email

An email sent out to the student body March 23 by the Students for 2A student organization.

Less than 24 hours after a mass shooting that killed 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, every student at Iowa State received an email advertising an upcoming meeting about 3D printed firearms for the student organization Students for 2A.

As students, we were shocked to see a GIF of a firearm along with the invitation to discuss “how you can get started” making your own 3D-printed guns. Students received this message only a week after a man in Atlanta shot and killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, and less than a day after another mass shooting. Not only was the timing of this email incredibly insensitive, but the content instilled fear in students, especially those who identify as students of color. We are angered and disappointed that the university and the Students for 2A organization did not delay the release of this university-wide email.

“If we consider delaying or canceling our presentations, we would fail to meet the goals of our organization, including our ability to have open and honest discussions with those who vehemently disagree with us,” read the statement from the Students for 2A organization published in the Iowa State Daily.

We are appalled by this statement suggesting that mass shootings involving the murders of innocent Americans are not important enough to reschedule a student presentation to prevent the retraumatization and incitement of fear within countless students.

Ghost guns — 3D-printed firearms created at home without a license or serial number — are America’s fastest-growing gun safety problem. The email sent out to students referred to the creation of downloadable guns as a “new hobby.” Ghost guns are not a harmless hobby. The technique of creating unlicensed, untraceable firearms allows violent criminals, domestic abusers, gun traffickers and anyone else in the U.S. create a firearm frame with ease and without a background check. Nearly 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 102 federal cases over the past decade, according to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety. Many of these guns were assault-style or machine guns. Additionally, 3D-printed guns made of plastic are undetectable by metal detectors.

Under the current interpretation of federal law by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the unregulated sale of “unfinished” gun-building blocks that can become a fully functioning weapon in less than an hour is legal. We call on the ATF to clarify its regulations regarding “unfinished” firearms and subject these untraceable guns to the same regulations as legally manufactured guns. We also call on President Joe Biden to take executive action. Let’s be clear: the code and 3D printer required to create an unserialized and untraceable downloadable gun does not require a background check. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 93 percent of American voters support common-sense background checks that keep guns out of the wrong hands, including 87 percent of gun owners — a measure the Iowa Legislature has acted to rescind.

We must make the dangers of ghost guns known. The ATF must change the definition of “firearm frames and receivers” to allow regulation that keeps our families and nation safe. If the ATF fails to act, we call on Congress to pass a new law clarifying its intent, and we call on states to stop the buying and selling of ghost guns.

Abigail Garlock is the vice president of Students Demand Action and a freshman in child, adult and family services at Iowa State. Grace Johnson is the president of Students Demand Action and a senior in public relations at Iowa State.

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(12) comments

Firstname Lastname

interesting article. Just a few questions though. Are you aware that every sophmore engineering student on campus knows how to use some design software capable of designing a firearm? It isn't strictly a download able design.

Also, have you ever been around or fired a gun?( .22 lr hardly counts either) What type of bullets could you fire through your completly plastic gun? Would they be metal would they make it through metal detector with your gun? Guns have a bit of a problem with being all plastic. They have to contain all the energy from the explosion. There is no plastic on earth that could do that and could be hidden. Do you actually think that anyone can 3d print and entire working gun with no metal components? no firing pin? no barrel? no springs? Or are you just putting blatantly false information to scare people into your line of thinking because you have no real knowledge on the subject? I am thrilled to see people write in without doing any sort of research other than some random information you got from a Facebook comment section. bravo!

Wendy Wintersteen

Even if you could create an ENTIRELY plastic gun completely undetected by metal detectors, the bullets are metal.

Yes, the frame is printed in plastic. But so is the frame to nearly every purchased handgun today (Glock, S&W, Taurus, Hi Point, CZ, etc.). However, they have many metal parts i clouding the locking block, the firing pin, the slide, and the barrel.

Again, even if you COULD make one with no metal, you still have metal bullets. The fear mongering here is over the top.

Seymour Trout

Liberal numbskulls are so opposed to plastic home-fabricated guns because they are the ultimate check on gun bans. Such stereolithography will enable anyone, everywhere to fill up their home fabricator with plastic, resin, and metal toner and make a handgun overnight. Come the future, home fabricators will become as common as microwaves. You’ll buy designs from Amazon to make small items you urgently need and nuke ‘em in the fab.

