SCENE: Mitch BERG is shopping for guitar strings at a local music store. Engrossed in thought, he doesn’t notice as Mylussa SILBERMAN, National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau correspondent – walks up behind him
SILBERMAN: Mr. Berg.
BERG: (startled, a little disappointed) Oh, hi, mijzz…
SILBERMAN: Criminals are going to start printing 3D guns. And the NRA seems to think it’s a wonderful thing.
BERG: Let me get this straight. You believe a criminal – a moron who thinks it’s better to rob someone than to earn the money – is going to run over to a pal’s house who has a very high-end 3D printer – costing several thousand dollars, by the way – and leave you with a gun that fires one, count it, one single shot, with an effective accurate range of about the inside of a phone booth, that is about the size of a cordless drill:
…that might have a service life of 10 rounds, and is loaded by removing the entire barrel to reload a single bullet It’s actually slower to shoot that an flintlock musket; I’d think that’d make you happy.
SILBERMAN: But the plans can be downloaded! For free!
BERG: Sure. And for an overall cost greater than going to the store and buying 2-6 high-quality pistols or even rifles loaded from magazines, with service lives of tens of thousands of rounds. Or several such guns purchased from the illegal black market. Not to mention infinitely higher than stealing a functional, quality gun.
SILBERMAN: The NRA supports anyone being able to print a gun!
BERG: Wait – I thought they were lobbyists for the big bad gun industry? Wouldn’t this undercut them?
SILBERMAN: Moving right along – this means people can print AR15s!
BERG: You can print the lower receiver – which is sort of the like the frame of a car, the part that all the other parts get attached to. And they’re already available for well under $100, in a form that’ll actually function for years without meltinig and wearing out.
SILBERMAN: Well, we can’t use that.
BERG: Of that I have no doubt. I didn’t know you played guitar.
SILBERMAN: I don’t. I’m here doing an article on cultural appropriation in music.