The Wiki Weapon Project: the firearm as a moral agent
by Fong Sam
The Wiki Weapon Project is an initiative launched by a group that calls themselves, Defense Distributed. The group’s manifesto consists of three quotations, two of which came from Revolutionary times (Jefferson & Washington, the third is by H.L. Mencken, all touting the freedom to bear arms), and a 1644 Milton speech on the right to unlicensed use of the printing press. The mission for Defense Distributed is to safeguard our individual liberties by keeping politically oppressive governments in check. How do you do that? By arming everyone, of course.
Hence the Wiki Weapon Project, the goal of which is to design the world’s first firearm that can be downloaded from the Internet and built from a 3-D printer. And to make it available to the world. The group is currently seeking $20,000 to make this a reality. With this money, they plan to purchase a $9,900 Stratasys 3-D printer, design a viable weapon capable of firing a .22 millimeter bullet, and then porting the design to the cheaper open-source 3-D printer known as the RepRap, which costs less than $1,000. (Theoretically, the RepRap is a self-replicating machine. If you have one RepRap, you can use it to make more.)
The issue of gun control has taken center stage in the wake of the recent shootings in Aurora, CO and Milwaukee, WI. Defense Distributed does not deny that they want to subvert gun control regulations. From their website:
“This project could very well change the way we think about gun control and consumption. How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out.”
From the FAQ section of their website: