3D gun being displayed in V&A museum
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 17:09
In an exhibit on modern design, the V&A has decided to include the first 3D printed gun. Dubbed “The Liberator,” the gun was designed by Cody Wilson: a law student from Texas. The thing that is unique about this gun is that anyone who can acquire a printer could download and print a gun. This leads people to be very scared of the idea and has raised a bit of controversy for the museum. This fear and anger at the V&A museum is misplaced for two important reasons. First, 3D gun printing won’t have the apocalyptic side effects which the public seems to believe it will have. Second, museums are supposed to display things of interest, not judge.
First, the notion that anyone can print 3D guns is laughable. Most people don’t have $1,200 to drop on a relatively low end 3D printer. Even if they do, the extra money for the plastics which are used for printing cost a substantial amount. For this exorbitant cost, you can print one very small one shot pistol mostly made of plastic. Compare this to the much cheaper option of going down to the gun store and buying an assault rifle. Your average no good criminal probably is willing to pay less for the luxury of having more bullets.
Even more presumptuous is the idea that the museum has a moral duty not to display the gun, or that the display glorifies an over enthusiastic interpretation of the second amendment. The museum doesn’t care about the values involved. The museum wants to display items of interest and receive money in order to survive inevitable cost cutting. Just because a museum has a display regarding Soviet Russia doesn’t mean it is glorifying Stalin’s acts or communism in general. Similarly, the museum displaying the item only signifies that the museum believes that the object has historical significance.
Before you take your hand off the safety and panic about this decision, look through your scope and recognize that this is just hype. 3D printing won’t bring about an increase in gun crime and this museum exhibit isn’t glorifying anything other than the use of an up and coming technology.