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Sun Oct 21, 2012, 08:38 AM

Let's say that firearms are no longer widely available.

(This is a purely theoretical exorcise.)

The large firearm manufacturers are gone. Ammo is scarce. Firearm prices have soared sky high so that only the absurdly wealthy are capable of buying mass-machined weapons with any degree of ease (Think double, triple, quadruple prices. Whatever fits your fantasy.)


How much of an impact do you believe homemade firearms (Zip guns) would make in this theoretical world? Would criminals take to making their own guns? Would private development and production establish an "underground" market for cheap, easily distributed firearms? Would criminal investigators be able to perform their jobs as easily and as reliably in regards to tracking down those involved with gun violence?


(Again, this is a purely theoretical exorcise. What got me to thinking of it, and what sparked my interest in the Zip Gun craze, was overhearing a casual acquaintance mentioning that he had sold a homebrew AK variant and a "Scrapheap Challenge" 12-gauge SBS to "clients" who had requested such weapons. And with that, I shall leave you, and I will return about the same time later today.)

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let's say that firearms are no longer widely available. (Original post)
Decoy of Fenris Oct 2012 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Oct 2012 #1
Decoy of Fenris Oct 2012 #2
Tuesday Afternoon Oct 2012 #4
slackmaster Oct 2012 #3
doc03 Oct 2012 #5
PavePusher Oct 2012 #15
Remmah2 Oct 2012 #6
holdencaufield Oct 2012 #7
GreenStormCloud Oct 2012 #8
rrneck Oct 2012 #9
spin Oct 2012 #10
rrneck Oct 2012 #11
Eleanors38 Oct 2012 #12
gejohnston Oct 2012 #16
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2012 #13
PavePusher Oct 2012 #14
4th law of robotics Oct 2012 #17
spin Oct 2012 #18

Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 09:38 AM

1. remember contaminated tylenol bottles? remember bows and arrows? remember a knife?

remember germ warfare? remember the guillotine? remember slingshots? remember fire? remember hemlock?
remember drowning? remember the chainsaw? remember the asp? remember the noose?

How many ways do you want me to kill a man?

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 09:50 AM

2. Pepperidge Farm remembers. :P

I'm not saying that there are not many ways to kill. I am asking specifically about the prevalence of the zip-gun and associated homebrew firearms in a theoretical world where firearms are no longer widely available, if available at all.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 09:59 AM

4. and I am saying that necessity is the Mother of Invention. If someone finds it necessary to kill

they will find a way.

Tracking Firearms will be harder because people will become more inventive and more secretive.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 09:56 AM

3. Zip Guns in an era of 3D printers? Surely you jest. .22s made from car antennas are obsolete.

 





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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:23 AM

5. I own guns myself but what makes someone think 24/7 about guns. They aren't going to

quit making them relax man.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:12 PM

15. Who's "think(ing) 24/7 about guns"?

 

It's a thought experiment. The only person who needs to relax, apparently, is you.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 10:28 AM

6. Firearms are nothing more than energy transfer tools.

 

They convert potential chemical energy into mechanical energy energy. The rest is just details.

It is possible to make a highly accurate projectile launching device that uses springs or compressed air.

Consider compressed air and chemicals or flammables, another potentially offensive/defensive use of everyday stuff.

A little knowledge of chemistry, mechanics, physics can be used to overcome many of life's obstacles.

It's the human mind, use it for evil or good.

This is why when totalitarian governments take power the intellectuals are killed off.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:08 AM

7. The firearm shown here ...

 

... was designed (by Mr PA Luty of the UK) to be assembled quickly from standard steel stock tubes and pipes (available retail from any steel supplier) with tools no more complicated than a standard drill press. No lathing or welding required.



It can be made in 9mm or .32 and .380. It has a 600RPM cyclical rate and an 18-round magazine. Plans are available on the web and from Amazon as well as instructions for making ammunition casings from brass tubing.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:10 PM

8. Already happened.

Papua New Guinea: PNG police arrest 100 over homemade guns

Posted 20 February 2009, 16:40 AEST

Papua New Guinea police have arrested nearly 100 people for allegedly making home-made guns for use in tribal clashed.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/onairhighlights/png-police-arrest-100-over-homemade-guns

Australia: Tradie charged over homemade guns for gang

Updated Thu Jul 5, 2012 9:48am AEST
Police have charged a Sydney tradesman who they say was building guns for a criminal gang.

Officers from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad arrested the 55-year-old at his home in the city's west at Greystanes yesterday morning.

They say the fitter and turner has been manufacturing and modifying guns, then selling the illegal weapons to an organised crime group.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-05/tradie-charged-over-homemade-guns-for-gang/4111600

Another underground factory was found in Australia in 2004 and one was also found in Delhi, India.

Ammunition is a bit more difficult but can also be done.

And don't forget smuggling. The U.S. border can't stop drugs, so guns & ammo would flow in readily.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:19 PM

9. There might be some home made stuff, but not much.

It's just too easy for a twenty or thirty something to brutalize an out of shape office worker with his bare hands to go to the trouble of building a gun. If they really want one there would be plenty of smuggling going on.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #9)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 01:40 PM

10. I feel gun smuggling would increase dramatically if firearms were largely unavailable ...

in our nation.

