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Of 1000 Americans Polled, Most Would Ban Home Printing of Guns 578

Posted by timothy
from the top-5-answers-on-the-board dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In results that may signal some discomfort with the enormous DIY promise of 3D printing and similar home-manufacturing technologies, a new Reason-Rupe poll finds that an otherwise gun control-weary American public thinks owners of 3D printers ought not be allowed to make their own guns or gun parts. Of course, implementing such a restrictive policy might be tad more difficult than measuring popular preferences." This poll is of only 1000 people, though; your mileage may vary.
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Of 1000 Americans Polled, Most Would Ban Home Printing of Guns

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  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:36AM (#43761155)

    Watch out for the guy printing a pointed stick...

  • by iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:36AM (#43761159)

    Whatever happened to the concept of Personal Responsibility? Of being held accountable for your own actions, instead of the knee-jerk reaction of "it's the firearms fault, ban them everywhere we can." This mass punishment, this taking away of people's ability to use their time and money as they see fit, is crazy. If someone proves that they can't handle a level of responsibility, then I can understand rights being taken away, but to punish everything, to take away abilities from everyone? I find it insulting, that I am automatically assumed to not be responsible off the bat.

  • by davmoo (63521) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:37AM (#43761163)

    Good for them. I want a unicorn, and I'm not going to get that either.

  • Rights (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwasham (1208930) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:39AM (#43761181) Homepage
    Thankfully my rights aren't governed by popular opinion.
  • "most people" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:44AM (#43761203) Journal

    Most Americans wouldn't have joined WW2 (at least until Pearl Harbor).

    Most people don't know which came first, the Revolutionary War or the Civil War.

    Most states have passed anti-gay, one-man/one-woman marriage laws.

    Most people generally fear change of any sort.

    There's a reason we're not a democracy, we're a democratic republic. "Most people" are rather dumb.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by niftydude (1745144) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @09:11AM (#43761357)

    Watch out for the guy printing a pointed stick...

    Well, according to TFA, 29% of people surveyed didn't think people should be allowed to own 3D printers at all!

    There are way too many luddites out there.

  • by katorga (623930) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @09:17AM (#43761395)

    A Grizzly gunsmith lathe and mill combo costs around $4000, less than a 3d printer. The steel and aluminum rods and blocks are also cheap and available. Anyone can machine a REAL gun cheaper than they can make a plastic one. You make bullets out of lead/tin tire rim weights. If you use an older cartridge that was originally a block powder round like .45 colt or 45-70 govt. you can make your own powder. The only part that I'm not sure of is how one would make brass shell cases or primers.

  • Who is "we"? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, 2013 @09:26AM (#43761435)


    Why do you get to control us?
    You control what we print, our children (mandatory schooling, cps, etc etc), age of girls we can marry.
    Fuck you.

  • passing majority (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @09:43AM (#43761557)

    This is exactly why we have a constitution. The fear of the framers was that a "passing majority" could remove our freedoms/rights out of fear or anger.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @09:48AM (#43761581) Homepage

    There is a "public interest" in meddling in the affairs of others. Whether or not that is consistent with our founding ideals is another matter entirely.

    Most busybodies are just idiots manipulated by the media to fear the wrong thing and ignore the real problem.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:00AM (#43761651)
    You're allowed to build homemade guns in the US under the condition that the gun itself would be legal to own anyway (for example, it isn't fully automatic). 3D printers just make it a bit more accessible than crafting it by hand. Apparently, many people in the US just don't know this fact.
  • by fuzznutz (789413) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:03AM (#43761667)

    I'm in favour of you not having guns

    Yet another Brit puts his two pence in. Guess what? You guys are the reason we have the Second Amendment.

  • Public Safety (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thruen (753567) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:28AM (#43761829)
    Nobody is trying to say if you print a gun and use it, it's the gun's fault. The blame still falls wholly on the person who committed the crime. What you don't seem to understand is that laws are meant to keep people safe and secure, not just punish people after the fact. Nobody needs to prove they can't handle drinking and driving to be told not to do it, there's no reason to wait until people get hurt to stop something. Treating rules and regulations as an attack on your person is just being childish. As for 3d printing guns in particular, I'd support a method of stopping it as long as it didn't interfere with anything else, I just don't know if that's even possible. The reasoning is straightforward: Guns are regulated, making them at home bypasses regulation. Nobody would think twice about shutting down a lab producing alternatives to prescription drugs, it's really the same thing. Somehow with guns people get it in their heads the rules should all be different, that because they're mentioned in the constitution we can't regulate them. This is not the case. Even freedom of speech is regulated to some degree, primarily to keep people from inciting violence. Laws are not there because somebody assumes you can't be responsible, laws are there because it's been proven time and time again that in a group as large as this country, there are enough people who can't be responsible to justify regulating dangerous things. If that wasn't the case, we wouldn't have crime, everyone would just be good and responsible because it's what's right.
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by felrom (2923513) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:30AM (#43761847)
    If you know a ban wouldn't make sense or be effective, then why would you support it? You're admitting that you let your emotion overpower your logic.
  • Re: Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:46AM (#43761959)

    1000 most certainly isn't too small of a sample, provided that it was a good. You're just discounting it because you don't like the result.

