Mosin, I have a weird little folding Crescent-brand multitool that oddly keeps showing its use, it's made me like it because it keeps being useful.

Crescent-Flip-and-Grip-Multi-Tool.jpg


But ultimately, at least to me, these are all just tools.

But a woman, or a boat, or a bottle of whiskey, or even a dirtbike, these are things in which a man wants to lose himself. My wife has a little bit of skin on the side of her upper thigh, it controls me. The woman or the book, the boat or the dirtbike, they give us a destination, they're more than just tools, they become a glimpse into something bigger than we are, not because of how they're made, but because of where they can take us.

Heaven help the poor monster who fetishizes a semiautomatic weapon the way I fetishize the Valiant 40, or a KTM 250-EXC or my wife's body. Heaven help that poor monster.

 
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mikewof

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You'd think that if this inevitable path to mental illness and gun obsession were real, I would have acquired a new gun in the last decade or so. But I haven't. Because it's not real. Just more shit slinging. "I like guns but people who buy them are mentally defective." Thanks, Cliff, that's a big help.

I'm interested in whether blueprint files or other computer code can be censored because of what it might be used to do. It's an issue that can have implications beyond guns. As I said, it's the same issue I saw in the 1990's with PGP. It was and is about censorship, not just guns or cryptography.
That's interesting ... in order to make your argument, you had to invent words that I neither actually wrote nor with which I agree. I wrote that an addiction of building an unneeded arsenal becomes a kind of emotional defect, I didn't write what you put in quotes up there.

I buy guns, I would like to buy a nickel-plated big bore lever action, I'm not necessarily mentally defective.

You're slipping a bit Normy. You didn't used to resort to fiction to support your points.

As for the computer code being censored, if you don't want it to be censored then tell your representatives not to allow it to be censored. If there any information that you would like to see censored? A tutorial on how to create ricin from beans? Blueprints for how to create an IED from household materials? What crosses the line in your book?

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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I wrote that an addiction of building an unneeded arsenal becomes a kind of emotional defect
But it doesn't. At least, not for anyone I personally know. Nor for you either, apparently.

As for the computer code being censored, if you don't want it to be censored then tell your representatives not to allow it to be censored. If there any information that you would like to see censored? A tutorial on how to create ricin from beans? Blueprints for how to create an IED from household materials? What crosses the line in your book?
Yeah, I don't come here to write my reps. I do that separately. Is there something wrong with doing both?

No, there's no information I would like to see censored. I do agree that it's sometimes necessary, as with military secrets for example, but I never like it.

I have no problem with tutorials on chemistry, directions for creating explosives, nor even directions for creating a nuclear bomb.

I don't think censoring that information keeps us safe from those who would use it, especially in cases like PGP and the thread topic, where the information is already irretrievably public.

How about you? Do you agree with censoring blueprints or crypto-code?

 

mikewof

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But it doesn't. At least, not for anyone I personally know. Nor for you either, apparently.
My "arsenal" is two guns and a sword, I might add a lever action eventually. But thirty or fifty guns? I guess a collector could have a rational reason to have that many, some women rationally keep a hundred pairs of shoes. But signs point to an emotional issue of some kind in my book if that woman thinks that she is going to wear all those shoes, or if the gun guy thinks he needs all those guns for some purpose.

Yeah, I don't come here to write my reps. I do that separately. Is there something wrong with doing both?

No, there's no information I would like to see censored. I do agree that it's sometimes necessary, as with military secrets for example, but I never like it.

I have no problem with tutorials on chemistry, directions for creating explosives, nor even directions for creating a nuclear bomb.

I don't think censoring that information keeps us safe from those who would use it, especially in cases like PGP and the thread topic, where the information is already irretrievably public.

How about you? Do you agree with censoring blueprints or crypto-code?
I don't see the need to censor line code that can make a 3D printed gun. It can't make a gun anyway, it can make plastic parts for a shitty gun that still needs steel and needs to be assembled. It still needs expertise nearly equal to making a gun on a milling machine and lathe.

