Violence is a persistent problem in the US. It results in thousands of deaths and injuries annually. In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries, and 33,636 deaths. These deaths included 21,175 suicides, 11,208 homicides, 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with undetermined intent. In 2017, gun deaths reached their highest level since 1968 with 39,773 deaths by firearm, of which 23,854 were by suicide and 14,542 were homicides. Brazil had the largest gun deaths toll, with over 43,000 people killed that year. The US was next with 37,200. It was followed by Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala. In India, gun violence is the third highest reason for the increase in death toll.
Technology doesn’t help much to the fact. It, at times, makes the situation worse. Nowadays, 3D printing is a growing frontier. Just like any other new technology, 3D printing has also caused a stir amongst the wrong sort of people. Blueprints have been developed to 3D print guns as well. Illegal firearms have always possessed a problem in front of the law and order. Now with them getting easy to manufacture, new problems are going to raise their heads. For starters, plastic guns could easily defy metal detectors.
This advancement in technology has reached many debates across the world. John Basl, an assistant professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University has approached the issue with three questions. Is it appropriate for the government to restrict and regulate what people can 3D print? What is appropriate for an individual to print regardless of government regulation? Should companies that manufacture 3D printing products restrict their capabilities?
It all comes down to the same age old question- ‘Science- A boon or a curse?’ In the end the answer will depend upon the user. While the blueprints can rage havoc in the black market, it can also come useful for security personnel.