Mr. Gatling was, of course, the fellow who invented the first practical machine gun and claimed to have devised it so as to make large scale conflict too horrible to contemplate waging - he did not live to see WWI. When will we ever learn? Humanity, on a global scale, has consistently demonstrated that if a weapon is conceived - someone will use it. Trouble is that when we start talking about nuclear or biological weapons, we're dealing with indiscriminant killers - they kill the guilty and the innocent alike, typically taking a far larger toll on the latter.My Dear Friend.
It may be interesting to you to know how I came to invent the gun which bears my name; I will tell you: In 1861, during the opening events of the war, (residing at that time in Indianapolis, md.,) I witnessed almost daily the departure of troops to the front and the return of the wounded, sick, and dead. The most of the latter lost their lives, not in battle, but by sickness and exposure incident to the service. It occurred to me if I could invent a machine--a gun-- which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a great extent, supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease be greatly diminished. I thought over the subject and finally this idea took practical form in the invention of the Gatling Gun.
On the other hand, the world has not seen a major conflict since the advent of nuclear weapons. Have we learned our lesson? Is the world ultimately safer for having built these weapons or has there only been relative peace until such time as rival nuclear powers feel they have gained parity or advantage to the point they would contemplate their use? Is there any logic/sense behind any nation pursuing a biological weapons program - would posession of such weapons confer any advantage in conflict (wouldn't they be as likely to harm your troops as an enemy's?)