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Video Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video) 367

In Texas, guns are a common sight:gun-racks are visible in the back of many pick-ups, and pistols, cannons, and rifles are part of the state's iconography. Out-of-sight guns are common, too: The state has had legal (though highly regulated) concealed carry for handguns since 1995, though -- contrary to some people's guess, and with some exceptions -- open carry of handguns is not generally legal. One thing that's definitely not a common sight, though, is a group of people manufacturing guns just outside the south gates of the Texas capitol building. But that's just what you would have encountered a few weeks ago, when an organization called CATI (Come and Take It) Texas set up a tent that served as a tech demo as much as an act of social provocation. CATI had on hand one of the same Ghost Gunner CNC mills that FedEx now balks at shipping, and spent hours showing all comers how a "gun" (in the eyes of regulators, at least) can be quickly shaped from a piece of aluminum the ATF classifies as just a piece of aluminum. They came prepared to operate off-grid, and CATI Texas president Murdoch Pizgatti showed for my camera that the Ghost Gunner works just fine operating from a few big batteries -- no mains power required. (They ran the mill at a slower speed, though, to conserve juice.)
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Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)

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  • by Beerdood ( 1451859 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:05PM (#49200283)
    Not really relevant to this particular topic, but thanks for stopping the auto-play of video in the comments section, Slashdot.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:09PM (#49200335)
    ...is that they're basically taking an issue that most people either didn't really know about or didn't really care about too strongly, and are shoving it into everyone else's faces, so that they now have a reason to take a stance against it?

    Several years ago I remember a protest in an open-carry state about a public library attempting to prohibit open-carry in the library. Things were nice and peaceful and respectful, until some jackass wearing hunting camo and leather two sashes covered in shotgun shells came in carrying a pump-action twelve gauge. Any goodwill that the previous firearms enthusiasts created was utterly destroyed by one jerk that decided to push the limits.

    Guns are a lot of fun to shoot. There are times when guns serve a legitimate use. On the other hand, if guns are introduced into situations where they have no business then it's not exactly a surprise when movements to prohibit them or to confiscate them come to be.
    • ...is that they're basically taking an issue that most people either didn't really know about or didn't really care about too strongly, and are shoving it into everyone else's faces, so that they now have a reason to take a stance against it?

      Curse you, Mapplethorpe!

    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      Things were nice and peaceful and respectful, until some jackass wearing hunting camo and leather two sashes covered in shotgun shells came in carrying a pump-action twelve gauge. Any goodwill that the previous firearms enthusiasts created was utterly destroyed by one jerk that decided to push the limits.

      Or it was staged. It's not that hard to find someone to play the jerk and you don't have to tell anyone else you're doing it.

    • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:56PM (#49200691)

      And the question is who decides what those situations are? The same people who think "the shoulder thing that goes up" is what makes a deadly AKR-47 assault RPG?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Someone has to decide, otherwise you have to legalise RPGs, howitzers etc. There needs to be a limit and the only sensible way to decide is to trade utility against the danger of allowing general ownership. You can try to rebalance things by mandating training or background checks.

        But yeah, just accuse people of being ignorant and fearful, instead of making an argument. Good job on the advocacy.

        • I can buy an RPG and rockets right now. It'll cost an obscene amount of money, $200 to the ATF, and 6 months to over a year of investigation and paperwork processing but it's perfectly legal for me to do.

          Also this isn't some random ad-hom, that was a literal quote from a major political player. People are literally so ignorant that they think "the shoulder thing that goes up" is a deadly part of an "assault weapon" and trying to write absurd legislation that regulates purely cosmetic features or go for a gu

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      ...is that they're basically taking an issue that most people either didn't really know about or didn't really care about too strongly, and are shoving it into everyone else's faces, so that they now have a reason to take a stance against it?

      I wonder what you think of gay pride parades. Or even gay people kissing in public.

    • ...is that they're basically taking an issue that most people either didn't really know about or didn't really care about too strongly, and are shoving it into everyone else's faces

      Why don't you ask the same question of the Piss Christ guys? I don't see any difference if you think of this as an art project...

