by Max Barry

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Weapons in Sassony

"Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows, and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon — so long as there is no answer to it — gives claws to the weak."

- George Orwell in "You and the Atom Bomb", Tribune (19 October 1945)

"So long as there's one weapon left in the world,
You better have you a gun too."

- Leslie Fish in "They were having a Sale at the Gun Store"

The issue of owning and using weapons continues to be passionately debated among the population of Sassony. The military has been disbanded long ago; law enforcement has been replaced by a decentralized network of emergency assistance; and the heavy weapons industry in the country has been disbanded. Building, owning, or introducing heavy weapons such as combat vehicles, fighting aircraft, artillery or bombs is viewed as an attempted coup or mass murder and is met with quick public intervention. A large part of the population is devoted to pacifism and non-violence and preaches these values both among their fellow Sassons and throughout the world. Some walk the middle way by learning unarmed self-defense or carrying non-lethal weapons such as shock pistols and pepper spray.

But many adherents of the communist and anarchist movements continue to stress the importance of private gun ownership, tools for self-defense, and combat skills. They claim that political power ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun, and political power in East Angria is distributed evenly among all people. Thus many still own and practice with lethal gunpowder weapons. Still, they are extremely reluctant to use those weapons against living things, and are only seldom forced to do so. This means that there is an extremely low number of gunshot and stabbing fatalities across the commune, as almost all conflicts can be resolved peacefully.

The current number of weapons per person can be viewed here.

There exist a number of socialist coops that import weapons from other countries, copy foreign designs, or produce their own weapons. You can find guns of all types and origins throughout the country, but domestically made weapons are by far the most common. Ruggedness, reliability, ease of use, and low cost are the main principles of East Angrian weapon design. This article will list a few weapons that are being produced and widely used in the Anarchist Commune of Sassony:

Aŋgrēps-Karabēna-Rēɣe - Assault Carbine Series

The assault carbine series is based on the Soviet-made AK-74 rifle. The first models were made entirely from steel and wood, using the same magazine, firing mechanism, and trigger. They still used the soviet 5.56x39mm cartridge and were nothing but a bullpup conversion of the AK-74, maintaining the same reliability and performance.

Later versions switched to 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition, replaced some parts with aluminum and plastic, added rails and modern sights. The weapons are still very rugged, reliable, and cheap to produce. They have an effective range of 500m for point targets, a firing rate of 650 rounds per minute, and a weight of 3.5kg. They are compatible with STANAG magazines that usually hold 30 rounds. All necessary tools for the gun’s maintenance are stored in the stock.

Kampgevēr-Rēɣe – Battle Rifle Series

The Battle Rifle series is based on the Swabian-made H&K G3. It originated as a licensed production run when Sassony was still a nation state in the traditional sense. The KG series fires 7.62×51mm NATO rounds with higher range and accuracy than the AK, making it an excellent designated marksman rifle. The magazine holds 20 to 30 rounds. It can be equipped with telescopic sights, an under-barrel grenade launcher, lights, and other secondary equipment.

Ʃalbrēka-Ʃarpʃytngevēr – Silenced Sniper Rifle

The Silenced Sniper Rifle is a medium range sniper rifle with an integrated silencer. It is based on the soviet Dragunov SVU sniper rifle, but also uses many of the same parts as the Aŋgrēps-Karabēna. The rifle holds ten rounds of 7.62 NATO ammunition, is semi-automatic and has an effective range of 1200 meters. It is designed for stealth operations in guerilla warfare, in case the free territory of Sassony should ever be invaded. During peacetime, it has the advantage of not bothering the neighbors as much during shooting practice.

Ʃalbrēka-Maʃīnpistōl – Silenced Submachine Gun

The Silenced Submachine Gun (ƩMP) is a machine pistol based on another Swabian design. It holds 30 9x19mm Parabellum rounds and is designed for close-quarter combat during guerilla warfare. The silencer works so well that the bolt makes more noise than the shot itself, but the gun has a very limited effective range of around 100 meters.

Ʃrikpistōl – Shock Pistol

These shock pistols fire a pair of electrodes with a maximum range of 10 meters. They penetrate clothing and stay attached to the target for a moment and deliver an electric current, temporarily incapacitating a target by disabling muscle control and causing pain. Shock pistols are favored by most of the population as personal defense weapons. They only incapacitate the target long enough for the user to escape or get help, and they do not kill or cause serious permanent harm.

Pepasprø̄pistōl – Pepper Spray Pistol

Pepper Spray Pistols are another common less-lethal self-defense weapon. They contain one or two cartridges of an aerosol containing capsaicin. This active ingredient is extracted from hot chili peppers of the capsicum genus and intended to cause irritation of the target’s eyes, nose, mouth, and skin, causing burning, coughing, sneezing, tearing up, and general pain and discomfort. The idea is to incapacitate and distract the assaulter long enough for the victim to call help and run away to safety. There is a small chance of killing the target through side-effects and interaction with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Pepper spray is perfectly legal to use against animals and humans, as long as it is in safe defense. Emergency assistance staff often carries pepper spray pistols to fend off attackers without killing them. Civilians can carry those pistols openly to deter others from attacking them. They may also use smaller single-charge pepper spray cans that are harder to be wrestled away during an attack.