15
$\begingroup$

Think, a post apocalyptic world ravaged by nuclear wars. Most of the population has been eliminated. A small amount, but still a substantial number, a million or so people survive, residing in special domed cities to be safe from the effects of radiation. A certain number of people also reside outside, taking proper precaution to safeguard themselves against the radiation.

In this scenario, what could justify the absence of all modern weapons, be it a simple handgun to grenades to missiles to nuclear bombs (the wars kinda used all of the bombs up)? Simple medieval weapons like swords or spears, are ok.

One justification I could think of was that the people had simply adopted a pro peace attitude and destroyed the weapons towards that end but it does not completely cover the scenario as there maybe some weapons hidden, as everyone would not take that stance and, it being a post apocalyptic world, people would want to hang on to weapons to ensure their survival.

I want to weed out all weapons, no exceptions. Is it possible to achieve this ?

Edit (clarifications based on comments below) :

  1. The enforcers, who control these people and regulated entry into the dome, have psychic powers and do not have any dependence on any weapons

  2. For the sake of the question, modern weapon means any weapon which has a dependency on gunpowder or any kind of explosive or relies on any chemical reaction (this includes bio materials). So a trebuchet is good but a tank is a no-no. So a slingshot or a crossbow is OK but a harpoon is not allowed.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Could you define "lakhs" ? $\endgroup$ – Dan Smolinske Nov 24 '15 at 15:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DanSmolinske, "lakh" is a term used in India to mean one hundred thousand. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakh $\endgroup$ – Lostinfrance Nov 24 '15 at 15:59
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @user96551, you may not have been aware that the terms "lakh" and "crore" (ten million) are not commonly known in the US and the UK. $\endgroup$ – Lostinfrance Nov 24 '15 at 16:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ When you throw around "no exceptions," you're going to trap yourself very quickly into an incredibly unstable situation regarding your definition of a "modern" weapon. Is a WWII rifle modern? how about a Civil war Cabine? A flintlock? Wherever you draw the line, individuals will immediately innnovate and cross the line. That's how the development of weapons works. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Nov 24 '15 at 20:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Harpoons? I'm thinking Moby Dick. No explosives in harpoons. $\endgroup$ – RedSonja Nov 25 '15 at 8:38

17 Answers 17

31
$\begingroup$

TL;DR: Modern weapons have a shelf-life

If you let enough time pass between the time weapons have been manufactured and "present day", the modern weapons will become non-functional. A significant aspect of modern technology is that it requires maintenance, and in the absence of the industrial infrastructure to provide replacements and spare parts, the weapons and especially the explosives (including propellant in ammunition) will only last a limited time.

Anything that hasn't been carefully mothballed and has thus been exposed to the environment will have rusted or deformed parts, explosives will become either inert or overly volatile and you will have no means to fix any of this (unless the advanced people decide to build a new arms industry). Anything that has been mothballed will require maintenance before it is useful.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Dang it, I wanted to say that! Good answer, lol. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Nov 24 '15 at 16:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It "easy" to build some rudimentary explosives with natural components (sulfur for example). So with some explosives you can reproduce guns. $\endgroup$ – Kii Nov 24 '15 at 16:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Kii To illustrate, even making a sword takes some doing. I can build a forge in my back yard and hammer one out, but that's just because several industries collaborated to give me the tools and the material. $\endgroup$ – Mike L. Nov 24 '15 at 16:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @user96551 Correct. Unless a significant number of industrialized people go out of their way to build new weapons, you'll just run out of firearms eventually. $\endgroup$ – Mike L. Nov 24 '15 at 16:28
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Do take into account that "enough time" in this sense means centuries. Right now, given a metal detector and some effort in remote eastern front swamps, you can procure WW2 weapons that will be usable with a thorough cleaning, oiling and service, no spare parts needed; the swamps pretty much preserve them eternally. In a similar way, a properly maintained gun will definitely last for many decades and can last centuries - e.g., I've used automatic rifles from late 1960ies that were a bit less accurate due to wear, but are perfectly functional. Time can make guns scarce but not totally absent. $\endgroup$ – Peteris Nov 24 '15 at 20:05
19
$\begingroup$

No

It is not possible to permanently eliminate modern weapons.

I wanted to write the answer that Mike L. wrote. Since he beat me, I'll write a minority opinion.

