Designed to Kill?

It seems a common answer to what makes people who call their guns “babies” and gear heads who call their cars the same thing comes down to guns being designed to kill people.  But are they?  What about a chef who takes a great deal of pride in his collection of fine knives?  A knife is certainly a weapon.  Designed to kill or designed to cut?  Depends on the intent of the person wielding it.

Many people are into fencing.   Defined by Wikipedia:

In the broadest possible sense, fencing is the art of armed combat involving cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning weapons directly manipulated by hand, rather than shot or thrown. Example weapons include swords, knives, pikes, bayonets, batons, clubs, and similar. In contemporary common usage, ‘fencing’ tends to refer specifically to European schools of swordsmanship and to the modern Olympic sport that has evolved out of them.

Most fencing weapons are dulled to prevent injuries, but classic fencing enthusiasts still used traditional swords, only with devices put on the tips to blunt them.  I’ve known people who enjoy swords as much as I enjoy firearms.

I don’t think we should kid ourselves.   Shooting is a martial art as much as it is a sport.  But I don’t see why it deserves a worse reputation than fencing, jujitsu, tai kwan do, or any other martial art.  Or why shooters who are proud of their instruments ought to be derided by people like Joe Biden, and any of the people who laughed upon the insertion of his foot into his mouth.

6 thoughts on “Designed to Kill?”

  1. I like to say guns aren’t designed to kill people, they are designed to hurl a projectile at speed. Where that projectile ends up is the responsibility of the operator.

    But, there’s no denying guns were invented to kill. They were invented to replace the bow and arrow, which was invented to replace the spear, which replaced the thrown rock, etc.

    The problem with shooting sports is it’s mostly

    a. Shooting at human-looking targets, which turns some people off


    b. Shooting at bulls-eye targets, which can be boring to watch.

    Working with veterans, I tell them all the time that the general public has no idea what military life is like, and they lump us into two categories – Gomer Pyle and Gunny Hartman.

    Same with guns. They’re either “rapid-fire killing machines” or ultra-masculine empowerment tools (like using the code name “god” for the sniper in the movie “Navy Seals”)

    Ignorance and disinformation, it’s everywhere.

  2. And this is why I ought to learn to shoot. I already have a bow & know how to shoot that, and I fenced foil in college (and still have my gear for that, as well). I need to add to the potentially lethal collection!

  3. “I’ve always called it “Bang-fu” – the martial art of the speeding lead projectile.”

    Or “gun-fu” as I’ve always called it.

  4. I’ve refered to it as meditation with an exclamation point.

    To have such awareness and control of your heart rate, your breathing, the slightest motions your muscles make… to be in tune with all of that and be able to place five rounds within a circle the size of a quarter at over 100 yards—well, if that’s not borderline meditative, I don’t know what is.

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