An Examination of the Machine Gun

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Weapons of war are useful in killing human lives and causing widespread destruction and terror. The machine gun is such a weapon that has allowed for the mass extinction of those on the receiving end of its power. The purpose of this essay is to examine the machine gun in a historic perspective in order to contextualize its practicality and importance in modern history. This examination will describe the development, the current impact and the future of this tool of war in order to reveal the importance of their presence. The development of means to extinguish human existence usually arrives out of necessity. Cantrell (2012) described the birth of the machine gun by Richard Gatling as a "quantum development in the evolution of firearms." Ironically, Cantrell supposed that Gatling " created a weapon so devastating and superior in its firepower that opposing armies would have no chance of victory. " While Gatling's intentions seemed well placed, it seems that this idea perhaps has "backfired." The machine gun was introduced in the American Civil War around the year 1862 in order to serve as a deterrent for weaker forces to attack. Firepower was concentrated in this tool so that one person operating a Gatling machine gun would replace many men on the battlefield. Essentially this invention permitted for more casualties occurring at a more rapid pace. The early version of this gun " had 5 to 10 barrels arranged in a cylinder revolved by turning a hand crank. It was made in
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