Politics

Anytime 3 or more people interact, you get politics (the art of persuading third parties in a dispute). Non-physical politics will eventually fail for one of those three participants which means if one of them feels strongly enough about the issue, they'll resort to violence.

In those cases, the best armed person usually wins. So there will always be an advantage to arming yourself and your clan / group better than your potential rivals are equipped.

People find a way

As Mike L. pointed out, modern weapons do have a shelf life and after an apocalypse, eventually all of those weapons will become inoperable. But people will also remember them and some survivors will likely remember how to make them. Eventually the pressures for arming your group with better weapons will become strong enough that they'll begin attempting to recreate modern weapons.

The first attempts will be crude but, if left alone long enough, the survivors will eventually recreate modern weapons.

No matter how strongly you regulate & control things, if you make it unpleasant enough for the common citizenry, they will eventually figure out a means of making them. For instance, a single gun smith could probably create a long gun from scratch.

Post & pre apocalypse weapon overlap

You will also likely have some overlap with post-apocalypse weapons being built while some pre-apocalypse weapons (artifacts of great power) still work. Remember there are still operational field artillery from the US Civil War floating around out there. So it might take a long while indeed for properly cared for equipment to all fail.

No explosives??

Your "no explosives" stipulation is not realistic or practical. Anything which can burn can be made to explode under the right conditions. So what you're really saying is that no one can burn anything anymore - the laws of chemistry have been suspended.

You can find youtube videos of coffee creamer cannons, flour cannons, and here's a "sawdust cannon". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvPL7KC1DEA

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ While what you say is correct... I am planning to concentrate all the raw material supplying industries so that this is regulated and it will be almost impossible to make new...its the existing weapons that I'm concerned about $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 24 '15 at 16:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ No matter how strongly you regulate & control things, if you make it unpleasant enough for the common citizenry, they will eventually figure out a means of making them. But if you're only worried about weapons created before the apocalypse then Mike L. is correct. Things eventually break, wear out, etc. Remember there are still operational field artillery from the US Civil War floating around out there. So it might take a long while indeed for properly cared for equipment to all fail. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Nov 24 '15 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ While it is true that the better armed person wins, you forgot that the cost of reinventing/creating modern weapons is high, so as long as there is no large organisation that can afford the initial research investment/subsidize the weapon cost through mass production, bows and swords are the better option.(greek fire (at that time a modern weapon) was lost) The raw materials for weapons could also be too expensive/too rare (imagine atomic weapons without plutonuim/uranium). $\endgroup$ – Siphor Nov 24 '15 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim2B: yes, I understand that they will figure out a way but in the absence of the raw materials required to build any modern weapons they will be limited to swords, spears and the likes...it's the existing ones I need handled... $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @siphor, with access to scrap metal which will be about in abundance, a single moderately skilled person could create a match lock weapon., ammo and gunpowder, if sulfur were available (as it is in many places, esp around volcanos) but he has the answer built into his question......his Psychic judges go also go out an kill anyone who makes gunpowder weapons. out side the colonies and strictly regulate those within to prevent it. $\endgroup$ – Eric Brown - Cal Nov 25 '15 at 15:52
6
$\begingroup$

There are almost a billion (875 million, just google it) firearms on the Earth right now.

Yes guns, and ammo, age, but in the right environment, say a dark place in a dry desert, that ordnance is going to last a long. time.

Say one new government gets it into its head to ban firearms, but the New Phoenix Enclave in AZ has found ancient arms stashed in army bases all across the Western US. They're going to steamroll any other groups who have deprived themselves of firearms.

Dies the Fire is a post-apoc story where the apocalypse itself is caused by a change in physics that prevents high pressure from developing anywhere. Basically the author wanted an excuse for a medieval post-modern world.

Something like that might be better than saying some group banned guns, or everyone forgot how valuable they were and therefore didn't think to obtain/preserve them, or even that everyone wanted peace and got rid of them (some not so altruistic dude would take advantage of that in a heartbeat).

