THEY consist of running bits of metals through the flesh of men—large, small, pointed, square, round and splintered bits that tear and kill.
It is not the metal in its natural state, but the metal fashioned by the intelligence of man — a being who’s great, builds space ships and goes to the moon.
For some bullets, just one is enough to kill a man (the first time I saw an M-16 bullet, I almost cried).
No need to fire a burst at him, because it moves at a speed of sound and its trajectory is always nearly off balance so that when it arrives, it doesn’t stop inside the flesh like an ordinary bullet.
No, it doesn’t go through an arm or leg either—it twists and turns and tears and cuts and in a few minutes, it empties all the blood out of you.
Let’s take a bullet that is really well-made. Look at it. Who invented it? A man invented it.
One day, that man was just there, with his patience, learning, imagination and technology.
He calculated the form, the weight, the powder, the velocity, the trajectory and the moment of impact.
After all these calculations, he drew a written plan and offered it to a businessman, who examined it with great interest, called his technicians and told them to make a test bullet (but very secretly so that no other businessman would steal the idea from him).
His technicians did it proudly. The businessman looked at it as if it were an emerald or sapphire and asked to see how it works.
There was a test and a bullet was fired. At whom? At what? A dog, a cat, a piece of steel? Certainly not a man.
Why not the inventor, or the businessman, or both?
While the businessman and the inventor were left unhurt, the businessman called his board of directors around a mahogany table, showed them the bullet, suggested patenting it and produced millions of bullets for the army—to be used in every war, or to fight for an ally.
The board of directors approved it. Now, look at the factory full of workers making bullets — the kind proletariat Marx defended and trade unions protect. The nice workers are never guilty (guilt is for the businessman) and only carry out orders.
They are poor innocents who need to earn a living for their families and pay for their upkeep. Have they the time or means to ask themselves moral questions?
So they make bullets laboriously, carefully throwing out any defective ones, because if a bullet is imperfect, it doesn’t tear and it doesn’t cut; it does not empty all the blood out of the little yellow man who gets it at 20 years old, while defending a hill and a flag in Saigon; or out of the little white man in Iran or the big black man in Afghanistan.
Now, they get a string of bullets in a butchery inside a movie house, in malls, school rooms—even freeways.
There are bullets as well in Moscow and Peking. It isn’t a businessman who orders them—it is the State. It yields exactly the same results, and the workers are exactly the same (maybe even more diligent, even more obedient).
One day, I’d like to visit a bullet factory in Kiev, Chicago or Shanghai. I’d like to look at them all in the face: workers, directors, businessmen.
And finally, I’d like to look at the inventor in the eyes—because he’s the best of all, and the most important!
E-mail Mylah at firstname.lastname@example.org