Gatling Equivalence & the Holsters of Robots
As computing systems have the idea of ‘Turing equivalence‘, emerging 3D-printing will exhibit a sort of ‘Gatling equivalence': minimal configurations of home manufacturing systems will be capable of making fully-automatic weapons. Such maker technology will be ubiquitous, rendering other licensing, registration, or ownership restrictions on specific kinds of weapons moot. Any script kiddie will be able to print an AK-47.
Ardent gun supporters sometimes dream that with widespread weapon-carrying by the public, there would be skilled armed resistance to violent crime in every workplace, mall, and school. “Take that, deranged rampage shooter!”
That ubiquitous armed resistance may arrive… but from the holsters of robots rather than humans. Mass-produced and largely autonomous lethally-armed defense drones are only a matter of time, whether they be wheeled, walking, flying – or simply wall-mounted.
Imagine: “The 2026 model year of the ED-208 is finally cheap enough to install one in every room. For legal reasons, the ED-208 only ever shoots second… but it never misses.”