Beto Goes to Kent State, Argues Only the Government Can Be Trusted With Guns


True, but I won’t worry about it until they become ubiquitous in the U.S.


I’m keeping in mind what a prohibition policy actually requires to work.

You need broad agreement that this needs to happen, you need cultural-norms that reinforce it, you need it to be something people don’t much care about, and better yet, you need a culture that appeals to top-down hierarchies; “We listen to our elders”.

None of that applies here. People stuck to their guns through the “assault weapons” ban, and Americans are broadly anti-authoritarian. Even Massachusetts couldn’t get people to turn guns in.

A total ban with guns would work less well than a partial one. A total ban will just set off an immune response where people blatantly break the law. The Federal authorities won’t have the manpower to enforce it, and most states won’t go along with it to help them.

It’s marijuana, only it’ll be the blue states who are the strongest hold outs.

Didn’t happen with Marijuana, didn’t happen with Alcohol.

Both of those things have less utility than guns, and guns are now easier to manufacture in secret than alcohol.

Yes, because their communities will support its use.

People out in rural areas will act as if they’re immune, people in urban areas who keep them for protection will keep doing so.

Just like in the Australian buyback.

You would need compliance from the manufacture to do that, and what you just posted isn’t monitoring. It’s reverse-tracing.

Workarounds will exist, and people can always just 3D print their own 3D printers.
We already do this.

Just like ghost guns, you’re not tracing that.

The democratization of technology means the end of most forms of prohibition. We’ve known this for years.


No, I’m not, but you’ve misunderstood mine…

That’s the point that I’m making. I admit I don’t have the numbers and the only claim I’m making is that peoples perceptions are changing. Nothing else matters.

You want evidence? Sales of bulletproof backpacks for kids have risen 200-300% Perception is reality. That is my point. Those parent that are buying bulletproof backpacks are voters and just as the pro-firearm side scares people into believing they need guns to protect them from criminals, the companies that benefit from parent fear of their children being shot by Aderal ridden teens will increase.

Those perceptions will collide…

Don’t want to get into a pissing contest over it…My point was simply that I don’t get my experience from TV. I believe you are 15-20 years my senior and are former LEO of some type (I kept reading and you’ve confirmed my belief), so no, I don’t doubt you have more experience.

You said “shooting sports” In terms of percent, hunting is on the decline according to US Fish and Wildlife, though I don’t doubt that shooting sports like target, 3-gun and things like that might have increased…I can’t find stats. My own personal experience would say you are probably right on that account as there have been recent pushes to create more firearm friendly activities.



I’d argue that firearms appeal to a much narrower base.

Hunting licenses are down to an all-time low. Also, Firearms have greater appeal to people in rural areas than anywhere else.

I think overall the answer would be no, but is some places where firearm culture is strong, I’d agree. That said, there are a lot fewer people in those areas.

Perhaps, but we know that several companies have already secretly gone along with telephone monitoring.

Furthermore, I can see provisions being buried in large bills with small provisions that lack scope and are used as the foundations to enact the kinds of things I’m talking about.

Remember the US government already sets requirements for firearm manufacturers to put identification on newly created firearms. If I’m not mistaken, you can make a homemade firearm today and are not required to serialize it, but I could see that changing in light if at-home manufacturing of firearms.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that printers would create unique identifying marks on any firearm pieces or parts created on that printer. I don’t see there being any huge backlash from printer makers on this.

Now, to the other possibilities, I cited, perhaps so, but I think that could change as perception changes and I think it is.

Of course, but the number of people that will have access to that and people willing to do it will be extremely limited.

In some respects, perhaps, but better mousetrap and all that…


Last year, there were roughly 67 MILLION hunting licenses issued throughout the U.S. I would submit that’s more armed personnel than ALL of the armies of all the countries on the planet. Don’t forget that there are millions of people who’ve acquired “lifetime hunting/fishing licenses” in the US. THOSE numbers don’t show up on the statistics about “hunting licenses issued.” I currently have two–Kansas and Oklahoma.


It doesn’t matter; the base just has to be organized & motivated. And politicians in States just have to perceive it would be a bad idea to move on them.

And then you have patch-work enforcement, just like Marijuana. The Federal authorities, don’t have the manpower to do things States and lower authorities won’t help them with.

It doesn’t matter.

The Government banned the files for the Liberator, yet I can find them in 5 minutes. Not because I use 3D printers, but because I know where torrents are, just like most of my generation. I can also find which sites are repositories for those files.

Those sites, just like torrents, can be based overseas. Where the Feds can’t touch them.

Which means nothing to 3D printers, which is a pro-sumer model. You only need a few people doing it for everyone in a given area to have access to guns.

Which is precisely what’s happening with Ghost guns.

You can’t enforce it. No more so than you can enforce people selling those weapons, which is already illegal.

Yet there’s no centralized control to force 3D printers to have those marks.

Just like how the State Department, didn’t have the centralized control to ensure no one can find the Liberator files.

By making it illegal you just make it sexy.

All you’ll change is preference for guns that can be hidden, just like Prohibition changed American preference to far more storable spirits.

