Saturday, October 26, 2013

And So It Begins....

     When goods can't cross borders, ideas will.  Also 3-D printer files:

     UK police seize parts from 3D-printed gun.

      ...Apparently a trigger and a magazine.  Last time I looked, you didn't need either one of of those to make a gun (see zip gun, fire lance, handgonne). ...Hey, actual Bad Guys in possession of actual Means To Do Harm is a bad thing, but let's make sure we can tell baddies from posers and the "means" from toys.

     Bonus: in the body of the story, AP serves up the "invisible to metal detectors" canard.  Drink!  (Also, call me back when J. Random Hijacker manages to get the bullets through a metal detector.)

     You can't unring a bell.

     Update, via Jed and Bear in comments: Or not even gun parts at all.  Or a gang member.

     Associated Press, straining at gnats and swallowing camels whole, especially where firearms are involved; Agence France-Presse, skeptically methodical;  J. Random Police Constable, UK edition: hysterical.  In both senses.


jed said...

About that. No, not gun parts. Wish I could find the first article I read about that. It had a quote from someone in the 3D printer biz who recoginized the parts for what they are, right off. But these days, the norm seems to be to shriek in horror and overreact, get everyone all spun up, and then backtrack later.

greg said...

Ooo...maybe they could use the frozen blood bullets I saw them using on Bones last week!

John A said...

I want to use crushed graphite deposited in the diamond configuration. Carbon-only!

Meanwhile, Afghani hill-village blacksmiths with pedal-powered lathes are turning out functional copies of full-auto AK47s.

Bear said...

As Jed, says, not gun parts. Printer parts. And the "suspected gang member" is a modeller who makes cake decorations:

Douglas2 said...

What has occurred to me looking at spool holders for the MakerBot is that that "magazine" doesn't look anything like a magazine unless you view it at the particular angle that was used in the police photograph.

I've not managed to find that particular holder on Thingverse, so I cannot say definitively, but it is similar to this one:

So up until now I was thinking that this was a stupid and embarrassing overreaction by the police -- someone told them this modelmaker was making guns (or gunpowder, depending upon which article you read.) In the raid they found the rubber-band-pistol he had been commissioned to make, but also the Makerbot, and they added 2+2 together and got 27,359 as you do.
But now I think the police knew all along that these were not gun parts, but called a press conference and claimed that they were anyway. Their miscalculation was that they didn't know that so many people would have extensive knowlege that what they had found was entirely innocent, and call them out on it.

Bear said...

Cops like to imagine really, really dramatic "problems". It boosts their tiny egos by making them feel like they're fixing really, really dramatic "problems". And it's safer than actually going after real bad guys.

Several years ago, a friend of mine -- Hunter -- was busted in Ohio for concealed carry. Among other things, the cops started giving interviews telling the reporters that Hunter had an "explosives detonator" which they'd sent to some crime lab for "evaluation". That puzzled the heck out of everyone, including Hunter. A detonator? WTF?

Then inspiration struck: I realized the fricking idiots were talking about Hunter's keychain fob remote control for his car alarm. We publicly stated as much.

And suddenly the cops stopped giving interviews, and the "detonator" never, ever, ever got mentioned again.

Roberta X said...

I thought it was a repackaged garage door opener. (Certainly the switch design in most of them leaves a lot to be desired -- and replaced.)

But indeed, police often become very imaginative, especially in front of the press. Later on, it's toy parts and "oopsie."

Bear said...

It was the alarm remote, but it had been repackaged. The original case broke, and Hunter had made a new one. But sitting there on his keychain, labeled and all.. it was pretty obvious what it was.

That was a strange case all around... At one point, Hunter's employer declared that I was only a figment of his imagination. Which made for amusing observations when they hired me.