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).
- 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)
- 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)
- The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning. Words are the weapons used by those who see others with contempt. A contempt which only deepens when they see how those others are deceived and made into fools because they choose to believe. Because in their naivety they thought the meaning of a word was fixed, immune to abuse.
- 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)
- 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
- 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,1 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.
- 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.
- Aux armes, citoyens
- To arms, citizens , La Marseillaise
- 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.
- Don't pull out without battle, don't put in without glory. (Russian: Без дела не вынимай, без славы не вкладывай)
- Traditional Russian slogan on a sabre scabbard