In the lead up to Prohibition, alcohol use was also on the decline. It didn’t matter.

People already have access to that. DIY is more than half of 3D printers in use right now. Because they’re the cheapest ones.

Further, you don’t need 1:1 Printer-to-gun owner for the law to be ineffective. You could just have 1 printer offering it up to 100 a people, and the law has already failed. Just like marijuana laws.

There are limits to enforcement, limits to efficacy.

You don’t have centralized control, you don’t have broad agreement, the very nature of the technology and the market promotes distributed manufacture.

Several States won’t go along with it, including Texas, where the gun culture is no where near dead, where people will be free to innovate 3D printing even further to stay ahead of Federal controls.

Just like Cody Wilson did.

On the ground, in context, you don’t have control. No more so than government has control of music or media piracy. That’s not a “political will” problem. That’s an efficacy problem.


I don’t want to keep going round and round…My point, whether you agree or not is, while you are mostly correct about the way things are now, I think it’s probable that technology can make it much more difficult to create fireairm parts on a 3d printer.

Will it render it impossible? But just as printers and printing software won’t print or manipulate US currency, I could see laws being created that will make it more difficult to create firearm parts. It doens’t have to be impossible to be effective.

I don’t think drug use is a perfect parallel either when making comparisons.


Show me where music piracy became more difficult. In 25 years.

CS, this where your thinking is incomplete.

Laws do not create reality. They have to have efficacy. If they don’t, you’re just creating enforcement dead zones.

You also never addressed the fact; States will not go along with it.

Without local law enforcement to help, even a conventional gun ban is impossible to enforce.

The State department failed to control access to the Liberator. The first plastic-3D printed weapon.

Someone even came across the files, and modified it into a submachine gun.

Which you can also access.


I don’t know; how many did the Nazis shoot after they severely restricted firearms ownership? And western nations aside, you have the Soviets/Russians, the Chinese, and various small fry. I don’t think the number of murders in the U.S. since its founding would amount to much in comparison to the victims of any of those purges.

I feel you’re splitting hairs here. They are seeking to keep guns out.

I could speak of spiking gun sales when Obama was talking gun control, which wasn’t that many years ago.


One is a digital medium, the other is physical…Not the same thing.

One is an issue of copyright the other is an object that projects force capable of killing people. If music could be used to kill people maybe it would be harder to copy it.

Agreed, I don’t know why you are having such a hard time understanding what I’m saying. The public perception is going to change IMO. If you’re saying that it won’t, fine then let’s just agree to disagree, but it’s not like alcohol. Alcohol has a much broader appeal than firearms and the gap, again, IMO is only going to grow.

I think, eventually, if things continue as they are now with politicians on the pro side creating the perception that they are unwilling to take small steps and address some really low hanging fruit, that public perception will turn and the efficacy you say is required. It won’t happen overnight, I will probably take another generation, maybe 2…But I think the perception will change.

And that means that it won’t ever be able too? I usually follow your logic and it’s for the most part pretty sound, but how does what happened in the past dictate what must happen in the future?


This year, 3 and all of them in Mexico.

The cultures are different. Most nations don’t have the pedigree of the US. This nation was born on principles that other nations have not. This is why it’s so hard to spread Democracy. We take for granted ideas of freedoms of speech and Press, but not all cultures embrace those ideas, even some in areas that have become more democratized. Guns won’t stop a Hitler or a Moa, or a Stalin, a culture that believes that freedom and liberty will.

Just like red lights seek people to stop. They don’t make
people stop.

The term “Gun Free Zone” is simply a term that is exploited by people who are pro 2A by preying on people’s intuition.

No one that see’s a sign that say’s “smoking free zone” think that the sign keeps the area free of smoking. It’s the consequences, both in the law and cultural pressure that keep areas (mostly) free of smokers.

If people new that they could run a red light without being seen, I wonder how many people would do it?

It is the consequence, both in public perception and the law that put people to a choice, but of course, the goal of any restriction is to demand compliance, but the idea that red lights make people stop is stilly, they stop because they understand the consequences of not doing so. Some even realize social benefits.

Yes, and most of those guns were sold to people who already owned a firearm. Today 3 out of every 10 people own a firearm. with about 43% of households having at least 1 firearm.

That said, gun sales did surge under Obama.


And you know that “most of those guns were sold to people who already owned a firearm,” just HOW again? There were 67 MILLION hunting licenses issued last year–presumably to people who had a gun (or at least access to one). That’s more presumably-armed people than ALL the armies on the planet. What is the Department of Health and Human Services going to do with 1 BILLION rounds of 9mm ammunition, do you suppose?


It is the same thing. What we’re talking about is proliferation of digital files, and if you can control what people do with them.

Fundamentally, you cannot. You can store files beyond U.S. jurisdiction, and people can download them in complete secrecy, or even as just one among a forest you can’t possibly sort through.

That’s a consequence CS, that’s not a difference in proliferation dynamics.

The dynamics here are the same; you don’t have centralized control. You can’t control people using gun-printing files on their printers, anymore than you can control people putting pirated music on their phones.

