Have Guns Helped To Advance Civilization?

Oct 2016
933
Merryland
#21
don't overlook the importance of guns for hunting.
humans have long struggled (in some places) with local bears, cats, wolves, etc.
not to mention hunting game for the table
people in the past were of course capable of taking down animals with spears and arrows etc but the gun empowered the individual. early US history abounds with sturdy pioneers protecting their kin and their stock with their trusty flintlocks.
IIRC engineers in Africa and other parts had professional hunters around to keep the lions at bay whilst building the railroads. bear fight.png
 
May 2011
13,690
Navan, Ireland
#23
don't overlook the importance of guns for hunting.
humans have long struggled (in some places) with local bears, cats, wolves, etc.
not to mention hunting game for the table..........................................
And in other places they haven't struggled with those (Brown Bears became extinct in the British Isles long before guns and wolves didn't overlap for very long) and many have had no problem hunting.

I am not saying guns are not a very useful tool and or weapon and certainly made life easier (or worse!) but I am not convinced that they have done anything to 'advance civilisation' or no more than many other new technologies.
 
May 2013
1,715
The abode of the lord of the north
#24
Every weapon has contributed, even the atom bombs have. If there is a generally peaceful state now in the world, it is due to the fact that people are aware that anyone can wipe the world out.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,308
appalacian Mtns
#25
It's been said that the ancestor of the grizzly bear is what stopped human colonization of the Americas until very late. The early native Americans had no problem exterminating the Mammoths with spears but avoided Griz. The Kaintuck rifle wasn't up too Griz either & early white explorers going into this country had too upgun too the Hawken rifle. Even then though most avoided Griz. The first really effective anti- Griz armament was the Colt Walker revolver.
 
Likes: sailorsam
Mar 2019
19
Arizona
#26
Jared Diamond considered this issue at length in his bestseller "Guns Germs and Steel"

The answer is "yes".

But also, consider the superb Kalashnikov AK47.

The simple, reliable and deadly AK47 alone made every peasant army a force that cannot be ignored. Even little kids armed with Kalashnikov rifles are very effective soldiers.

More than one hundred million Kalashnikov rifles have been produced.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,308
appalacian Mtns
#27
The AK has its good points & it's bad points. It's dirt cheap. It's reliable. It's deadly at close range. But it's inaccurate. The AR is a much better rifle for a professional soldier that can shoot accurately & maintain it. To someone that can make accurate shots beyond 200 yards AKs are junk. Don't know what the figures are today, but back in 2003 when I was a US Army Armourer govt cost on a new M16 was around 350$. The Russians sold new AKs for 89$.
 
May 2011
13,690
Navan, Ireland
#28
Jared Diamond considered this issue at length in his bestseller "Guns Germs and Steel"

The answer is "yes"..
And his ideas have been contested to say the least and its more technology than simply guns.

But also, consider the superb Kalashnikov AK47.

The simple, reliable and deadly AK47 alone made every peasant army a force that cannot be ignored. Even little kids armed with Kalashnikov rifles are very effective soldiers.

More than one hundred million Kalashnikov rifles have been produced .
But how did that gun really change anything? what war would or would not have been fought if that gun had not been invented?
 

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