One of the interesting recent trends is the growing power of the individual, granted by technology, the internet in particular. One form of this is crowdfunding, where everyone can help a project they like get off the ground and where everyone can get the money for their dream project without compromising on it.
Another area where this is visible is 3D printing. It's still in its early days, but cheaper and cheaper 3D printers make it possible for people to "make" stuff in their homes for practically nothing, something that was only available to commercial ventures capable of big investments only a short while ago.
From time to time, these two areas meet, when someone wants to create a better 3D printer and crowdfunds the project or, increasingly, with people using 3D printers to create stuff they sell, or fund via sites like Kickstarter.
It's things like this that make you hopeful about a better future enabled by technology. But then something
like the Wiki Weapon Project happens and you're slapped back to reality.
The Wiki Weapon Project aims
to create a completely 3D printable weapon, a semi-automatic weapon at that, a copy of the AR-15. The project was put up
on IndieGoGo, a popular crowdfunding platform, in the hope of raising $20,000. The project has been taken down
But the fact is, having the funding attempt blocked is not going to stop it and it most certainly is not going to make it any less possible to create a weapon using a 3D printer. Granted, it's not possible, yet, to create a full weapon with a 3D printer, you still need to buy some parts.
The legality of it is a grey area in some places, the US, and a much less grey area in others. But that is not going to stop that many people.