'Arms': it's a strange term, isn't it?
'Not those things that hang from your shoulders'
'Not those things that your hands are connected to'
'Things that help us to kill people'
All three sentences were written to dissuade you from thinking about 'arms' as being those limbs attached to your body, but even this description - "attached to your body" - doesn't quite destroy the ambiguity completely.
"Arms made from metal", perhaps?
Well, not quite. How about:
"Arms, the kind of thing into which you load ammunition, before aiming at someone, squeeze the trigger, and blast them into oblivion".
Those kind of 'arms'
Are they really necessary?
And, I'm not really talking about the sort of weapons that countless American householders like to have 'around the place', to politely ward off 'unwanted company'. I'm talking about big, expensive stuff, in large quantities, that manufacturers in some countries produce in ever-increasing amounts, ship to other countries where wars are being fought, and then sit back and watch as the protaginists blow each other apart.
I mean, it's not as if they are beneficial to humanity, is it?
Beneficial to a few, I suppose. The armaments company workers get jobs out of it. The transport companies, the shippers, the workers at the ports, and so on. And, let's not forget, the owners of the weapons companies themselves. They're doing well out of it. Very well, in fact!
But where does all this 'killing' get us? What are we fighting for? We know what the arms dealers are fighting for - 'profit'. But what are those millions of souls trooping off to their potential doom really fighting for? There's got to be something more constructive to be doing than dying.
Like when Josey Wales asks Fletcher if he's a bounty hunter, and the latter replies that:
"A man's gotta do somethin' for a livin' these days."
"Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy."
Maybe the people doing the fighting really have got such a low opinion of themselves, so little hope, and so little drive and determination to live a happier life, that living like shithouse rats in the dusty ruins of bombed-out towns, or in muddy fields in foreign lands, seems better to them than 'not fighting', and living longer.
After so many 'mass shootings', particularly in the US, where such incidents are in danger of becoming considered as commonplace, a change of direction with regard to guns seems almost an emergency.
Some have said that, if people with murder on their mind don't have access to a gun, they'll just take a knife instead. A knife, however, is nowhere near as efficient as a gun, and, more importantly, requires more from the user if he or she is to achieve a set goal.
Consider, if you will, the 'remote aspect' of a gun. Almost as if you are, as a 4-year-old, playing in the street with your friends, each of you holding a plastic tommy gun, blasting away without a care in the world. People drop quickly, roll over, stay still, just like in the game.
Now the knife. To be effective, you have to get close in, where it's sweaty, and you can smell each other. Extreme force has to be used, not least to penetrate the victim's body. Then there's the red spillage, the rushing river of gore. Nowhere near as quick, you would probably have time to think about things, and, even if you are still intent on claiming more victims, you have to admit that a gun would be far more effective in under these circumstances.
It's a no-brainer, then, isn't it? Knives would not replace guns as a weapon of mass murder. And, the longer we continue on this road of ambivalence, and mass shootings become, well, 'commonplace', the harder it will be to outlaw those weapons, and halt their production.
And then again, although we're told it never is, it may already be too late.