    1000 is sufficient to establish that most Americans are likely to support a ban, depending upon your specific estimate for sigma. It could get a bit dicey if you're getting near to 50%, but you don't need 50k respondents for the survey to be valid. The reason we have polled data for this is because it's not realistic to ask everybody individually.

    Perhaps before spouting off about the necessary sample size, you might actually like to understand the related statistical analysis.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @10:48AM (#43761979)

    Yes, that was one girl, and just because some people manage anyways, does not imply that firearms don't make it easier and lead to deaths that might otherwise not happen. A firearm is an extremely easy way of killing people you might not already be capable of killing. With a firearm, that same 8 year old girl could have killed the 12 year old brother which would have been substantially less likely were she only to have had access to pointy sticks.

    Posts like yours really reinforce the idea that perhaps the people with firearms are precisely the people that shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them. Because critical reasoning is an essential firearm handling skill.

  • Re: Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sleigher (961421) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @11:04AM (#43762113)
    1000 out of 300 million +. Like the original poster said, is it 1000 people from NYC? Or 1000 from Texas?

    I have worked in market research and understand the sample sizes and statistical analysis.

    The question remains, where are the 1000 people from? Answer that and then we will have a clearer picture of the validity of the results.
  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @11:04AM (#43762115)

    Well, guns are pretty much banned in Chicago, New York City, etc. And yet, dozens of shootings every day....

    This image has a nice take on it... apparently cold weather causes violence. []

    And barriers to importation of guns into Chicago are nonexistent. It's a majority-minority city, which means you would expect its murder rate to be high for American cities because in the USA, murder rates are many times higher among blacks and hispanics than among whites and many times higher among poor people of all races than among middle-income and up people of all races. If you don't figure that in when thinking about violence, you will come to all kinds of conclusions that won't withstand the light of day.

  • Re: Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbauman (624611) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @11:17AM (#43762189) Homepage Journal

    When I studied statistics and polling, I learned that a sample of 1,000 gave you answers that were reliable to a confidence interval of 1%. The Gallup poll and other polls use a nationwide sample of about 1,000.

    There's no benefit to using more than 1,000 because they'd have to poll very large numbers of people for very small and meaningless improvements in the confidence interval. It doesn't make any difference whether 53%, 53.2% or 52.9% of Americans oppose printing guns at home.

    Politicians don't say, "Well, I wouldn't worry about this if 52% of those polled opposed it, but now that 53% oppose it we have to do something about it."

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kreigaffe (765218) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @11:53AM (#43762431)

    No, actually, they don't give a shit. I could make myself a firearm, RIGHT NOW, and they're OK with that (so long as it doesn't infringe on certain things, like bore diameter, barrel length if it's a shotgun or pistol.. stuff you can own, but need some licenses (tax stamps) from the ATF to own).

    For the price of a single 3D printer you could slam out dozens of zip guns. Don't even need any serious machining tools for that.

    The whole 3D printed gun scare is just that. A scare. It's headlines. That is all.

  • by a2wflc (705508) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:00PM (#43762483)

    if your survey includes mostly people who do those things you'll get different answers but this survey was almost entirely of people who don't print 3D guns.
    I wouldn't be surprised if surveys found that 53% of the population said any of these if the survey is mostly of people who don't do them

    I don't buy 16+ ounce sodas. Nobody should.

    I don't drink. nobody should.

    I don't smoke. nobody should.

    I don't vote republican. nobody should.

    I don't get food stamps. nobody should

    I don't own a gun. nobody should.

    I don't send my kids to private school. nobody should.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:18PM (#43762635)

    So the poll really reveals that most people are ignorant of the facts, and would happily remain ignorant while voting to take rights away. Though if asked directly "would you educate yourself on all the facts before voting" most would say "yes," but wouldn't actually do it. Or they would consider reading their favorite completely one-sided blog as "education."

