You didn’t make the “related or not” part clear in your initial post. And, no, it wasn’t ob-vi-ous, because you lumped all three in together without making the distinction between Swartz and the other two clear.
Capone and this 3D-printing mope were caught on legitimate charges distinct from the charges directly relevant to the shady acts that were the true sources of their notoriety. Swartz, in contrast, was targetted directly for the main source of the government’s displeasure with him on charges that could only be made to stick through prosecutorial overreach and overzealousness.
Sometimes if you get on the bad side of the bad ol’ feds they’ll stretch the law or apply other laws inappropriately or disproportionately to get you (e.g. Swartz and Lennon, respectively). In other cases the bad ol’ feds will discover that the person they don’t like is committing another clear-cut and serious crime that damages others (like tax evasion or paying a minor for sex) and will charge the person they don’t like with that.
Dude, haven’t you read posts from the other threads? That isn’t really what was going on. The nearly fully plastic Liberator was more of a proof of concept, and technically works even if it performs poorly. But it used a very under powered round and the barrel is one time use.
The hobbyist using 3D printing for other ventures are using plastic in grips and receivers or body housings - which are being made out of plastics in the professional manufacturers. The parts with the exploding bits are still metal. Most handguns today have a polymer grip frame, and the slide and barrel are metal.
This guy was more or less swatting hornets nests to see what would come out. But he wasn’t alone in what he was doing, he was just trying to make a business of it. The whole digital rights issues of 3D printers and their 3D plans and distribution of said plans as it pertains to weapons was always going to eventually butt heads with the government.
I think there are basically three narratives that can come out of this.
He’s a noble fighter for freedom being harassed and oppressed by the evil gummint.
The same underlying impulse that led him to pursue the most divisive imaginable form of gun-making led him to have the most divisive imaginable form of sex.
It’s a coincidence.
Obviously he (and weirdly some of his opponents on the gun issue) will want #1 to become the dominant framing of the case. My own suspicion is that #2 most accurately describes what’s going on, and that if we looked closer we’d find a lot of acting out and at least vaguely pathological boundary-testing in his life.
Given that he’s an outspoken Libertarian man-boy who won’t have mommy telling him what to do when it comes to firearms and sex, statistically within that sub-sample it’s #2, which you describe very well.
In reality, it encourages it. Most men do not engage in prostitution because they want ‘sex’. They want power. Folks have an idealized idea of prostitution that it is merely a sexual massage, a release when most men want to be able to control a woman’s body. The closer it gets to being equal and fair, the more these men still look for the illicit. And we know that when prostitution essentially becomes decriminalized – as well as legalized and regulated – the illicit trafficking of at-risk individuals increases considerably.
That said, the one thing that I am absolutely thrilled about is that in my state, sex with an underaged prostitute is 100% considered rape. Not statutory rape – rape rape the folks can’t just use the excuse that a few more years / months and she would have been fine (and yes, I know the ‘statutory rape’ laws have been applied badly as it is, but I’m specifically talking in context of prostitution).
Twitter is dominated by people thinking they’re geniuses for figuring out that the Feds probably set this guy up, and bemoaning the persecution of a True Patriot™. What they fail to understand, in their brilliant analysis of a textbook honey pot operation, is that even if you’re caught in one, you can back out before you actually have sex with a minor. Unless you’re a creep. Or very dumb. Or both.
I don’t think one can accurately summarize a whole group of peoples’ motivations like that. But that point aside:
I imagine if it were legal, there would be more people engaging in said activity. But it would be more safe for everyone invovled. Including the women. If you want I can dig it up, but there was a prostitution site in SF that allowed the prostitutes to network. It lead to a referral system of Johns and prostitutes. Bad Johns could be black listed. Johns with specific tastes found prostitutes who catered to them. Prostitutes who specialized were able to network and actually increase prices. And they weren’t on the streets. They could network online and arrange encounters.
Legalization means no more pimps and the violence associated, reduced violence from Johns with actual legal repercussions, monitoring of STDs and health benefiting both Johns and prostitutes. With a license, one can ensure they are of legal age, etc. Would it be perfect? No, but I can’t think of any thing that legalizing would make worse. Maybe your point it would increase the number of people in it, but I guess I don’t have a problem with that if everything is on the up and up. A lot of the negative things associated with it would be greatly reduced.
And of course the only narrative they can envision is one where it’s the evil and all-powerful gubbmint runs an entrapment scheme on their Randian hero, because superior intellects like his could never fall for a badger game grift being run by a teenage girl (which this wasn’t, either).