I suspect that any readers of this blog with pacifist tendencies are starting to wonder what socially redeeming feature there might be in studying the terminal ballistics of catapult bolts.  In as much as catapults were the first truly big step that Human Beings took on the road to mechanizing the implements of death from a distance,  I will readily admit,  there is an inhuman quality to this kind of precision.   With a stand mounted ballista, the number of things a shooter can do to flub a shot,  is drastically reduced from any other form of archery that I can think of.  It is, in fact, hard to miss.

The road from catapults to the eerie exactness of modern day guided missiles is not to be underestimated by anyone wanting to understand the fix we have gotten ourselves into with our species wide arms race.  The hard truth is that weapons, once invented, cannot be uninvented.

For those of us that have succumbed to the allure of recreating the dark precision of these historical devices, please try and understand there is a mountain of genetic precedent fueling our interest.  The hiss of a finned projectile is as rooted in our race memory as the crackle of an ember.   The harm comes from disrespecting the ease with which mechanization can make it possible to kill without repercussion.   For us all, understanding this continuum is essential if we are to control it.

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