Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The DIY rebuttal to gun control

The Obama administration is off to a good start on civil liberties when it comes to Guantanamo, reviving some hopes of due process and the possibility that arrest by federal agents will less frequently result in people dangling by their thumbs. President Obama is also making the right noises on medical marijuana. But gun owners are more than a bit concerned that their rights will be ridden over roughshod during the next few years. While there's no sure way of heading off government action, it is possible to evade and sabotage the enforcement of restrictive laws. Specifically, gun owners should continue to acquire and distribute the know-how for making their own guns.

Gun owners' concerns may well be justified; President Barack Obama has a history of hostility to private ownership of firearms and Attorney General Eric Holder went so far as to sign on to former Attorney General Janet Reno's amicus brief (PDF) in the case of D.C. v. Heller, opposing the position that the Supreme Court finally adopted: that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. There are already a couple of long-shot gun control measures circulating in Congress, including H.R. 45, a licensing and registration measure.

But laws are only as good as their enforceability -- a lesson that politicians need to take to heart in a country where 42.4% of the population has smoked illicitly cultivated grass decades after marijuana was outlawed, and where Prohibition was a moonshine-soaked failure. If self-defense-rights activists want to preserve their liberty, they need to continue battling in legislatures and the courts, but they should also take steps to make sure that gun laws are unenforceable -- that bans on firearms are countered by the equivalent of homebrew, moonshine and speakeasies.

This isn't exactly reinventing the wheel. Underground weapons manufacturing is a major business in places as far apart as the Philippines and Pakistan. VBS.tv offers a fascinating video tour of firearms and ammunition manufacturing and sales under remarkably crude conditions in the tribal areas of Pakistan. In the market there, gunsmiths turn out everything from muzzleloaders to hand-crafted Lewis guns and AK-47s in facilities less well-equipped than the average American home workshop.

So, where do you start? Well, you need plans, of course. You could copy an existing firearm, like those Pakistani craftsmen do, or like the World War II-era Polish resistance and pre-independence Israelis did when they churned out vast quantities of Sten guns. Or you could acquire plans purposely created for home manufacturing. Yes, they exist. And one of the better known sources for such plans is Philip A. Luty.

Probably the best endorsement for Luty's designs is that at least one of them works. We know it works because he went to prison in Britain for building a working copy from the design he published in the book, Expedient Homemade Firearms: The 9mm Submachine Gun. The book was written as a rejoinder to the British government's restrictive laws regarding firearms, and the powers-that-be didn't appreciate the rebuttal.

The time behind bars seems to have just ticked him off, since Luty, now free, is the proprietor of The Home Gunsmith Website, which offers several free plans for simple, improvised firearms. The site also offers plans for more complicated weapons for sale. And should the authorities get clever and decide to restrict ammunition ... well, Luty now offers a book for sale on how to improvise that, too.

It should be noted that, given Luty's ex-con status and the relatively close scrutiny under which he certainly operates these days, his more-recent designs have probably not been test-fired as diligently as the original. So, caveat emptor.

The point here isn't that setting up underground firearms bazaars is an adequate substitute for living with a government that knows its limits and respects our rights. It's that the means exist for rendering restrictive laws impotent and pointless. Short of turning your basement into a reproduction of the Ayalon Institute, the best use for simple gun plans may be to mail them to members of Congress as evidence that Americans are prepared to short-circuit their most draconian efforts. Imagine how much grief and blood could have been spared if pre-Prohibition legislators had been buried under such a weight of homebrew recipes that they'd conceded the point that a ban on alcoholic beverages was destined to fail.

Well, OK. Such an effort is unlikely to elicit rational thought in the minds of government officials. But it's a low-cost approach that just might have some effect. And the effort would help in developing and distributing effective plans that would ensure the ultimate failure of legal restrictions on the means for self defense.

Besides, it's just pretty nifty to have plans for building your own submachine gun.

Below, a video demonstration of a homemade .22-caliber pistol.



Blogger Old Ironsights said...

FWIW/FWIU, Phil has been arrested again - ostensibly because his Website is an incitement to criminal behaviour or some such Thoughtcrime.

His website was recently pulled at his family's request by his US based Webmaster.

IngSoc is firmly in control in Britain.

May 29, 2009 6:37 AM  
Blogger Pois said...

Read this with a steady stomach, seems Luty was arrested to appease the Muzzies and the Pigs to peddle fopr some more cash, a disgusting whoire's trick, and guess what, the Muzzies, COMPLAINED even more!:

Bu his Site lives again:

August 18, 2009 2:48 PM  

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