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Hearts, not guns

Hearts, not guns

Hearts, not guns
August 02
16:37 2018

Jesús Sánchez Meleán

The news shocked many people. A judge had banned the company Defense Distributed, based in Texas, from releasing the blueprints to print guns in 3D printers. The company, that has been identified as non-profit, was also banned from distributing manuals that contained instructions to assemble the guns made from plastic pieces.

It is stunning that the Trump administration, on the other hand, has aid the company in accomplishing their quest. At the beginning of 2018. The current federal administration desisted or abandoned the case that kept those documents from hitting the internet. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice acted against the company’s plans of distributing the plans alleging it was a violation of current laws in regard to guns.

Those who support the application of the Second Amendment without restrictions believe that the recent judicial decision is inappropriate. These people are convinced that having guns, even if they are made from plastic, printed and home-assembled, saves lives, amongst other benefits. Meanwhile, those who defend gun control, applaud the decision.

Advocates of gun control are convinced that 3D-printed guns will increase the violence that takes place in the U.S. daily. Their argument is that these guns will have no serial number, therefore they will be hard to track. Also, since they are made from plastic, they will be hard to detect.

With that said, I applaud the decision by the Denver Libraries of prohibiting the use of their 3D printers to print plastic guns. This decision is anticipating that the blockage of Defense Distributed to release those plans might be eliminated at any time by a higher court. So, they made it clear that no guns can be printed at the Central Library or the Montbello Branch of the Denver Libraries.

However, other groups who are against guns have taken the wrong path. These people have attacked technology, particularly against 3D printers, which brought to my memory the case of a prosthetic device that was built here in Colorado, a few years ago for a cat that had lost her leg. The 3D-printed prothesis helped the cat and made its owner very happy.

I have noticed other cases where 3D impressions have improved the health of real people. For example, a 10-year-old child in China received a jaw transplant. The jaw he received was designed and printed on 3D. This was the first transplant of its kind that has been performed on a child in the whole world. This successful case confirms the many applications of this technology that brings new hope in the medical field.

Another positive application of the 3D prints is the creation of arm and hand implants. Elías Benitez, a 38-year-old man from Paraguay, who was a carpenter, lost his hand in an accident, and he recovered his life and livelihood after he received a 3D implant. The uses of 3D prints in the medical field are many. There are two researchers from Yale University who are testing ways of creating 3D cardiac devices, to be used in transplants. It would be great I these scientists are able to design, print and transplant plastic hearts for the thousands of people who have cardiac issues.

For that reason, it is ironic that people in our society are pushing to create chaos by making available to thousands of people the knowledge to create firearms. There are plenty of guns out there, and what we really need is 3D printed hearts.

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Edición Virtual | #332 | 14 de Febrero 2019

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