Civilian firearms are tightly regulated in Mexico but are smuggled into that nation from a number of sources including the United States.

True assault rifles are tightly regulated and very expensive in our nation. The fact that very few of these weapons are smuggled into the US is simply because there is a lack of demand. With extremely tight regulation in our nation I feel that, along with semi-auto weapons, true military weapons would be offered at very reasonable prices. We might well find drug gangs armed with fully automatic weapons engaging law enforcement as happens in Mexico. This is an example of the law of unintended consequences.

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Response to spin (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 01:44 PM

11. Yep.

The laws of economics go out the window when people steal the money to buy what they want. Which explains a lot of things other than arms smuggling.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 01:50 PM

12. Faster, smaller, lighter, cheaper. Who needs a zip gun?

Assuming the populace didn't go bone dumb and reverted to caves, the increasingly pedestrian technologies which are used in firearms making would quickly reassert themselves and render zip guns a whiff of memory, like Beta video.

Modern arms are already made in the most challenging conditions.

Police shouldn't be handicapped that much in the interim.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #12)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:15 PM

16. like these guys in Cebu

http://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=125528


When I was on Okinawa in the 1980s, some US Green Beret types from Tori Station got busted by Japanese police (along with getting busted by CID for putting a contract on their commander) for smuggling guns made by illegal makers in Philippines and Thailand to the island. They bought the pistols for about $30 and sold them to the yakusa for about a grand.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-philippines-guns-idUSBRE86S00S20120729

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:04 PM

13. The premise: large firearm manufacturers are gone

Large scale manufacturers would typically vanish if annexed and closed by government or possibly if electricity or a major utility was interrupted. They would likely be replaced by smaller operations doing mostly the same work. Reloading at home is not a lot more involved than canning peaches if you have the powder. Many reloaders tend to stockpile for financial reasons.

Cheaply made firearms that were near equivalents to zip guns were dropped in France during WWII and often served to allow a Frenchman to kill an occupying soldier, thereby acquiring a more potent firearm.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:09 PM

14. Firstly, the sales of bench-top mills, drill presses and lathes would go through the roof...

 

along with mysterious demand for tool-grade steel, thick-wall, high-tensile strength tubing, lead, copper and brass, certain chemicals with moderate-to-high deflagration rates in correct combination, and steel wool. Lots and lots of steel wool. The items produced would be of much better quality than "zip guns", as the technology and knowledge is widely spread and highly mature.

Also, note that the US has a total of approx 7050 miles of border with Canada, 2000 with Mexico, and 88,600 miles of coastline. All of it, at best, very lightly guarded. Note that we can not seem to really stem or even influence bulk shipments of drugs through same....

In short, it would make Prohibition I and II look like limited experiments in mild silliness. And, as the smuggled items are themselves lethal weapons, you'd see a crime rate that would dwarf any previously known to man.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:24 PM

17. It would be a great world to be physically strong and violent

 

being weak or peaceful would definitely be a disadvantage.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 02:38 PM

18. Mexico has strong gun control. Let's look at some of the armament of the drug gangs in Mexico ...

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #12
by David Kuhn and Robert Bunker


SWJ Blog Post | May 31, 2012 - 4:22pm







http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/mexican-cartel-tactical-note-12


(For a breakdown on exactly what the weapons are visit the link above. Note: many of these weapons are not available at Walmart or Mom and Pop gun stores in the United States despite what the media and some politicians would have you believe.)

If our nation did indeed adopt draconian gun laws which would make firearms and ammo extremely expensive and hard to obtain, a new smuggling market would be established and far more lethal firearms and other weapon than currently available would be offered at very reasonable prices.

At one time in our nation we had a prohibition on alcohol that was a total failure. Currently we are fighting a war on drugs yet I can walk two or three blocks from my home in a small town in Florida and obtain just about any drug I want. In fact, if I wished, it could be delivered to my home. Even prescription drugs can easily be purchased. This simple reality shows that our War on Drugs has failed. The bottom line is that prohibitions rarely work and often have unintended consequences.

It is possible that some homemade firearms would flow into the market but more likely is that they would be smuggled in from other nations. It's actually simple economics. If you create a shortage someone will find a way to fill it if there is a profit motive.

Ending our War on Drugs would probably have far more effect on reducing criminal violence than making firearm ownership extremely expensive.

Another factor that I haven't mentioned is that there are 300,000,000 firearms in civilian hands in our nation. Since many of these firearms are not registered some owners might find selling them profitable in a depressed economy. Federal registration of firearms might be proposed as a solution but would be difficult, if not impossible, to pass and implement.

Therefore I feel that homemade firearms would not be a major factor if your scenario happened.

In my opinion, our nation would be wise to continue with our current firearm laws and tweak them carefully. Of course pro-active law enforcement and strong penalties are also necessary.







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