Home-fabricated guns will not replace factory-made metal guns. It is cheaper to make metal guns on an assembly line and the quality is better. And, really, any amateur machinist can make a metal gun in his garage. In Peshawar, you can order any gun from a guy working in a dirt floor stall and he’ll make it in a week. If you wanted to make the hand-made, hobby shop equivalent of a fabricated plastic gun now in your garage, you could do it right now, this very moment. America is not awash in such home-made plastic guns because they are inferior products compared to factory guns.

So, the bottom line is that the goofy lefty editors of the Daily don’t understand this subject and what they think they know is completely wrong, as usual. They are just telling liberal ghost stories around the campfire to scare other gullible liberals.

Nun Ya

So how much did Bloomberg pocket you to write this long winded appeal to emotion fallacy

Ayy Lmao

Why do white women always talk about non white people like we are zoo animals? Have any of you ever met a person that wasn't white? Do they allow those at Iowa State? The appeals to anti racism used by Abigail and Grace in this article talk about us like we are koalas in danger of losing our habitat. Trust me, we will be able to sleep at night knowing about the existence of firearms. I would like to thank Abigail and Grace for their commitment to making sure poor People of Color™ do not have to worry about silly things like second amendment rights, as those are clearly best left for White Women to decide.

Seymour Trout

Ayy, You are something like a zoo animal to liberal white women. They condescend to support you to signal their virtue, just like they support the plight of the polar bears, though they have never met one nor would they ever invite one to dinner. They believe that you know nothing about guns, like they do, and certainly don’t have their enlightened perspective on them which they are compelled to teach you, as if they were missionaries teaching pagan kids to read in a grass shack on some faraway island. This makes them feel Very Good.

If they irritate you and you’d like them to stop, as it seems you do, you should jam their signal by loudly calling them racist at every opportunity. The goal of their game is to publicly display their Glorious Virtue, that they are not racist while everyone else is, so it alarms and confuses them to be called racist, forcing them to flee you, troubling you no more. Have fun!

Wendy Wintersteen

The Iowa State Daily Column Policy maintains “Each column undergoes a thorough editing process ensuring the integrity of the writer, and their claim is maintained while remaining research-based and respectful.” Yet, the article contains multiple unproven claims without documentation or sources that support their claims. Specifically, the article writes “Many of these guns were assault-style or machine guns. Additionally, 3D-printed guns made of plastic are undetectable by metal detectors,” which is simply untrue and is not supported by their sources.

This article is harmful to our truthful discussion of firearm policy and instills unnecessary fear-mongering techniques to appeal to the uninformed readers emotions.

Seymour Trout

Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. The “thorough editing process” that the Iowa State Daily brags about is really bull sessions while smoking bongs. They are just ideologues posing as intellectuals. Everyone with any sense realizes the lefty editors have no integrity and don’t do any research. Research is work and thinking is hard. They don’t want to do that.

Obviously, the Daily editors don’t know anything more about guns than chimps know about arithmetic. You can’t make an all metal gun. The receiver must be made of metal. A plastic firing pin won’t work. Of course, the bullets are made of metal. Lead bullets are particularly visible on metal detectors. It’s possible to make a barrel out of plastic that will work for a round or two, but it will warp fairly quickly to become unusable. A plastic barrel limits the gun to a single shot weapon.

When you see fact-free editorials like this, one wonders if the Daily editors grew up in the woods with no access to the real world, learning everything they know from squirrels and raccoons.

Wendy Wintersteen

"Less than 24 hours after a mass shooting that killed 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, every student at Iowa State received an email advertising an upcoming meeting about 3D printed firearms for the student organization Students for 2A."

An email that was scheduled out in advance. They had no idea there would be a shooting event.

"Not only was the timing of this email incredibly insensitive, but the content instilled fear in students, especially those who identify as students of color. We are angered and disappointed that the university and the Students for 2A organization did not delay the release of this university-wide email."

It instilled fear in you. Not me. I am a minority student of color. I wasn't angered or disappointed. Please do not determine my emotions for me. Your emotions also don't matter to the organization's first amendment right to discuss.

