Vox Sentences: We’re on a bullet train toward 3D-printed guns

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Printed guns are in our (very near) future; the opposition party alleges rigging in the Zimbabwean election.


No silver bullet to stop 3D-printed guns

 Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images
  • Blueprints to create the first fully 3D-printable firearm, called “ghost guns,” will be legally downloadable on Wednesday, August 1. [CNN / Susannah Cullinane]
  • The guns, which are made from the same plastic used for Legos, would require no background checks and be untraceable and nearly undetectable in airports (violating a law that requires all firearms be detectable by metal security scanners). [Quartz / Hanna Kozlowska]
  • The blueprints were created and published by the founder of Defense Distributed, “crypto-anarchist” Cody Wilson. He sued the Obama administration, which blocked Wilson from publishing the instructions, to “defend the principle of freedom of speech.” [Guardian / Carole Cadwalladr]
  • The US State Department settled with Wilson and said he could publish the blueprints under the guidance of the Trump administration in April. The president said he is now “looking into” 3D guns and the decision to allow Wilson to move forward. [AP / Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey]
  • Gun experts are “seriously concerned” about the potential and future of 3D-printed firearms. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • The ability to print guns has been a concern since 3D printers became consumer-friendly. The 3D printer only requires blueprints to create just about anything. [Mashable / Armand Valdes]
  • Lawmakers and activists are scrambling to prevent Wilson from clicking “publish” on the blueprints tomorrow. It’s likely too little too late. [Washington Post / Deanna Paul]

Mugabe out; Mugabe ally in?

  • At least 3.5 million Zimbabweans reportedly voted to elect a new president on Monday, July 30, for the first time since ousting longtime leader Robert Mugabe in 2017. Mugabe ally and incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa faced off against Nelson Chamisa, a young, politically inexperienced lawyer and pastor. [Reuters]
  • Both candidates claim they are in the lead, but voters are still waiting on the results. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has until Saturday to announce a winner, though they say they will make an announcement before the deadline. [BBC]
  • Chamisa and his party, the MDC Alliance, claim that the ruling Zanu-PF party are trying to rig the vote. The electoral commission claims there was no foul play, but others allege that one-fifth of tally forms are missing. [Independent / Tom Embury-Dennis]
  • The Zimbabwe Election Support Network also reported that some 6 percent of voters nationwide were turned away from polling stations, and some were compelled to leave due to “incidents of intimidation, harassment or violence.” It’s unclear if these were isolated incidents or a case of fraud. [NYT / Norimitsu Onishi and Jeffrey Moyo]

Miscellaneous

  • The Pyramids of Giza are now known for more than just their looks. Russian scientists believe that the Egyptian pyramids are designed to harness electromagnetic energy within their internal chambers and pathways. [Independent / Josh Gabbatiss]
  • Bigfoot erotica is now center stage in a Californian political campaign. [The Verge / Lux Alptraum]
  • Some say wearing perfume gives you an extra boost of confidence. If so, Robert Mueller should try out Stormy Daniels’s new fragrance, “Truth.” [Racked / Cheryl Wischhover]
  • Beyoncé (the greatest performer of our generation) has allegedly been given “unprecedented control” over Vogue’s September issue (the fashion magazine’s most important issue of the year). She has reportedly hired a black photographer to shoot the cover for the first time in the 126-year-old magazine’s history. [HuffPost / Yashar Ali]

Verbatim

“Take note: Enjoying life’s pleasures does not always mean spending a lot of cash. If you’re like me, you’ve got caviar tastes and a fishstick budget.” [Dodai Stewart on dressing like the vacationing wealthy widow of your fantasies / Broadly]


Watch this: How noise pollution is ruining your hearing

Our ears are exposed to dangerous levels of noise every single day. [YouTube / Dean Peterson and Julia Belluz]


Read more

Facebook has already detected suspicious activity trying to influence the 2018 elections

Trump says “collusion is not a crime.” Not quite.

America’s doctors can beat the opioid epidemic. Here’s how to get them on board.

The sudden end of the Ethiopia-Eritrea war, explained

Does serving LGBTQ customers violate religious freedoms? Americans can’t decide.