      Well there is one difference, this is actually practical and informative.

  • by gilgongo ( 57446 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:20PM (#49200419) Homepage Journal

    I'm from the UK and I'm having a hard time understanding this. What are these gentlemen trying to do? What is the context around blocks of aluminium being made into guns? What problem does that solve?

    • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:29PM (#49200491) Homepage

      I'm not sure what they're really trying to accomplish. They're shoving their political opinion in everyone's face. Quite often, however, people like this end up generating a fair amount of animosity towards their cause and bring together opponents trying to stop them who otherwise wouldn't have enough ambition to do so. Their actions end up being counterproductive. I'm not sure why they insist on hurting their own cause but they're hell bent on doing it.

      Many of us who enjoy responsible recreational and sport shooting really wish these idiots would shut up and go away because they bring unwanted attention to the subject and end up making it more difficult for the rest of us.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        This is America: the place made for "shoving your political opinion in other people's face". People in coastal areas with heavy handed government tend to forget this.

      • I think you're missing the point.

        The point is that in the very near future, guns will be incredibly easy to manufacture. It does not matter if you ban sales. If someone really wants a gun, they will be able to machine their own, and not too terribly long after that, simply feed a series of instructions into a machine that will create the gun without any required skills on part of the person pushing the button.

        The point is that you can't solve crime and gun crime with restrictions in a future where it'
        • The funny (tragic) part is that the kind of people who tend to be strongly pro-gun, also tend to be strong against social programs that could prevent a great deal of the violence typically associated with guns.

          Ain't that the truth...

          • by rho ( 6063 )

            The funny (tragic) part is that the kind of people who tend to be strongly pro-gun, also tend to be strong against social programs that could prevent a great deal of the violence typically associated with guns.

            Ain't that the truth...

            It's not really the truth. If you doubt it, go to the neighborhoods in your city most thoroughly covered by "social programs."

            I wouldn't go there unarmed, but that's up to you.

            All of those violent neighborhoods would benefit from more of the law-abiding residents being armed to the teeth. The old saying goes "an armed society is a polite society," as nothing deters assholery so much as the sudden onset of room temperature-ness.

    • by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @04:30PM (#49200499)

      Who knows
       
      The best argument I've heard for what they're doing is "if you are afraid to express your rights do you actually have those rights?"

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        I'm not sure they do have the right they think they have... The constitution mentions baring arms as part of an organised militia, but that doesn't seem to be what they are trying to do.

        • The constitution charges the government with protecting the people's rights to keep and bear arms after noting that a free people need to be well practiced with their guns.

          The Supreme Court has been upholding the plain language reading all up and down the country lately, much to the annoyance of those that wish it said something else.

        • The constitution mentions baring arms as part of an organised militia, but that doesn't seem to be what they are trying to do.

          No, the Constitution does not. It mentions the militia as the REASON that "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", and that's all.

          Note that even if it did, the Militia Act (which is still in force), REQUIRES every able-bodied man to own a firearm suitable for militia use. Which would be a selective-fire M4/M16 equivalent these days (you want common ammo and magaz

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think the idea is to show the futility of attempting this kind of control in the era of 21st century technology. Ultimately, every gun is just a few bits of metal, and with a modern 3D printer or CNC machine, anyone in any first-world country can manufacture one that is not subject to any controls. Given that eventuality, arguments for why gun control is necessary become meaningless: they can be tools for oppression or revenue generation, but they cannot be said to actually increase public safety.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Some folks pitch a fit over the fact that once milled, you now possess the means to fully assemble a working AR-15 without it being registered with the Federal Government. ( The lower receiver is typically what is serialized when manufactured for sale ) ( Though some folks in this country pitch a fit over anything that even looks like a gun, so this isn't really news. )

      The way the law is written, it is fully legal to create your own lower receiver and convert it to a fully functional weapon without regis
      • It can be given away, and it can be sold. You just can't intend to do that when you make it.

        Or, more accurately, you can't do things that would make a reasonable person think that you intended to give it away or sell it when you made it.

      • The way the law is written, it is fully legal to create your own lower receiver and convert it to a fully functional weapon without registration as long as it is for your own personal use. It can never be given away nor sold.

