Anti-gun articles and editorials usually contain serious errors and omissions. The guest editorial “Gun policy and technology” that ran on Aug. 7 is no exception. It applauded efforts to limit access to the software that allows an inexpensive three-dimensional copier to create the mostly plastic “liberator” pistol. The software was a demonstration project that showed one could use a three-dimensional printer to build a device that will probably shoot a few wildly inaccurate shots before it breaks.
The editor thought that the name was a reflection of the designer’s politics. Actually, this is not the first liberator. The original was an incredibly inexpensive, single shot, smooth bore pistol that was stamped out by the thousands during World War II and distributed to resistance groups in axis-occupied areas. Google "fp-45 liberator" for details.
The editorial made no mention that reportedly over 100,000 copies of the software were downloaded before the Obama administration stopped its distribution. So that cat is truly out of the bag.
Clearly the editor did not understand the true significance of the liberator. Once a pioneer shows that something is possible other people follow. There is already a network of hobbyists who use three dimensional printers to make custom parts for real guns. Trying to restrict access to this already widely-disseminated software is pointless.
But the most serious weakness in the editorial its failure to recognize that guns are only one of many ways to kill people. There are so many ways to cause havoc that prevention must focus on the twisted individuals that perpetrate these acts.