Perspectives: The technology of freedom is outpacing the state

OPINION – Sir Isaac Newton nailed it. His third law of motion states that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is especially true when a technological advancement moves freedom out of reach of state control.

A perfect example of this was witnessed this past week when the world’s first 3-D printed handgun was successfully test fired. The single shot pistol dubbed “The Liberator” was designed and produced by an Austin, Texas, based company called Defense Distributed.

The gun is made up of sixteen printable parts that become a working firearm when assembled with a household nail as a firing pin and a single round of ammunition. The gun’s developer Cody Wilson plans to release the blueprints to the public at no charge.

This means that anyone with a 3-D printer could print a gun of his or her own. And they can do it without any government permission.

Now lawmakers around the globe are quaking in impotent fury as they try to formulate a legislative response. Anti-gun senator Charles Schumer describes the development of untraceable firearms as “stomach-churning.”

Mac Slavo summed up the senator’s worst fears when he said:

“They can make all the laws they want. This technology has now been let out of the bag, and stomach-churned gun control advocates can push as hard as they want. It will not stop the plans for The Liberator from being disseminated to anyone who wants them.

“Defense Distributed and the many others working on open-source 3-D printing kits for firearms and accessories have changed the world. And there’s no going back.”

The unfounded claim that primarily criminals and madmen will comprise the new market for 3-D printers is laughable. There are plenty of real guns available on the black market for anyone with the money to buy them. The real fear of those vexed with a controlling nature is that this technology will make it impossible to put a bridle on law abiding gun owners.

Two other technological advances also threaten the state’s grasp on power.

The Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that affords its users the ability to make payments online without involving financial institutions. This means that the voluntary transactions are not subject to government scrutiny, taxation, or regulation.

It is a cheap and absolutely anonymous and affordable way to transact business across borders. As might be expected, this is alarming to governments and money masters of the world.

There are three common objections of those who wish to maintain control of the world’s currencies. They claim that Bitcoin could be used for money laundering, destabilizing the current system, and that it doesn’t provide customer protection.

But the truth is that any currency can be used for money laundering. Drug dealers, pornographers, terrorists, and other bad-mashes all use government money. As for destabilizing the current system, just how stable was the system before Bitcoin came along? Whatever problems world currencies face started long before this new currency.

Those who claim that Bitcoin lacks protection need to refresh their memories about what the government of Cypress did to bank customers just a few weeks ago. At least with Bitcoin, the identities of its users are protected from financial predators. Still, this competing currency is likely to provoke a strong reaction from the state and the money power to protect their own scams.

Paul Rosenberg asked the golden question, “After all, what honest reason could there be to attack an inherently peaceful tool for transferring value?”

The most important shift that technology is enabling can be found in education.

The online classroom has brought real competition into play and is currently breaking the state’s education monopoly. Salman Kahn’s online math academy has opened the door to true innovation in teaching math and does so at no charge.

Kahn recently made the comment that the classroom in 15 years will be about more than simply, “sitting passively and not questioning authority.” He sees online education expanding opportunities to students and adult learners alike throughout the world. He said, “We won’t have five thousand people who can help on cancer research. We will have five million people. This thing we call education will be widespread and a human right.”

These technological advances are encouraging to the freedom-minded. But we cannot let down our guard. As Newton observed, there will be an equal and opposite reaction by those who crave control above all else.

Update: Here is the first official reaction to the printable firearms. The State Department has ordered Defense Distributed to take down the digital blueprints of its printable firearms while it reviews them for possible violation of arms export laws.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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