"We are appalled by this statement suggesting that mass shootings involving the murders of innocent Americans are not important enough to reschedule a student presentation to prevent the retraumatization and incitement of fear within countless students."

I wasn't appalled. The irrational incitement of fear cannot be the concern of the populace.

"Ghost guns — 3D-printed firearms created at home without a license or serial number — are America’s fastest-growing gun safety problem."

Says who? What citation is there for this? There is none.

"Additionally, 3D-printed guns made of plastic are undetectable by metal detectors."

No, there are many metal parts used in plastic 3D-printed firearms which are detected my metal detectors. Even if you COULD manufacture an entirely plastic gun, the bullets are metal and can be detected by metal detectors.

"We call on the ATF to clarify its regulations regarding “unfinished” firearms and subject these untraceable guns to the same regulations as legally manufactured guns."

How do you propose we regulate raw materials? Should the plastic jugs we purchase milk in be subject to the same regulations as firearms? It either is a firearm, or is not. The unfinished firearms are not a firearm and are not subject to firearms regulations. If you want to apply firearm regulations to non-firearms, then your car should be subject to firearm regulations, your phone should be subject to firearm regulations, and your shampoo should be subject to firearm regulations.

"Let’s be clear: the code and 3D printer required to create an unserialized and untraceable downloadable gun does not require a background check."

Code is covered under the First Amendment. Nor we do require background checks for milk, cars, phones, pop tarts, etc. Again, either something is or is not a firearms. If it's not a firearm, it shouldn't require a background check.

Via Reddit:

"The email sent out to students referred to the creation of downloadable guns as a “new hobby.” Ghost guns are not a harmless hobby. The technique of creating unlicensed, untraceable firearms allows violent criminals, domestic abusers, gun traffickers and anyone else in the U.S. create [sic] a firearm frame with ease and without a background check."

Cars are not a harmless hobby. The technique of building high-performance untraceable hot rods allows violent criminals to massacre innocents and allows traffickers to smuggle illegal drugs over the border.

Blacksmithing is not a harmless hobby. The technique of creating unlicensed, untraceable swords allows violent criminals, domestic abusers, sword traffickers, and anyone else in the US to create a blade with ease and without a background check.

I could go on.

"Nearly 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 102 federal cases over the past decade, according to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety."

That few? Doesn't sound like that big a problem to me. 10 cases every year, less than one a month. Across a nation of 330 million people.

"According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 93 percent of American voters support common-sense background checks that keep guns out of the wrong hands, including 87 percent of gun owners — a measure the Iowa Legislature has acted to rescind."

A: Quinnipac is notoriously awful as a pollster, having a polling error of over five points in polls of the 2020 election.

B: The questions asked are vague to the extreme. When background check proposals are actually laid out support drops to under sixty percent, as evidenced by the slim margins with which actual gun control bills pass.

Also, ad populum fallacy. I guess they don't teach basic argumentation in university anymore

Seymour Trout

Thank you, “Wendy Wintersteen,” for so thoroughly dissecting this editorial, the ignorance upon which it was based, and the stupidity with which it was argued. In fact, the modern university has turned its back on reason to embrace subjectivity. Some fashionable new trends in academia, like Critical Race Theory, reject objectivity entirely, claiming everything is subjective, that all knowledge is just somebody’s opinion. How far the University has fallen from the medieval curriculum of the Trivium, where logic was explicitly addressed along with the skill of making rational arguments and identifying fallacious arguments. Critical reasoning should be a curriculum requirement but has been pushed out in favor of trendy indoctrination courses in diversity, which is to say, political correctness, ie cultural Marxism. Consequently, college graduates know no more about logic than hogs know about parallel parking.

The rotten cherry on the rotten cake is the Iowa State Daily, where self-righteous, ignorant leftist partisans publish their fiercely held, but ultimately stupid, opinions as fact.

Thanks for beating them up. Keep up the good work.

Charles Yang Yang

My name is Charles Yang, and I am an LAS Senator at Iowa State. Stop talking about minorities like they need you to succeed.

Also, most of what you wrote demonstrates egregious ignorance on the topic and of the people involved.

Seymour Trout

Charles, “Egregious Ignorance” is the motto of the Iowa State Daily and has been for decades. You are spitting in the eye of tradition.

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