A homemade 3D printed gun, on what appears to be a reprap 3D printer, has made an appearance on the hugely popular Gomorra TV series, based on the activities of Italy’s most vicious mafia group.
Although the Gomorra TV series has been hailed as one of the most accurate descriptions of Neapolitan mafia, AKA the “Camorra”, probably one of the most powerful, vicious and sickening expressions of the mafia anywhere in the world, I find it truly disturbing because, by telling their tales to millions, it is actually glorifying some of most disgusting and despicable expressions of human criminal behavior.
Other argue that is serves to expose these behaviors, while pretending they don’t exist is the number one way that all mafias have grown and prospered over time. The same argument can be applied to the issue of homemade 3D printed guns and, in the latest episode of Gomorra, both things seem to coincide.
With the arrival of new, high-performance materials on the Reprap market, it is very likely that 3D printed guns have come a long way since Cory Wilson’s Defense Distributed first Liberator gun. Naples is not just the home of the Camorra, it is also one of the most creative and cultural cities in the world, which is one of the reasons why there are so many FabLabs and MakerSpaces.
That the Camorra, one of Italy’s most flourishing and successful international industries (if they see an opportunity they certainly cease it), would be using 3D printing technologies for its own advantage is very likely. And if it wasn’t likely before, it certainly is now, since it appears that Camorra bosses enjoy watching the Gomorra series quite a lot.
The bottom line is the same: the large majority of Neapolitans are not criminals and the large majority of 3D printers are not used for making guns. But some are. Whether we should be denouncing them or ignoring them is still up for debate.