Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Starlings, Unintended Consequences, Gun Control, and 3D Printers

"Any endeavor has unintended consequences. Any ill-conceived endeavor has more." Stephen Tobolowsky
This post on unintended consequences on the Farnam Street blog starts off with the story of how 100 starlings were introduced to Central Park in New York in 1890 by a Shakespeare fan. Today there is somewhere between 45 and 200 million starlings in the US.

Right now there seems to be a rush for some sort of Gun Control legislation with the banning of "Bump Stocks" * at the top of the list. But if Bump Stocks can easily be made via 3D printers couldn't that later easily lead to the outlawing of 3D printers (If you outlaw 3D printers then only outlaws will have 3D printers)? To many this leap will seem plain stupid but I fear to many elected officials this will seem like just a logical next step (my confidence in elected officials is at an all-time low). Look no further than the history of the outlawing of the growing of hemp in the US if you doubt this outcome is possible.

I admit my brain works differently from most people and maybe the connection between unintended consequences, gun control, and 3D printers is just silly. Or who knows - maybe in decades to come it will lead to violent sprees by Mexican 3D Printer cartels. Hey Eugene Schifefelin never imagined the cute little birdies he released in the park causing millions of dollars in crop damage each year.

* I don't own a gun, am not a member of the NRA and I really don't know anything about guns including what a frigging bump stock is (and I am not proud of this ignorance)

1 comment:

  1. You'll never go broke underestimating the stupidity of Congress. That is exactly how they tend to think.