Nikki walked to the hall carrying the weapon. He’d not held a gun in more than a month, not since he’d carried Thorvald’s. The heft in his hand, heavy with purpose, brought images bursting out of his fingers and arm. Gripping the rifle, he felt he’d grasped again a link in an endless, evil chain, a succession of guns, swords, knives, arrows, spears, clubs — weapons extending backward and forward into time. He saw bodies scattered everywhere, ten billion bodies lying across time, across an eternal barbed-wire fence. He held the rifle away from him. Look at this thing. Metal and wood, that’s all it is. But it’s also a door, an opening that the devil and death and all that hates man and life can march through. Amazing what this thing can do, amazing what we’ll do with it in our hands.
— David Robbins. The War of the Rats
Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But iron — cold iron — is master of them all.”
— from Rudyard Kipling’s Cold Iron
The man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war, and afterwards he turns the rifle in at the armory and he believes he’s finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands — love a woman, build a house, change his son’s diaper — his hands remember the rifle and the power that rifle proffered. The cold weight, the buttstock in the shoulder, the sexy slope and fall of the triggerguard. Where do rifles come from? the man’s son asks.
The rifle stinks like wet earth, like from where it came before being melted and moulded into that sticklike form.
— Anthony Swofford. Jarhead
A man must have a weapon. He may be without a woman, without a tent or a tribe, and even without a horse. But he must have a weapon.
— Louis de Wohl. Throne of the World
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind… Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
— Thomas Jefferson
We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.
— George Orwell. The Road to Wigan Pier
The sword the fair one gave me
I raise with my left hand,
Like Tyr among the immortals.
The serpent has won back its sting.
— Frans Bengtsson. The Long Ships