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Exporting .50 Caliber Free Speech is Illegal

Bob Rogers

Thursday, August 30, 2018 – While we all may have become numbed by the flap over 3-D printing of guns, confusion within the public debate remains constant. Check just about any media mention by a public servant, especially one elected to state legislatures or Congress, and you’ll find screeching heads exclaiming that the whole American population armed with plastic guns is no less than Terrorism with a capital T and national insurrection is eminent.

In a nutshell, Cody Wilson wanted to put his blueprints online for the world to see. That would have constituted a violation of federal export law and, as such, involves the State Department. Thus the lawsuit that Wilson brought against State which has jurisdiction over guns of .50 caliber or more. Less, then, is good, and Wilson never claimed autonomy about a 50-cal plastic rifle blueprint much less a handgun of the same “Ouch!” firepower criteria.

The overly excitable media couldn’t wait to examine the facts of the legal issues involved with this case. The headlines, rather, are treasure, and any self-indulgent reporter would never be allowed to pass up such a juicy opportunity to mislead everybody. Not just the public. Everybody! That includes every opportunistic politician looking for media ink, especially as we approach the mid-term elections little more than two months hence.

Wilson’s insistence on calling his efforts “free speech” is not only magical, i.e., producing bedazzled results, but a trigger that has unleashed the old American habit of leg pain caused by conclusion jumping.

For what it’s worth, let’s just allow this thing to play out. It will run its course. No one will get shot with a speeding bullet from a hard-to-produce, easy-to-blow-up plastic gun above the limits of a BB and below the benchmark of a .338 round and, without that kind of ink and broadcast fodder, 3-dimensional excitement will crawl back into its Disney movie history or into the red and blue cross-eyed mad scientists that Hollywood once loved to emulate as a box office fairytale.

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