Weaponry on the Dark Web – Read The Fine Print

The NextGov headline screaming: 3D-Printed Gun Designs Are Selling For $12 On The Dark Web is followed by this pic:

But the fine print in the caption reads:

The additive-manufactured RAMBO system includes an NSRDEC-designed standalone kit with printed adjustable buttstock, mounts, grips and other modifications—modifications made possible by the quick turnaround time afforded by 3D printing. // US Army

So….

  1. This is NOT a printable gun from the Dark Web
  2. Printable parts ARE buttstock, mounts, grips, not the gun itself

Just so you know, the RAND paper doesn’t include this image. 😉

In fact, Behind the curtain: The illicit trade of firearms, explosives and ammunition on the dark web by Giacomo Persi Paoli, Judith Aldridge, Nathan Ryan, Richard Warnes, concede trading of weapons on the Dark Web is quite small beside non-Dark Web trafficking.

Missing in the discussion of 3-D weapons plans is a comparison of the danger they pose relative to other technologies.

The Cal Fire map leaves no doubt that $12 or less in gasoline and matches can produce far more damage than any 3-D printed weapon. Without the need for a 3-D printer.

Yes?

All weapons pose some danger. Decisions makers need to know the relative dangers of weapons vis-a-vis each other.

A RAND report on the comparative danger of weapons would be far more useful than reports on weapons and their sources in isolation.

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