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Fail On Plastic Guns

January 6, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 1

Dec. 2, 2013, page 32: An article about wrinkle-free cotton incorrectly showed the structure of cellulose chains cross-linked by DMDHEU (red). The corrected structure is shown.

Dec. 9, 2013, page 32: “Analyzing Cannabis” incorrectly stated that Iron Labs is the only marijuana testing laboratory in Michigan. There are multiple marijuana testing labs in that state.

I wish C&EN would discuss chemistry and not push political views. The article “The Desktop Arms Plant” reports on an upcoming technology that has a lot of uses (C&EN, Sept. 30, 2013, page 11). Why not report on how it can be used to make experimental robotic parts or machine prototype parts? Instead, the article presents an alarmist slant about hobbyists attempting to make a weapon.

Far better weapons are readily available in gun stores in all states. For those with criminal intent, they can readily purchase weapons on the black market, through the same channels that distribute illegal drugs. What criminal would trust his life to a plastic gun that might explode and would only shoot seven times at half power?

You failed to note that the Second Amendment is about self-defense for home, family, and community. Being able to make firearms from a variety of materials has always been a possibility for the mechanically inclined. This right is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, which underpins all of the other rights. You might as well discuss how 200 million people were killed in the 20th century by their own governments, mostly after being disarmed by gun prohibition laws.

Tore Fossum
Huntsville, Texas


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