3D Gun Printing Book Removed From Amazon
Russ Chastain 08.24.18
The subject of 3D-printed guns is a hot one these days, with scaremongers gleefully feeding lies to an ignorant public in order to further expand government’s sway over our lives, and a federal judge blocking internet-based distribution of plans for 3D-printed guns just weeks after U.S. law was changed in order to allow it. The latest on this is the reported availability on Amazon of a book containing the banned code. Sadly, the book is already gone from Amazon less than two days after Forbes reported on it.
When the article was written, the book was available for sale at a price of $20 and had been since August 1, 2018. Titled “The Liberator Code Book: An Exercise in the Freedom of Speech,” it was reported that “proceeds from the sale of the book will be used to ‘fight for free speech and the right to keep and bear arms.'”
Little is known about the book’s listed author C J Awelow, other than a description of his or her intentions for the book posted on the Amazon website.
‘The purpose of this exercise is to give a physical analogy between computer code and books. Code is speech. This is a printed copy of .step files for the Liberator, and not much else. Don’t expect a gripping narrative; that’s being played out in the news and the courts.’
So far, the book has been rated seven times by ‘verified purchasers,’ and includes statements that sound more like rallying cries than reviews.
‘You can’t ban the code without banning the book,’ wrote one reviewer.
‘It doesn’t really matter which side you fall on when it comes to guns,’ wrote another reviewer. ‘The fact that this book exists forces you to think about how far are we willing to go with gun control as it strays into suppression of free speech.’
Forbes writer Michael del Castillo mused that Amazon probably didn’t know about the book, considering that they have reportedly dropped other sources from presenting 3D gun code on their servers. The article also says Forbes “reached out to Amazon for comment.” This is likely what made Amazon aware of the book, and caused its disappearance.
But Amazon does allow another controversial free speech book to remain. “PGP: Source Code and Internals” helped change law in regards to encryption software.
Called ‘PGP: Source Code and Internals,’ the book was published in June 1995, at a time when the U.S. State Department considered the software version of its contents to be munitions-grade information, prohibited from export. By demonstrating the free-speech component of the computer files, publication of the book actually played a part in changing the law on exporting encryption software, and helped lay the foundation for modern email use of the technology.
However, in an interview with Forbes, the book’s author and inventor of PGP email encryption, Phil Zimmermann, differentiated his own computer files, which encrypted emails, from Wilson’s 3-D printed gun files.
‘PGP is not like guns,’ he said. ‘Encryption is purely defensive, more like body armor, whereas guns are designed to kill people.’ However, when asked if people should be able to publish gun blueprints, Zimmerman paused, then concluded, ‘I think yes.’
While Mr. Zimmerman is confused about what guns are for, he seems to have a good grasp on freedom of speech. If only our government (and Amazon) did too…