If there’s one thing the anti-gun zealots at Mother Jones hate, it’s firearms in the hands of law-abiding American citizens. If there’s another thing Mother Jones hates, it’s probably the ability of those same law-abiding citizens to manufacture their own means of self-defense from the comfort of their own homes via a 3D printer.
One gun lover at reddit decided to 3D-print his own homage to Mother Jones: a homemade lower receiver for an AR-15-style rifle, complete with serial number. And just for kicks, he made sure the serial number matched the phone number for the main office at Mother Jones. The redditor even printed the Mother Jones logo on the receiver.
The redditor posted the picture of the Mother Jones-themed lower receiver in response to an article Mother Jones published, entitled “How Reddit Became a Gun Market—and Authorized Its Logo on Assault Rifles.”
Since 2011, part of the popular online forum Reddit has grown into an active marketplace for assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and other powerful firearms, according to an investigation by Mother Jones. In the last six months alone there have been more than 1,000 listings posted by more than 400 Redditors on the GunsForSale subreddit, one of thousands of niche communities on the sprawling discussion site. Not only has Reddit allowed a gun market to thrive, it has also literally put its stamp on it: Gun purchases brokered through the site have included nearly 100 AR-15s engraved with Reddit's alien logo, which was used on the assault rifles with explicit permission from the company—while it was owned by media giant Condé Nast—according to email correspondence obtained by Mother Jones.
After Mother Jones published its article, “WarFairy” posted a thread of his own at reddit, entitled “In honor of Mother Jones’ article, I present the Mother Jones 3D printable AR-15 Lower Receiver.”
“Bonus points to the person that figures out what the serial number means,” WarFairy wrote.
“Since this has generated so much interest, I figure I might as well plug the project. To everyone that is interested in printing firearms, you don’t have to go it alone! Swing by the FOSSCAD chat room for the latest MegaPack containing all of my and many other designer’s firearm and accessory files, as well as tech support for printers of all shapes, flavors and sizes,” WarFairy added after the thread began to garner attention.
Another commenter in the thread, in reference to the Mother Jones phone number/serial number on the 3D-printed lower receiver, offered a helpful script for those who might want to call the number to ask if the Mother Jones article itself was facilitating private gun sales via reddit:
I've prepared a script for you guys. "Hello, is this Mother Jones? I'm a user of Reddit, I have a few questions.
Can you confirm that you are a journalist? What is your license number? How much revenue do you generate from ad views on Mother Jones? Rather than writing journalism for another group, why do you write for a gun proliferation organization such as Mother Jones? How is it different from DailyKOS, Slate, Armslist, or GunBroker? What portion of your personal income originates from ad revenue or salary from Mother Jones? Why do people buy and sell firearms on Mother Jones? Will you voluntarily decline all ad revenue generated from page views on the recent piece where, for approximately 12 hours, you facilitated the unfettered purchase of at least 3 AR-15 combat assault rifles of murder war and a Glock 17 undetectable plastic gun? Can you document the destruction of this ad revenue and present it to federal authorities? If no sale took place, can you furnish proof?" We can has journalism too!
At least one commenter in the reddit thread claimed to have used the comments section in the Mother Jones article to sell several rifle magazines that he had been trying to sell at reddit for over a year.
“[I]t’s easier to sell than on reddit,” the commenter wrote. “I just unloaded my last uzi mags on mother jones 5 hours ago. [I]‘ve had them posted on reddit for over a year with no takers[.]”