By Mathew Robson.
America is no stranger to tragedies. On December 14th 2012, 20 year old Adam Lanza opened fire on an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut; killing 27 children. I, like many millions of others; watched in horror as the scenes of devastation poured forth from our television screens. Hundreds of thousands of miles, it’s much easier to distance yourself and reflect with a learned mind; safely personally untouched by such an event. Back in the states, reactions from every side was swift. President Barack Obama, in a speech on December 19th, signed 23 executive orders and proposed 12 congressional actions regarding gun control in America. Wayne LaPierre proclaimed quite openly in response to Obama’s proposed bills that “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”- a statement that would make even the most trigger happy tyrant raise an eyebrow.
Click, Print, Gun picks up the story from here. Cody R. Wilson, recently named as one of the 25 most dangerous men in America by Wired Magazine, is an entrepreneur. Cody is the founder and director of Defense Distributed, a firm that specialises in printing 3D gun parts for the general public. His company develops and publishes open source gun designs, so called “Wiki-Weapons”.
A self proclaimed and self-styled crypto anarchist, Cody takes us on a tour of his design stages and his own political ideology. The documentary sheds light on how to print said guns and how Cody goes about distributing them. The problem with the piece however is that it appears to simply give Cody what he wants: attention. However, that being said, that drawback may also work in its favour. What the documentary serves as is a conversational piece. One that draws attention not only to a rather shocking organisation, but renews debate over gun ownership of the most powerful country in the world.
Cody Wilson propagates the old American apprehension that gun ownership is more or less the same thing as defence. By allowing much easier access to guns, or at least gun parts, Cody Wilson has effectively put death in the hands of the consumer; all at the click of a mouse. What was initially a terrifying science fiction nightmare for Phillip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell et al. Has now become a reality thanks to our advancements in technology.
And this is what makes the documentary so effective. By remaining a casual observer, as opposed to enforcing its own political agenda or pre-determined sentimentality, we are at such a position to make up our own minds on a very controversial topic.
Though the documentary is very haphazard with its structure and fairly unfocused as to its purpose; it is nevertheless a very compelling film. Depending on where you stand in regards to the whole gun control issue, this is a film you may not return to anytime soon. If you’re looking for a treatise either to or for gun control, there are much better places to look; however if you like to be challenged, Click, Print, Gun is a choice you won’t regret making.
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