There is no “Pro-piracy” party in America, courts regularly shut people down when they’re caught. Yet the fact that no one openly approves of it, and that there is no political support for its existence, doesn’t matter.

Piracy is in a far more precarious legal situation than guns, and yet, it happens and keeps growing.

I’m saying it doesn’t matter. You’re not reaching what you need to get this to work.

To get to a prohibition policy that works, you need something on the order of 90% of the population either agreeing with you, or not caring.

Policing this just like they would actual murder.

51% will not make this work, 60% will not make this work. That’s leave plenty of the population to create black market systems that sustain themselves. Just like they do in Mexico.

Just like we’ve done with marijuana.

The files are literally in a place they can’t control (Asia), and the very nature of the internet promotes proliferation.

Governments can’t surmount this. China’s CCP has tried for 30 years harder than anyone else, creating downright Orwellian organs in the process, and even they have failed. Netitzens still get all the non-approved content they want.

To control this, you would need to convince an overwhelming majority that you’re in the right to police it. So that ordinary people are turning in the ones breaking the law.

Sorry, but I don’t see that happening. The American origin story, and the American culture in general, has too many sources re-creating the idea that guns are good, and the anti-authoritarian streak that Gov’t is bad.


Oh come on AS. No one cares of you own files of a firearm, they only care if you turn it into the real thing.

Not the same.

Again, you are entirely missing my point. When the government tried to ban alchol it did not have public sentiment on it’s side.

I don’t think banning of firearms has appropriate public sentiment yet, but I think it could in the years to come.

That’s the only issue I’m addressing here.

The idea that 3d printers will cause people to give up any desire to place restrictions/ ban firearms is insane. One has nothing to do with the other.

Then let’s just agree to disagree.

Again, the technology to identify gun parts being created by a 3d printer could prevent the vast majority of people from creating firearms this way. Those that have the resources to circumvent the firmware of a printer obviously have motives that would be hard to stop.

It won’t matter where the file originates or is stored if the printer you bought on Amazon won’t print it it won’t matter.

Do protections against scanning, manipulating or printing currency prevent all counterfeiting? No, but it does reduce it. I can imagine the same for gun parts. As I said, I’m not stupid enough to think that it would prevent all gun parts from being made, it would just make it more difficult and it would be easier to spot people who try to circumvent the law.

Kind of like taking the catalytic converter off my car. nothing prevents it. I could do it and probably not get caught, but it’s a hassle and it’s not worth the chance that I might get caught. That prevents a lot of people from doing it that otherwise might.


Again, you’re leveraging consequence, not function.

You don’t control what people do with printers they assemble themselves.
You’re presuming a 20th century manufacturing model, when it’s a pro-sumer 21st century model most printers in circulation today were assembled through.

There is no centralized control. Not of the files, not of the printer. This is by design.

You missed mine; prohibition doesn’t work just with marginal majorities.

Unless you have broad agreement on the same level we did, say, with CFCs, this doesn’t work.

You’re talking about a marginal reversal of opinion. That’s enough to alter the most surface level of politics and rule-making; not the black market or the technology or the trends within it.

I didn’t say that. People will write restrictions, they just won’t work.

We have broad political agreement that piracy is bad. It still happens, with millions of people being party to it.

Thanks to 3D printers, people will download a car. And bicycles. And Guns. Brand name ones whose manufactures will sue in court just like the record industry did.

It will all be illegal, and no one will be able to stop it.
We’ll haul in a few people into court, just like we did with the owner of Megaupload.
Hunt down a few sites like we did with PirateBay.

The bulk of it will remain undaunted.

It’d be easier to write programs that identify pirated songs (YouTube already does this), and distributing them onto everyone’s phones.

We haven’t done that though, because, 4th amendment. We don’t like companies writing things to determine what’s on our files.

But hey, let’s say that wasn’t there. With no centralized company to go to for the printers, I don’t see how you’re getting that software onto them in the first place.

You could dig through internet history to see if someone downloaded the files, but we already have a work-around: VPNs.

That’s another thing; the firmware can be generic. Something that isn’t even intended for a 3D printer, until someone grabs it off the shelf, and dumps the right program into it.

Like the Aurdino; useful for radar, to RC cars, to robots. And 3D printers.

The Modularity, and the inherently distributed nature of the 3D printer manufacture, means you don’t have control.

It’s a DIY world, where things get easier all the time. If you can use a cook book and a screw driver, you can do this.

With the oncoming generation of 3D printers, counterfeiting will become very normal. Digital currency will have to become the norm. Japan’s already doing this.


1 That “pedigree” is eroding fast; which I believe is part of the argument you were making in regard to the gun culture allegedly making itself less palatable to the mainstream.
2 Which I’ve argued are Judeo-Christian (Christian apologists politicians have demomstrated how other worldviews (particularly Islam) could never found a nation with our liberties), and which are clearly deteriorating.
3 Then why did those governments take such pains to disarm their populations?
4 Not without the means; Tiananmen Square, anyone?

5 “Make?” No. But cause to? Yes, to a significant degree.

6 Then why did the government seek to get those files removed?