Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gun Craft Dichotomy


Holland & Holland Royal 12 Guage
Originally uploaded by sbove.
Weapons appeal to the tool maker in every man. They are in some ways the ultimate product of human ingenuity. They can save lives, put food on the table, or be wielded by skilled warriors to defend house, home and motherland. Of course, they can be pressed by the unjust into service of aggression and butchery.

For centuries, high craft -- some would say art -- has evolved around fashioning weapons for kings and warriors. Bronze shields emblazoned with emblems of power. Armor polished to a glinting sheen. Guns smelling of wood, steel, oil and powder ornamented with hand-engraved scroll or scenes from battle and the hunt. Whether spears or sabers, rifles or daggers, these "products" of human endeavor are marvels of ingenuity and precision.

Even men who are philosophically opposed to violence will feel a rise of reverence and desire when they hold such fine implements. Otherwise frugal men will spend thousands of dollars, indeed in the case of some of the guns pictured here, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to procure such weapons.

Primal. Satisfying. Beautiful. Seductive. Good and Evil in the same hand.

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