Now, guns being rare is believable, so you could rig up some scenario where most of the common people have medieval weapons, while officers and higher-ups have modern weapons. It could even be a Shardblade/shardplate scenario a la Stormlight Archive, which could be kinda cool.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ medieval post modern world... That's kind of what I'm going for... Thanks for the tip about "Dies the fire", I will look into it... $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 9:56
5
$\begingroup$

Extremely improvable without handwaving

During the time "modern" weapons would run out of their shelf life (which could take a lot, there have been cases of AK-47 working after decades of being buried or hidden), people WILL have studied them. In a kind of hostile environment, having access to weapons will give you a better chance of surviving. If everyone from a shelter uses swords or lances, and you bring a couple of guns, you can easily conquer them, and have their resources. Or if a wild animal attacks you, like a bear, having a gun would be preferable to a sword

Building a homemade not only is easy, but particularly common in countries with heavy arms control. For example a "gun" can be made from a tube for a barrel, explosive and a bullet. Finding such resources in a post apocalyptic world wouldn't be particularly hard, barring the explosives, and unless your really way back to medieval age technologies, finding chemicals for a simple explosive wont be too hard. If your people have the enough resources for blacksmithing (since you said that swords and lances are okay), building a gun would be trivial.

I suggest to instead tone down what weapons are available or not. Anything beyond a simple gun or explosive would be far to complicated to build without industrial technologies, also a handmade gun wont be any accurate (as replicating the inner spiral of the barrel IS complicated), and they wont be particularly safe. Also the most limiting factor would be the explosives, as not everybody knows how to actually make one, especially one that's strong enough to shoot the bullet with lethal force, but wont explode the barrel and kill you.

So everybody can have access to a gun, but gunpowder and other explosives would be highly valuable and somehwat hard to find, and risky to use.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the points you are making are kind of what I'm relying on so that people are dissuaded from making new weapons but there is nothing stopping people from scavenging weapons and discovering a cache of hidden weapons, hidden generations before, which is what I want to take care of.. . $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ People will be dissuaded, but at least a few WILL try to make some weapons. About hidden caches, your only bet is on shelf life. Im sorry but I don't see a possible way of completely eliminating them from the picture. I suggest to allow guns to exist in your setting, but only bring then in rare, dramatic or very important moments. A good example (Spoilers) would be near the end of the first season of Durarara anime, where a minor villain brings a gun for the first time to the series and wounds an important character that, so far, proved to be extremely tough and almost invincible in a fight. $\endgroup$ – Silver Nov 25 '15 at 14:20
5
$\begingroup$

Given that the survivors are living in domed cities or otherwise possess sufficiently advanced technology to deal with radiation poisoning I would venture that the ability to eliminate most advanced weapons is non-existent. Technology does not disappear simply because the present means to produce it is temporarily removed.

The great difficulty with innovation is determining what is possible. Once this is known then reproducing another's results is often a trivial exercise. Every schoolchild above grade six knows the formula for gunpowder. Any high school chemistry graduate knows how to make nitrated cellulose. How gas operated firearms function is known to anyone who has had military training and to a vast number who have not. Anyone who has studied metallurgy or even military history will have a shrewd idea on how to make rifled gun barrels, receivers; and even artillery tubes and breech blocks. These things were produced at the very beginnings of industrialisation and the techniques are readily adapted to water powered tools.

The secret of steel making is equally widely known. In any case, the ability to salvage refined metals in the wake of global devastation will not sorely tax the dullest wit.

Knowledge of how modern weapons are designed is just too wide spread to suppress. In the absence of a strong central government, which the postulated conditions eliminate, some group will recreate those weapons; or reasonable facsimiles thereof.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It does take more than a general idea of how to make a firearm. Cannons can be pretty crude but still effective. A flintlock mechanism, on the other hand, requires specialized knowledge, let alone automatic weapons. If the people of the city have consciously rejected gunsmithing, they will need years of research to rediscover the construction techniques for practical handheld firearms. $\endgroup$ – user243 Nov 25 '15 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ I'm more inclined to agree with Jon's comment that it won't be so easy for someone to just make a firearm, with all the restrictions in place... However your very first sentence does make me wonder whether I could harness technology to eliminate the weapons...hmmm.. $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ Not someONE, some GROUP. I am not claiming that an individual would find creating a firearm from raw materials a reasonable proposition. However, if a community of 5000-10000 individuals were organised into any sort of co-operative community then the production of advanced weapons would not prove a terribly difficult task. People living in domed cities must have some form of community else the dome is history. People outside of the dome are also more than likely to be organised. It is just the way humans are. Social. $\endgroup$ – James B. Byrne Nov 25 '15 at 19:02
5
$\begingroup$

Make guns not effective

A resonable situation where guns would not be used is a world where for various reasons they are not a particularly effective weapon compared to other alternatives.

