An idea I’ve been playing with lately is the role of guns in warfare. This is a highly controversial topic right now, which is part of why I’ve been a bit hesitant to write anything on the subject. Additionally, I am wholly aware that my thoughts on them are more than a little idealized.
I’m going to come right out and say it: I don’t like guns. I don’t like how wasteful they are, what with bullets not being reusable, or how destructive they are, both to the living body and the environment. I don’t like how loud they are, or how dependent they make the average user.
But most of all, guns are a coward’s weapon, come complete with the sort of emotional disconnect that makes it easier to take lives.
Take war, for instance. A soldier just shooting at enemy soldiers doesn’t really know if they hit someone, killed someone. Who can say who the responsibility really falls on? And so we can shirk that responsibility, because in your thoughts, it probably, almost definitely wasn’t you.
And so the act of taking a life has less effect, and war is easier to justify.
Beyond that, guns are incredibly wasteful as compared to more traditional weapons; knives, swords, even arrows can be reused. Not only that, but to use them, you can’t just blindly pull a trigger. You need a lot of training, making it less likely for people to do impulsive things, in war but also in places of peace (school shootings and such).
In writing this, I’m reminded of the Christmas Truce of 1914, when British and German soldiers laid down their guns on Christmas Eve and called a temporary cease-fire, celebrating together. They had been blindly shooting at each other from their respective trenches for months; this added the human element back in. The soldiers saw the effect the fighting was having during their joint burials, gained a new respect for the enemy.
And the next day, the troops there had to be replaced on both sides because these soldiers were refusing to continue the fighting.
Just some thoughts.