But some stuff I want to censor, and it ain't military secrets, that's more the kind of stuff that shouldn't remain secret if we expect to become more humane as a planet. It's necessary sometimes to come clean about one's sins.

The reasons I would censor have less to do with safety than with basic human decency.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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My "arsenal" is two guns and a sword, I might add a lever action eventually. But thirty or fifty guns? I guess a collector could have a rational reason to have that many, some women rationally keep a hundred pairs of shoes. But signs point to an emotional issue of some kind in my book if that woman thinks that she is going to wear all those shoes, or if the gun guy thinks he needs all those guns for some purpose.
I agree with that last bit but think you're looking for a problem where one doesn't exist. I've only known a few people I'd call collectors and they make as much sense as the shoe ladies to me. They sometimes shoot them. She sometimes wears them. They mostly like buying and having them for no identifiable purpose.

I don't see the need to censor line code that can make a 3D printed gun. It can't make a gun anyway, it can make plastic parts for a shitty gun that still needs steel and needs to be assembled. It still needs expertise nearly equal to making a gun on a milling machine and lathe.
That was the point raised by the NSSF and it's true. For now. But the day will likely come when "Alexa, read this book and make me a gun" will result in something more serviceable and cheap. What then? Your point goes away. I would still say censoring the code because of what people might do with it is the same as banning a book on gunsmithing because of what machinists might do with it.

But some stuff I want to censor, and it ain't military secrets, that's more the kind of stuff that shouldn't remain secret if we expect to become more humane as a planet. It's necessary sometimes to come clean about one's sins.

The reasons I would censor have less to do with safety than with basic human decency.
That sound like some wonderful censorship! If it ever become an actual proposed law, I'll read it and tell you why it sucks.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Mohammed Bin Lyin said:
The digital blueprint thing is covered in some states. It's an offence to make a firearm by any method if you're not licensed to do it so do we really need legislation outlawing 3D printed guns when it's already illegal.

51F   Possession of digital blueprints for manufacture of firearms


(1)  A person must not possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine.

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 14 years.
 
(3)  In this section:

digital blueprint means any type of digital (or electronic) reproduction of a technical drawing of the design of an object.
possession, of a digital blueprint, includes the following:



(a)  possession of a computer or data storage device holding or containing the blueprint or of a document in which the blueprint is recorded,


(b)  control of the blueprint held in a computer that is in the possession of another person (whether the computer is in this jurisdiction or outside this jurisdiction).



https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1996/46/part6/sec51f


Looking at the current law it appears your books are ok because they're not digital 




Another throwback to the attempted ban on PGP:

Our law said "machine readable" instead of "digital (or electronic) reproduction."

This caused Uncooperative geeks to make a machine-readable version of the code for PGP on a T-shirt. The part that was readable by humans said, "THIS SHIRT IS A MUNITION!"

And it was. My brother had the shirt. I wonder if he still does? He's too fat to wear it any more but I'm not.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Outstanding News! There actually is a liberal editorial writer for whom the first amendment is more important than TeamD! Not at the Washington Post, of course, but there's one at the LA Times.

The Legal Fight Over 3D Printed Guns Isn't About Firearms. It's About Free Speech


Wilson is not making or selling — or even giving away — firearms. He is sharing information, and courts have held that software is expressive speech and thus cannot be stifled by the government. While some might argue that this particular program is not expressive but purely functional in nature, and thus not protected by the 1st Amendment, Wilson’s oft-stated intent in making the information available is to press the limits of gun control. That’s a quintessentially political statement, which is the sort of speech the courts have rightly taken pains to protect.



To be clear, we don’t like this use of 3-D printing technology. Nor do we like the thought of these printers becoming an unregulated source of unregistered guns. But we also jealously guard the 1st Amendment, and as long as the courts treat software as speech, the government should not be able to curtail its spread.


 

Pertinacious Tom

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Hah! New Joisey Grabber Accidentally Gets It Right

"Posting this material online is no different than driving to New Jersey and handing out hard-copy files on any street corner," huffed Grewal on a website that disseminated his musings far and wide. "The federal government is no longer willing to stop Defense Distributed from publishing this dangerous code, and so New Jersey must step up."
Yes, he's right, and that's why banning the distribution of this code is just like banning the distribution of a book on the same subject.

