"Thus, CRISPR could be best compared to replacing a hacksaw with a laser cutter. The general public has no need of such a tool"
On the contrary, like a laser cutter the general public does have much use for the tool. Unlike laser cutters the fundamental tools are being locked behind non-disclosure agreements and patents artificially inflating the price to play dramatically. If the general public had no use for such tools makers clubs, diy bio groups, etc wouldn't exist at all. As it stands diy bio groups are limited to mostly cookie cutter protocols that repeat previous experiments because the more general purpose tools (both those which exist and those which they could produce) are locked behind paywalls.
There is no great magic behind synthesizing RNA and PCR for instance and certainly no reason for these materials to be expensive but getting your hands on the materials for a laymen is rather difficult and even if you can it normally comes with an agreement which precludes using those tools to replicate those precursors and share along with information on how to do the same. Information on using common bacterial, viral, etc vectors and basic tools to work with them should be completely free as well.
We desperately need a bioGNU. Many of these processes are actually refined nearly to the point of being programmable like code but access is kept strictly controlled and/or key pieces that allow one to cheaply and easily replicate the precursors is held back to artificially limit access and drive up prices.