        Actually, it can. Beware of state rules, it has to have a maker's mark and serial #, and you definitely can't be 'in the business' without a FFL, But if you make a firearm, the decide to sell it(and it's the only one you sell) in a used condition 4 years later, having fed 1k rounds through it, then you're good to go. Selling a non-used individually manufactured firearm is an indication that you 'might' be in the business, so don't do that. Try to not make a profit on your hobby. Definitely don't make a

    • Demonstrating how easy it is to manufacture guns with modern equipment shows the futility of trying to stop it with simple restrictions, such as the silly shipping restriction. As a related example, some people in the US think that a useful answer to gun violence is stronger rules on who can purchase guns and how they are registered/tracked. That's just ridiculous when any yahoo can whip out an unregistered gun this fast. (Our yahoos are similar to your chavs, but with even worse outfits)

      The US is close

    • I'm from the UK and I'm having a hard time understanding this. What are these gentlemen trying to do? What is the context around blocks of aluminium being made into guns? What problem does that solve?

      It solves the problem that any untrained knucklehead can now mill a gun without having to bother to take the time to master the craft. It makes a political statement of sorts because a lot of Americans think there's a hidden secret government agenda to disarm society and implement a pseudo-socialist police state under UN control on American soil. Promoting the idea of a such a secret agenda is good business for the gun industry, the NRA, etc.

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      As I understand it, the complaint is really about arcane regulations on what firearms can be shipped by mail. Here, the specialized CNC mill makes what is called a "lower receiver" [wikipedia.org] for the AR 15 [wikipedia.org], a common rifle used by the US armed forces. The lower receiver houses both the trigger mechanism and the magazine so it is a critical part of the gun, required in order to operate the weapon.

      I believe what they really want is to ship firearms via mail without interference from the feds.
    • "an act of social provocation"

      All the open carry demonstrations and make a gun tricks... All seem to be the kind of sarcastic "social provocations" that one undertake to encourage stricter gun control.
      I find it hilarious...

    • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      They want to be able to legally open-carry, something that you, brits, can't possibly understand, as you are subjects, not free citizen...
    • Selling and possessing chunks of aluminum (aluminium) is legal.

      Selling/possessing chunks of aluminum in a certain shape will land you time in a FPMITA prison.

      They have made an economical mini mill economical that makes the chunk of aluminum. In America, we believe that it's only illegal if you get caught, and so these folks fancy themselves as finding a great hack.
  • They should've called it the Molon Lathe

  • Notice that again the conservative voice on slashdot is screaming about how FedEx doesn't want to transport certain goods. If the product was a pamphlet for a local union hall, the conservatives would say that FedEx was exercising their rights to free speech and freedom of association. But since the product is something that conservatives believe all Americans have god-granted rights to, FedEx's refusal to transport it is clearly a constitutional crisis.

    In other words, FedEx is free to transport whate
    • Personally, I object to Fedex's position because they're citing concerns about the law, when the law says nothing about gun-smithing tools.

      And yes, a lot of guns get shipped despite their policy marked as 'machine parts'.

      If they just said 'we don't want to ship this because we don't support gun-rights', then we could boycott them with a clear heart.

      (Note: More libertarian than conservative).

  • Regulation (Score:4, Informative)

    by watermark ( 913726 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @05:02PM (#49200731)

    Even if you wanted to, how could you possibly regulate this? Once items get to the point of being able to be easily manufactured in your own house, in mass, relatively cheaply, it's nearly impossible to regulate this away.

    Think of prohibition. People can/could easily make their own alcohol in their own house by just leaving grapes in a barrel. It was next to impossible to regulate and required substantial man power to prevent the little they did. Grape juice in the era actually said on the label "Do not leave in a jug for 20 days as it might turn into wine." CNC mills are not illegal, just as grape juice wasn't illegal during prohibition. You're likely to start seeing CNC mills with warnings like "do not use to make firearms."

    If you try to regulate schematics, people can just download plans from some P2P service. Now you guns that are made from lower grade materials AND questionable designs.