Step right up to your book ban plan! Just ignore that little first amendment problem.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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One of my favorite quotes, the source for which I can't remember, about the early internet was that it was designed to be Russia-proof and this design made it delightfully regulator-proof.

Yes, Chris, they're here to stay
 

Fortunately for those of us who do favor free speech and don't especially care about the legal savvy or legislative preferences of government officials, knowledge is even harder to scrub from the Internet than it is from the printed page. Soon after DefCad went dark, the files it contained were mirrored and distributed across the Internet.

The highest-profile of the mirror sites is Codeisfreespeech.com, sponsored by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. In response to gun-controllers' protests, that site was quickly booted from Amazon's hosting service. But in a demonstration of the uphill battle faced by online censors, it was back online before you could blink. All of Defense Distributed's gun design files are currently available for download, and for dropping into a cloud folder to share with friends, or attaching to emails and instant messages.

Go ahead and spread the good word.

It's difficult to believe that government officials didn't anticipate the failure of their efforts to suppress the files—if we ignore the inherent limitations of intellect and historical knowledge under which such creatures function, that is.

When the French government, in 1996, banned Le Grand Secret, a tell-all confessional by President Francois Mitterand's personal physician, it was promptly scanned and distributed around the globe to evade censorship (Reason contributor Declan McCullagh prominently participated in that effort).

When a federal court issued an injunction against the Napster music file-sharing service in 2001, the company went away, but file-sharing became more popular than ever. Enthusiasts developed peer-to-peer technology independent of centralized servers, and therefore much harder to shut down.

And BitTorrent—coupled with faster Internet connections—makes the sharing of large files, such as movies, an easy task, no matter what the law allows. Despite repeated government efforts, online sharing of music and films is reportedly bigger than ever.

"Is the genie already out of the bottle?" Chris Wallace went on to ask Cody Wilson in that Fox News interview. "Is this information already out there and we're arguing about something that's already happened?"

Well, yes! The genie absolutely is out of the bottle.
I didn't hear about the doctor's book but am glad French people are Uncooperative with censors too..

 

Pertinacious Tom

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I visited CodeIsFreeSpeech.com and they said Facebook has chosen to block them.

So naturally, I tried to post a link to their site on Facebook. The AI filters caught me.

Back at CIFS.com, I clicked the link to ask Facebook to stop doing this. This process concludes with a donation pitch from CIFS.com, which I noticed was handled by a third party.

Hmmm... so will Facebook's AI filters catch it if I post that donation link?

Apparently not. At least, not yet.

codeisfreespeechdonate.jpg


 

Pertinacious Tom

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Outstanding News! There actually is a liberal editorial writer for whom the first amendment is more important than TeamD! Not at the Washington Post, of course, but there's one at the LA Times.

The Legal Fight Over 3D Printed Guns Isn't About Firearms. It's About Free Speech
The Washington Post, for contrast:

Mr. Wilson, an avowed anarchist who hopes for a world in which governments can’t stop individuals from getting guns, claimed his First Amendment right to free speech was being violated. But he lost at every stage of litigation...
He kept losing because the government kept successfully avoiding the merits of his first amendment claim, which were never rejected, as the WaPo implies.

When they could no longer avoid the merits and were destined to lose, they settled.

They go on to call for Congress to close the "loopholes" that allow information to be published on the internet. They'd see the problem if it were information about any other subject, but it's about guns so TeamD.
 

 

Pertinacious Tom

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CNN avoiding the first amendment problem
 

Facebook is blocking sites that provide instructions for creating 3D printed guns and deleting content related to the creation of such weapons.

...

The restriction on instructions for 3D-printed guns is in keeping with Facebook's firearms policy, which bars the sale or exchange of firearms except by licensed dealers.
So if I sent you a file to print up a nice 3D winch handle, are you going to take that file out racing?

 
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