The former law student who developed a one-shot gun that can be created on a 3-D plastic printer has been voted among Wired magazine’s 15 most dangerous people for 2013.
And he still has higher ambitions.
“I hope to make it back up the first, but I’ll settle for 14,” Cody Wilson said, according to the Daily Mail. “It was a good run.”
Governments around the world would probably agree with Wired that Wilson is a dangerous man – even at the young age of only 25. The Obama administration’s State Department certainly does.
Blueprints for Wilson’s gun were first posted on the Internet in May by Defense Distributed, but the U.S. State Department forced them to be removed after two days. That crackdown came too late in some ways – the designs were downloaded 100,000 times before they were taken down, according to the Daily Mail.I
It’s really no wonder the government reacted the way it did. The plastic gun – immune to the metal detectors that the paranoia of the War on Terror and authoritarian impulses of governments everywhere have made a mainstay of modern life – is everything they hate: empowering to the individual, accessible to the masses, and effective.
But Wilson disputes that it’s actually dangerous to anyone who respects individuals.
“Dangerous to who? Dangerous to what? How often can one individual p*** off the entire world?” he said. “The entire world of financial and government superstructures?”
Tellingly, Wilson calls his design “The Liberator” after a cheap, mass-produced weapon made in the United States during World War II and originally intended to be dropped en masse over occupied Europe to provide firearms to resistance fighters.
That operation never lived up to its ambitions, but the principle is the abiding: There is nothing more dangerous to an oppressive government than an armed population determined to protect its liberty. That’s what makes people like Wilson “dangerous.”
Wilson told Forbes.com in May that he hopes to make weapons available to anyone who wants them. It is a bid, he says, to keep governments accountable to the people.
‘You can print a lethal device. It’s kind of scary, but that’s what we’re aiming to show,’ he said. ‘Anywhere there’s a computer and an Internet connection, there would be the promise of a gun.’
Sam Colt was pretty dangerous in his day, too.
He also died famous, respected and very, very rich.
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