I had thought earlier in the night that you can’t run when you are sodden from head to foot and weighted down with a rifle and cartridges; I learned now you can always run when you think you have fifty or one hundred armed men after you.
George Orwell, “Homage to Catalonia.”
The guns spell money’s ultimate reason
In letters of lead on the Spring hillside.
But the boy lying dead under the olive trees
Was too young and too silly
To have been notable to their important eye.
He was a better target for a kiss.
Stephen Spender, “Ultima Ratio Regum.”
If you find an Afghan rebel that the Moscow bullets missed,
Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist.
Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet
How many monks did the Chinese get?
Joe Strummer, “Washington Bullets.”
He carried a shotgun–a weapon I thought was outlawed in international war–and the shotgun itself was a measure of his professionalism, for to use it effectively requires an exact blend of courage and skill and self-confidence. The weapon is neither accurate nor lethal at much over seventy yards. So it shows the skill of the carrier, a man who must work his way close enough to the prey to make a shot, close enough to see the enemy’s retina and the tone of his skin. The shotgun is not an automatic weapon. You must hit once, on the first shot, and the hit must kill.
Tim O’Brien, “If I Die in a Combat Zone.”
Eamonn McDonagh on the Livingstone formulation in Madrid.