    It is also commonly known that having a baby causes huge neurological changes in both parents, which in turn changes their political values. Ostensibly they are more willing to sacrifice freedom (theirs and everyone else's) for promises of security (theirs, that's all they care about). Based on my experience, the changes are a bit deeper than that: it makes them lose their ability to think critically, to see the big picture, and to be smart.

    I wonder how many people in this poll were parents.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blindseer (891256) <blindseer AT earthlink DOT net> on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:42PM (#43762823)

    I believe otherwise. I think the ATF does care if people make their own firearms because a large portion of the people that make up the ATF do not believe that anyone but themselves are responsible enough to own firearms.

    Someone that makes a firearm at home might be doing so completely within the law but it appears to me that the ATF does not like this because they would have no record of it. If they don't have a record of it then they can't take it from us when they wish. That's just the way they think, it's a culture that exists within the ATF since it was created.

    Of course certain individual ATF agents may not have a problem with responsible firearm ownership, manufacture, or transfer but the people in charge certainly do. There are all kinds of examples of people having their weapons taken from them and never returned, despite it being quite illegal for the ATF to do so. People have ended up dead because the ATF didn't have the right paperwork and they thought someone had an "illegal" gun.

    The ATF has to be very nervous right now over 3D printing. Now it no longer takes expensive machine tools and a certain level of skill to mass produce firearms. Now all it takes is a computer, 3D printer, plastic, and the ability to stack up Lego blocks.

    If the ATF cannot find a way to regulate this then they are going to find themselves irrelevant, and out of a job.

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:58PM (#43762963)

    Like if someone commits a crime with one of your printed guns you share the charges.

    So, if someone borrows your car, accidently kills seven people, YOU should be brought up on seven counts of manslaughter alongside your (presumably ex-)friend?

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shompol (1690084) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @01:15PM (#43763095)

    USA, murder rates are many times higher among blacks and hispanics than among whites

    And yet Houston has MORE blacks and hispanics than Chicago, yet lower murder rate. Here's the source. []

    among poor people of all races

    Income levels are the same. source. []
    Looking at the chart before stomping it into the ground helps.

  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, 2013 @02:09PM (#43763447)

    If they don't have a record of it then they can't take it from us when they wish.

    This right here is why no one gives gunners any real credibility in their bizzaro claims. No one in America is coming for your guns. Every single American gun law ever passed has grandfathered in owners of existing guns. You're living in a paranoid fantasy world if you think your guns are in any danger. Now you may be barred from selling those guns, and if they end up used in a crime you may be liable, but rest assured your guns are perfectly safe and will be right up until a burglar robs your house while you're away and makes off with your entire collection to sell for meth money.

  • Car Parts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lazarian (906722) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @03:30PM (#43763985)
    I know the gun thing is the big boogieman now in regards to 3-D printers, but I can't help but think there's more mundane things that a 3-D printer can do that the powers-that-be are afraid of. It sure would be nice to print out a new head light bezel for my truck for ten bucks instead of paying over $200 from the dealership.
  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @03:41PM (#43764055) Homepage Journal

    What a load of bullshit. The government isn't supposed to fear us, you twit, and to be brutally honest, it's that attitude that has gotten us into such the mess we're in today. After all, how far a leap is it from "government is supposed to fear us" to "if only someone would bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City or an Olympic venue in Atlanta, that would show 'em"?

    The government is supposed to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the country. When some dictator stages a military coup d'état against his government, how well is that government able to provide for the common defense and general welfare? It's impossible for a government that fears its citizenry to fulfill that mandate. It's also utterly moronic to espouse rule by physical intimidation, which is exactly what you're supporting when you propagate this idiotic notion that people should have guns to keep government in check.

    A little anecdote I like to relate to "government is supposed to fear us" twits:

    On April 12, 2009, three Navy SEALs shot and killed three Somali pirates holding Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama hostage. They had parachuted in two days before, and were set up on the fantail of the U.S.S. Bainbridge, a destroyer dispatched to handle the situation. The pirates were on a lifeboat being towed over 75 feet behind the Bainbridge. The SEALs had been manning their sniper rifles for over 24 hours straight, and both boats were bobbing up and down. Three simultaneous shots were taken, and there were three direct hits in the heads of each of the pirates. Captain Phillips was successfully rescued without injury.

    I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, because Navy SEALs are badass, and you do not want to mess with them. But mostly because you need to understand that if the government wants you dead, you are going to be dead. You will be a red splatter on the wall before you even have the chance to get your military-grade weaponry.