    Yesterday it was alcohol prohibition. Today it is drug prohibition. Tomorrow it will be homemade gun parts. You can try to regulate away these things, but once you can easily make them in your own home, it's a losing battle. Attempting to regulate these impossible to regulate things leads to no-knock raids, death, and more criminals. Nobody is safer and I'd argue we're all less safe. Even if they are illegal tomorrow, 20 years and 1 million no-knock raids later, they will be legal again. Prohibition never lasts.

    If more guns on the street is creating a problem, then you need to start thinking about different solutions. Making it illegal to possess a firearm isn't going to fix anything.

    • by spauldo ( 118058 )

      There's a book by Charles Stross named Rule 34 that deals with trying to regulate 3D printing. It focused more on child sex dolls than guns, but the concept is the same.

      And yeah, enforcement didn't work very well.

    • Bullets. Guns aren't worth much if there isn't ammunition, and ammunition has been getting very expensive. Plus, most bullets don't last forever, intentionally. This way you can start shutting down suppliers and really make shooting impractical. You'll be stuck with muskets if you can still buy the gun powder. I'm just waiting for battery technology to reach the point that we can have usable homemade gauss rifles.
  • Ok, the guy has what they consider a 80% lower, meaning that 80% of the lower receiver of the gun is already milled. You can buy these on the internet and not need a FFL to purchase one since it's not a completed lower (has no trigger area, no area for the clip to go in, and a couple different pins and mechanics holes that are needed) I can get one forged and partly machined for a lot cheaper plus less time consuming and I wouldn't have to finish the outside of it. I would need the jigs to machine it proper
  • genre to the Clickbait articles like Women in STEM, systemd, and Global warming.

    I like my guns. I'm not bat shit crazy about them. If people want ot be ammosexuals, they can have at it. But it doesn't make them not bat shit crazy.

    But the kooks will be descending like flies on this rotton carcass of a subject, in 3....2....1....

  • by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:19PM (#49202233)

    There are a number of incorrect claims wandering around. Rather than answer each post, I'll summarize.

    Like most machines, a gun is a collection of parts. For various reasons, one of those parts must (legally) be the gun itself, and the rest are just parts attached to the gun. For guns similar to (or clones of) the AR-15/M-16, the gun is the lower receiver.

    The other parts are not restricted at all. Anyone can buy barrels, springs, sears, stocks, triggers, hammers, whatever they want, off the street, over the internet, or mail order. No ID, no registration.

    If a dealer is selling a receiver, either alone, or as part of a completed firearm, they have to do the background check, fill out the paperwork, etc. A non-dealer doesn't need to do any of that, but the ATF will consider you to be a dealer if you act like a dealer.

    The receiver is a complicated part. It takes a lot of work to turn a piece of metal into a receiver. At some point during that work, it changes from "piece of metal with some cuts" into a receiver.

    Pieces of metal that have had some work done, but not enough to become receivers, are sold as "80% receivers". These are subject to no more regulation than any other random block of metal, because it is the end user that actually manufactures the gun.

    Building your own gun is perfectly legal, by the way, as long as you are doing it for yourself. If you intend to sell it, or give it away, you need to get licensed and pay for a tax stamp. If you decide later to sell it, or give it away, that is perfectly legal too, but you need to make sure that you don't do anything that would make a reasonable person think that you had intended to pass it on when you made it.

    The Ghost Gunner ONLY works on these 80% Receivers. They are not capable of milling a receiver out of raw billet. Nor could they work with a raw casting or forging.

    Desktop milling machines don't have the power to spin up a heavy chuck, nor, generally, could they manage enough axis velocity to keep the feed rate up when using a large diameter tool. That means 1/8" or 1/4" chucks and tools. That limits the milling depth two an inch or two. That's plenty for milling out the trigger pocket, but nowhere near enough for the magazine well.

    And if anyone is interested in the topic, there is a forum thread somewhere showing a guy making an AK receiver out of a shovel. The same technique has been used around the world. The Afghans made their AKs in caves, with hand tools.

"Plastic gun. Ingenious. More coffee, please." -- The Phantom comics

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