Thursday, May 9, 2013

100,000 Downloads of Rage

According to Forbes staff writer Andy Greenberg, who covers data security, privacy and hacker culture for both the print and online versions of the magazine, as of the end of the day yesterday, the file for creating the parts for the plastic (but functional) "Liberator" gun with a 3D printer has been downloaded 100,000 times. Back in 1974 David Hare wrote a rather tedious play entitled Knuckle, whose high point was the assertions that there were more guns in the world than there were people. In that context another 100,000 seems almost insignificant. One is reminded of Senator Everett Dirksen's famous remark about Federal spending:
A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it begins to add up to real money.
The issue, however, is less about how we add up real guns. It's more that classic "Who are these guys?" question from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My guess is that many of them are those frustrated individuals who have not yet felt any signs of economic recovery and to not see those signs in the foreseeable future. They are the weak animals who, when backed into a position where there is no escape from a predator, are willing to risk everything on a last burst of rage. (The fact that such animals do that means that it must have at least some survival value.) In that context, such a last burst of rage has just gotten easier to express.

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