While Benghazi stole most of the political headlines this past week, 3D printed guns did find their way into the news at one point.
The first 3D printed firearm made (almost) entirely from non-metal parts was fired on Monday; instructions for making the gun were put online shortly thereafter; the government pulled down the instructions later in the week; and all involved realized that once something is online it can’t be pulled off by Friday.
On Real Time, Bill Maher tackled the subject of 3D printed guns. It was a largely stupid conversation, right up The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out the real issue at hand.
“There’s always been a strain in America that has said that the project of America is to protect ourselves, the citizenry, from abuses of power by the government, and that’s why we need arms,” he noted, per Mediaite. “You can say it’s crazy and disturbing and dangerous, and its all those things…”
“It’s also a fantasy,” Maher interjected.
“It’s a ridiculous fantasy,” Greenwald acknowleged. “The problem is, what powers do you want to give the government to be able to do something about this? Do you want them to be able to search homes? Do you want them to be able to prevent people from sharing information on the internet that’s human knowledge about how you make these recorders, and give them power over the internet?
“There’s a huge cost of freedom in letting people talk about how you print these plastic guns, or letting them say these things about arming for tyranny. There’s also a cost to letting the government say, ‘These ideas can’t be expressed.’”
You can check out the entire conversation in the video below.