Paragraphs Of The Day: Ana Marie Cox Edition

That’s right paragraphs. I usually just pick one, but these two consecutive graphs from a column about 3D printer guns were both priceless:

Second Amendment enthusiasts are already on shaky ground when they make appeals to the intent of our Founding Fathers – note the distinct lack of well-regulated militias among private gun owners – but on the issue of 3D printed guns their argument becomes farcical: Jefferson was an imaginative inventor and an open-minded man of science, but I’m pretty sure if presented with the technology used to make guns out of thin air, he wouldn’t think about its potential to provide weapons to revolutionaries, he would think it was magic.

For that matter, he might also consider flying metal ships carrying hundreds of passengers thousands of miles to be magic, but I have little doubt that he would understand the principle of hijacking such fantastic contraptions and smashing them into civilian targets. It’s one thing to understand, as Jefferson did, that liberty demands a watchful and prepared populace; it’s quite another to turn a blind eye to fatal technology whose purpose is untethered to self-protection or even sport. The only reason to want a gun that’s undetectable by security measures is to threaten security.

Dr. A is from Jefferson country and I’ve spent lots of time in Charlottesville where everyone is forever asking WWTJD: What would TJ do? Nobody knows, but I think Ana Marie nailed it when she said he’d think a lot of modern shit is MAGIC. That’s why the attempt to discern the founders/framers intent is futile in the intenet era. Besides, I bet if you asked a teabagger if TJ was one of the framers of the constitution, they’d say “hell, yes.” Instead, TJ was in Paris hanging out at the court and chasing Sally Hemings around the room.

The mere notion that we should consider allowing plastic guns is crazy even for the NRA. I realize Wayne LaPierre may be down with whacking liberals but I have the feeling that many of his members are not. At least, I hope so.

The irony in invoking TJ’s “tree of liberty should be soaked with the blood of patriots” quote is that it was RHETORIC. Jefferson was a disastrous war time Governor of Virginia. He reputation suffered for years after he ran away from the British army. That’s right, y’all, Thomas Jefferson was a politician, not a demigod. The Second Amendment absolutists should put that in their pipe and smoke it, but rewriting history is what the right does.

That is all.

5 thoughts on “Paragraphs Of The Day: Ana Marie Cox Edition

  1. I’m sorry, but the kerfuffle over 3D printer guns is just stupid.
    If you’re talking plastic 3D printed guns, sure, they’re potentially concealable from X-ray and magnetic detection, but the bullets still aren’t, and you can’t 3D print gunpowder. A 3D printer is still at least a couple times more expensive than going to the store and buying a conventionally-produced handgun.
    As for metal 3D printed guns, the process still involves something like a forge to sinter the metal pieces. The equipment for 3D metal printing is far more expensive than for plastic (as is the metal dust used in the process) and you could buy a lot of guns for the price of getting the operation set up.
    Or, you could hire a bunch of Filipino guys to make the guns out of scrap metal.

    And you still can’t print the ammo.

  2. No he wouldn’t. Jefferson really would not think anything we have or do is magic. The guy was an enlightenment thinker with the interests and education of an engineer autodidact. People were inventing shit around him all the time. Hell–he clipped the magical bits out of the bible in order to focus on what was real. He was thinking about, and cognizant of, the difference between magic and technology: hell, da Vinci had drawn up plans for a flying machine and people had explored and were exploring electricity, the vacuum, and etc… all around him.
    I really think the point she is making, although I agree with a generic anti-second amendment stance, is a stupid one.
    It is more the case that if Jefferson had anticipated how incredibly vile and stupid his countrymen would turn out to be, and how they would misunderstand what a well regulated militia is, he would have demanded the second amendment be written entirely differently. And that is even though Jefferson was, as I understand it, an anti federalist.

  3. AMC gets it mostly right by the end, but that first quoted graf is a moron.
    The very one thing that biographers of all stripes can agree with was that Ol’ TJ was notorious for fiddling with contraptions and ideas obsessively. That he’d throw his hands up, declare magic and acquiesce to ignorance is obscenely stupid. A 3D printed gun (or civilian airliner) would have made him sleepless for weeks as he’d try to suck up the underlaying technology and as well as the manufacturing process – if he wasn’t dead, he’d kill himself trying to work it out. And then resurrect again to make the 1000 arguments for liberty or Federalism the technologies clearly demanded in his intellect.

  4. I’ll concede the point about TJ and magic although he was in fact a politician who could turn on a dime. This feature to me is about the writing more than the argument and those are some well crafted sentences by Ana Marie.

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