Congressional Republicans have once again sided in favor of firearms over Americans’ safety. While a gun rights organization called Defense Distributed was prepared to publish a digital file at midnight on Wednesday, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) attempted to pass a bill by unanimous consent rendering it illegal to intentionally publish a digital file that would program a 3-D printer to “print” a firearm.
“The administration has surrendered to the crazed demands of a self-described anarchist who is going to put this up on the internet. He wants to sow chaos. He said so, in our country and across the world by making these blueprints widely available,” Nelson said of Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson.
It was Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, however, who objected to passing the legislation, citing First Amendment concerns.
“Any legislation that comes forth from this body that begins with the following words will attract my attention and should attract the attention of anyone who’s concerned about our first amendment and other constitutional rights,” Lee said.
“It begins with the words ‘it shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally publish.’ That ought to be concerning to us,” he added.
These 3-D printed weapons would not only be untraceable, allowing them to end up in the hands or felons, abusers, or terrorists, but undetectable, meaning that they could wind up in schools, planes, concerts, or sporting events. This would only exacerbate the unique and devastating issue that this country faces on a near-daily basis.
Even Trump signaled his reticence to allow such a glaringly dangerous act to proceed, although what action he is willing to take remains to be seen.
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
Luckily, a federal judge issued a temporary block on posting the information online on Tuesday, siding with states that argued the postings could help criminals and terrorists manufacture such weapons. The issue, however, is still pending an ultimate ruling.
Republicans in Congress have shown time and time again that the safety of their citizens is by no means their principal concern. In their race to the bottom to defend the proliferation of such hazardous weaponry, innocent Americans are ultimately going to be the ones who pay the price for their cowardice to act.
If only the GOP cared about our safety as much as they cared about getting as many guns into the hands of as many people as possible, we might actually be able to go about our daily lives without fear of never making it back home at night.