    Several times since the Revolutionary War, nutcases have tried to rise up in armed resistance to the U.S. government. The largest such rebellion took place between 1861 and 1865. You would have thought that that would have settled the matter once and for all, but no, even almost 150 years later, we still have people romanticizing revolutions trying to convince others that overthrowing the U.S. government via armed conflict is a good idea, or that the U.S. government is even remotely concerned about the possibility; thus we end up with incidents like Ruby Ridge and Waco. So let me break it down to you really simple-like: 1) Armed revolt against the U.S. government by U.S. citizens will never work, and 2) if you try, you will be quickly dispatched with no matter how many guns you own.

    And personally, I'm glad. Unlike apparently you, I realize that we need government to maintain our society. If someone burns down my house or murders someone in my family, I don't want the government to be afraid to arrest and prosecute the guy who did it because he has a lot of guns, that's the height of idiocy. If you want a haven where there is little to no government interference, you should move to Somalia. There's practically no government there past the "might makes right" rules imposed by local warlords. If you have a lot of guns, you have a lot of power. If someone commits some perceived injustice against you, there's nothing stopping you from using your resources to carry out justice in whatever way you want. As an added bonus, you wouldn't have to pay taxes. Of course, you do have to worry about your warlord neighbors getting jealous of your stuff and, if they have more guns and mercenaries than you do, coming over and taking it. But hey, at least you can go down in a blaze of glory knowing that you and your family are dying without the benefit of government helping you with your personal protection or interfering with your ability to acquire lots of guns and that the only limit you have on what kind you can buy is how much money you have.


  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @06:13PM (#43764799) Journal

    I'm not a right-wing "US government is conspiring with UN to set up concentration camps" nutcase, but the amount of incorrect claims in your post is so staggering that I have to play the devil's advocate here.

    What a load of bullshit. The government isn't supposed to fear us, you twit

    A democratic government of free people is not supposed to fear those people, you're right. However, is that governments can sometimes devolve from democracy into a populist tyranny of the majority, and ultimately into a dictatorship. Nazi Germany was an extreme example of that; more mild recent ones are Russia and Venezuela. The point is that any people in the government who have similar notions should be fearful of an armed and vigilant populace.

    Several times since the Revolutionary War, nutcases have tried to rise up in armed resistance to the U.S. government. The largest such rebellion took place between 1861 and 1865.

    So Civil War was just a bunch of nutcases rising up in armed resistance against U.S. government, really? And not, say, duly elected governments of several states, which at that time considered themselves sovereign, seceding and establishing their own government?

    Regardless of the unsavory causes for the sake of which CSA was established, it is as far from what you're trying to portray here as can possibly be. It was an example of two professional, state-funded and state-controlled armies hashing it out in the field, not unorganized militia.

    . If someone burns down my house or murders someone in my family, I don't want the government to be afraid to arrest and prosecute the guy who did it

    Hypothetically speaking, what if the government burns down your house and murders someone in your family?

    TL;DR version: your entire argument hinges on the notion that government is always beneficial. This is provably not the case: USSR, Nazi Germany, DPRK are all examples of extremely oppressive governments. There are also numerous examples of benign governments which devolved into oppressive ones, either through abuse of populism in times of crisis, or through an internal coup d'etat. The "security of a free state" argument is about preventing that from happening, not about resisting a legitimate democratic government.

  • Re: Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @07:57PM (#43765255)

    NRA is a marketing arm of gun manufacturers.

    Except for the fact that the NRA gets very little money from gun manufacturers. Where they get their money from is millions of Americans writing checks so that the NRA will represent them in Washington.

    More facts, less emotion.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blindseer (891256) <blindseer AT earthlink DOT net> on Saturday May 18, 2013 @08:03PM (#43765279)

    Did you see what you did there? Is "gun violence" somehow more criminal, cruel, or notable than any other kind of violence?

    Fact is that total violent crimes hit a new low, I recall it's the lowest it has been in something like 50 or 60 years. I don't know what the "gun violence" rate is and I don't care to look it up. I don't care because I know that "gun violence" statistics are loaded with inaccuracies by people with an agenda to deny law abiding people of their right of self defense.

    While violent crimes have hit a new low we've seen gun ownership hit new highs. The "gun violence" rates may have gone up but that is only because "gun violence" as defined by people like the Brady Campaign include suicides, self defense shootings, police interventions, and accidents. I would not consider the killing of a home invader by the home owner to be "gun violence" but Brady Campaign does. In most jurisdictions this is not even considered a crime. As someone smarter than me has said, "There are four types of homicide, felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy."

    Even if "gun violence" is high I am not so sure that is a bad thing. If someone breaks into the home of another they should expect some "gun violence" from the home owner in return. That would be something praiseworthy.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner