Weapon, arm, or armament are terms for any device used to inflict damage or harm to living beings, structures, or systems. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defense, and warfare. In a broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary. Ordinary objects such as sticks, stones, cars, or pencils can be used as weapons, but many are expressly designed for the purpose, such as clubs, swords, guns, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and cyberweapons.
- Alphabetized by author
- I have no part of my body, in front at least, that is left without scars; there is no weapon, used at close quarters, or hurled from afar, of which I do not carry the mark. Nay, I have been wounded by the sword, hand to hand; I have been shot with arrows, I have been struck from a catapult, smitten many a time with stones and clubs.
- Alexander the Great, as quoted in The Man Alexander the Great, Awake! magazine, (22 January 1972).
- I know they’re weapons of war. However, there’s a beauty in unadorned functionality totally separate from that. Fighter planes and battleships have a simple, unadorned beauty I’m drawn to. But I don’t want to see them in action, killing people.
- The danger is becoming greater. As the arsenals of the superpowers grow in size and sophistication and as other governments—perhaps even, in the future, dozens of governments—acquire these weapons, it may be only a matter of time before madness, desperation, greed or miscalculation lets loose the terrible force.
- Jimmy Carter, as quoted in The Watchtower magazine, (15 August 1981).
- Weapons of mass destruction-nuclear, biological, and chemical-along with the systems that deliver them, pose a major threat to our security and that of our allies and other friendly nations. Thus, a key part of our strategy is to seek to stem the proliferation of such weapons and to develop an effective capability to deal with these threats.
- Bill Clinton, A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement, (1994); qtd. in Jeffrey N. Renehan, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Weapons of Mass Destruction A Lethal Combination?”, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, (1995-1996), p.1.
- A preemptive action today, however well-justified, may come back with unwelcome consequences in the future. And because … I've done this. I've ordered these kinds of actions — I don't care how precise your bombs and your weapons are, when you set them off, innocent people will die.
- Bill Clinton at a Labour Party conference in the UK, quoted in The Independent. "Clinton urges caution over Iraq as Bush is granted war powers" (3 October 2002)
- It is ironic that the accumulation of arms is one of the few expanding industries in a period of economic depression and gloom.
- Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, UN Secretary-General, as quoted in Watching the World, Awake! magazine (22 October 1982).
- Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed. . . . This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending . . . the hopes of its children.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, "The Chance for Peace", (16 April 1953).
- Count Dashkov: I am convinced there is a deep conspiracy afoot in Russia that is poisoning people’s minds.
This evil is a threat to the monarchy itself! But it must be suppressed with powerful weapons!
- Golivinski: Weapons?
- Count Dashkov: Documentation, my boy…proof of their villainous conspiracy! Proof is the weapon!
And you are skilled at fashioning such weapons, my boy!
- Will Eisner, The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, (10/2/2005), p. 41.
- Research desk: Despite the Russian court’s condemnation and the Dodd Keating congressional report in 1964, the world wide use and publication of the “Protocols” has continued.
Not only did the Ku Klux Klan continue to distribute the book in America.. but in 1968, in Beiruit, the Islamic institute there published 300,000 copies in French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic.
- Graphic novelist: Then why? Why? When everyone knows that the “protocols” is a fake… why are they still publishing it?
- Research desk: Because it is a weapon of mass deception!
- Will Eisner, The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, (10/2/2005), p. 114.
- When iron was found, the trees began to tremble, but the iron reassured them: 'Let no handle made from you enter into anything made from me, and I shall be powerless to injure you.'
- There will be no economic or political justice for the poor, people of color, women or workers within the framework of global, corporate capitalism. Corporate capitalism, which uses identity politics, multiculturalism and racial justice to masquerade as politics, will never halt the rising social inequality, unchecked militarism, evisceration of civil liberties and omnipotence of the organs of security and surveillance. Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed, despite its continually rebranding itself. The longer the self-identified left and liberal class seek to work within a system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” the more the noose will be tightened around our necks. If we do not rise up to bring government and financial systems under public control—which includes nationalizing banks, the fossil fuel industry and the arms industry—we will continue to be victims.
- They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
- Isaiah 2:4 King James Version.
- Kennedy would have ordered nuclear retaliation on Cuba —and perhaps the Soviet Union— if nuclear weapons had been fired at United States forces.
- Robert McNamara, U.S. secretary of defense under President Kennedy, according to The New York Times; On the Brink of Nuclear War as quoted in Awake! magazine (22 May 1992).
- Nuclear weapons serve no military purpose whatsoever. They are totally useless — except only to deter one’s opponent from using them.
- Robert McNamara, as quoted in The Nuclear Dilemma, Awake! magazine (22 August 1988).
- Henri Ducard: Over the ages, our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham, we tried a new one - economics. But, we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens. Such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal.
- Language was our secret weapon, and as soon we got language we became a really dangerous species.
- Iron, at the same time the most useful and the most fatal instrument in the hand of mankind. For by the aid of iron we lay open the ground, we plant trees, we prepare our vineyard-trees, and we force our vines each year to resume their youthful state, by cutting away their decayed branches. It is by the aid of iron that we construct houses, cleave rocks, and perform so many other useful offices of life. But it is with iron also that wars, murders, and robberies are effected, and this, not only hand to hand, but from a distance even, by the aid of missiles and winged weapons, now launched from engines, now hurled by the human arm, and now furnished with feathery wings. This last I regard as the most criminal artifice that has been devised by the human mind; for, as if to bring death upon man with still greater rapidity, we have given wings to iron and taught it to fly.
- Pliny the Elder, in The Natural History, ch. 39.
- After he had brought them all to wear full armor, and by that means into the confidence of thinking themselves now invincible, he turned what before had been idle profusion and luxury into an honorable expense. For being long used to vie with each other in their dress, the furniture of their houses, and service of their tables, and to glory in outdoing one another, the disease by custom was grown incurable, and there was no possibility of removing it altogether. But he diverted the passion, and brought them, instead of these superfluities, to love useful and more manly display, and, reducing their other expenses, to take delight in appearing magnificent in their equipage of war. Nothing then was to be seen in the shops but plate breaking up, or melting down, gilding of breastplates, and studding bucklers and bits with silver; nothing in the places of exercise, but horses managing, and young men exercising their arms; nothing in the hands of the women, but helmets and crests of feathers to be dyed, and military cloaks and riding-frocks to be embroidered; the very sight of all which quickening and raising their spirits, made them contemn dangers, and feel ready to venture on any honorable dangers. Other kinds of sumptuosity give us pleasure, but make us effeminate; the tickling of the sense slackening the vigor of the mind; but magnificence of this kind strengthens and heightens the courage; as Homer makes Achilles at the sight of his new arms exulting with joy, and on fire to use them. When Philopoemen had obtained of them to arm, and set themselves out in this manner, he proceeded to train them, mustering and exercising them perpetually; in which they obeyed him with great zeal and eagerness. For they were wonderfully pleased with their new form of battle, which, being so knit and cemented together, seemed almost incapable of being broken. And then their arms, which for their riches and beauty they wore with pleasure, becoming light and easy to them with constant use, they longed for nothing more than to try them with an enemy, and fight in earnest.
- Isolated as they are within a distinctly outcast category, CB weapons have acquired an array of moral and legal proscriptions that is unique among present-day armaments. This, however, is something with which most novel weapon technologies of the past have had to contend. Users of the crossbow, for example, in twelfth century Europe risked excommunication by the Church, and gunpowder went through a long period of moral opprobrium before becoming assimilated. People eventually became accustomed to these developments, and the weapons became conventional.
Incendiary weapons provide a further example: witness the obloquy that fastened upon the recorded users of Greek fire in medieval Europe, or P.G.T. Beauregarde's expressions of moral outrage during the American Civil War, or the special attention given to flamethrowers in the League of Nations disarmament deliberations, and then the increasing conventionalization of napalm and other incendiaries during the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Korean war and Vietnam.
- J.P. Perry Robinson, “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, Volume XXXI #5, (May 1975), pp.18-19.
- Rod Serling: The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices...to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill...and suspicion can destroy...and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own -- for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is...that these things cannot be confined...to the Twilight Zone.
- Statesmen of dedication and sincerity, many of them in this hall, have done their utmost to arrest this development. Yet the arms race goes on. It is as if the arms race had escaped rational human control.
- During these four years the arms race has exacerbated the threat to peace, heightening the anxieties of peoples and imposing heavier burdens on each nation at the expense of its economic and social development.
- Removing the threat of a world war—a nuclear war—is the most acute and urgent task of the present day. Mankind is confronted with a choice: we must halt the arms race and proceed to disarmament or face annihilation.
- Final Document of the United Nations First Special Session on Disarmament, (1978).
- Aux armes, citoyens.
- To arms, citizens, La Marseillaise
- (Russian: Без дела не вынимай, без славы не вкладывай)
- Don't pull out without battle, don't put in without glory.
- Traditional Russian slogan on a sabre scabbard.