If the world has only swords and bows, then the motivation for stronger weapons is extremely strong as they will allow you to dominate the world (the old poem "Whatever happens we have got/the Maxim gun and they have not" has some truth in it), and [re]constructing them is comparably easy if you have any tools and manufacturing capabilities whatsoever - people have built single-shot guns in prison from scrap, and even such items are better than non-firearms and thus would be made and used if nothing better is available.

However, you can solve the 'problem' not at the supply side (lack of availability) but at the demand side (lack of desire). What if guns were not the best weapon in the world?

For example, Frank Herbert's Dune has advanced societies with very limited reliance on guns simply because of widely available personal shielding technology that protects against fast moving items and projectiles - thus, the most violent warriors still choose melee weapons just because they are the best for the job, everyone worth fighting is immune to guns so guns are left out.

In a similar manner, if magic or psychic powers are easier and more effective way to resolve conflicts to your liking - wether by offensive powers or by pacifying brainwashing that removes the desire to fight - then people will use that, and have no need for guns. Do note, that this must apply to all potential fighters; if only a small fraction (e.g. enforcers) have effective powers, than any rebels or criminals may be drawn to guns if that's the most effective thing they have.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I will look into dune but handwaving through magic or psychic powers would make the world more complex, having to explain the absence of these powers in other situations or having to accommodate them... $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 10:10
4
$\begingroup$

Even without psychic powers, eliminating firearms in a closed society is eminently possible.

In Feudal Japan, the Samurai enthusiastically embraced firearms towards the end of the civil wars period. Movies like Kagemusha and Ran show mass battles with Samurai armies facing off with the full range of weapons from their razor sharp katana to mass blocks of arquebusers. The climactic Battle of Nagashino which ended the hopes of Takeda Katsuyori unifying Japan (Tokugawa Ieyasu eventually unified Japan under the Tokugaua Shogunate). Once the Tokugawa Shogunate was established, it was quickly realized that Samurai, who needed a lifetime of training, would become irrelevant in the new society if anyone could take up firearms and defeat them. Firearms were confiscated and gunsmiths heavily regulated, and firearms passed from Japanese society from the late 1500's until the arrival of the Americans in the 1800's.

For your setup, the danger that firearms pose to closed environments could substitute for the need to maintain social status, and firearms would be seen to be more of a danger than an aid to politics or law enforcement. Even just having a firearm would be enough to encourage social shunning and shaming, and after a few generations, firearms would pass into legend as fearful devices which could open the dome to the deamon "radioactive fallout"

Add the natural deterioration of the ammunition (firearms could last for centuries and still be usable, but ammunition will only last for decades unless specially stored and maintained), and firearms will become unusable for both technical/practical reasons as well as social ones.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I will definitely have a look at feudal Japan...I think this social aspect combined with some technology might deliver what I need...thanks $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 10:20
3
$\begingroup$

Building on the other answers here, people will build bigger and more powerful weapons, unless they didn't want to. They need to either not have the need to create weaponry, or specifically set out to prevent its creation.

For instance, people living outside the domes could still remember the horrors of whatever event destroyed the world and therefore aim to prevent the creation any technology that could lead to another cataclysm. On the other hand, people living in the domes may simply have no need for such weapons (perhaps, they have access to more elegant means of offense, like psychic abilities).

I think this is as close as you could reasonably get to 'weeding out all weapons', short of 'Oh, one day, they just disappeared and everyone forgot they ever existed.'

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Won't it be the other way round ?? People living outside the dome would be in favor of weapons as they would need to survive in the harsh environment and there would also be a misguided belief of wanting to liberate the people in the dome... $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 25 '15 at 10:15
2
$\begingroup$

Yes, pretty much, assuming that there is only one government. Two of the conditions you have specified in your scenario make it possible for the authorities to control people with a completeness present day governments cannot match. The first factor is that a world population of about 1.5 million it is possible to track or spy on every individual. The second factor, which makes complete control even easier, is that nearly everyone lives in domed cities which presumably only have one or two exits each. In these circumstances it is feasible to seal the exits and perform a house to house search of the entire population.

If there are two or more rival governments which do not cooperate, or an area where there is no effective government to which people can flee, then it is a different matter and Jim2B's scenario will apply.

You do not say whether the prohibition of weapons also applies to those enforcing it. If anyone is going to subvert the policy and cause it to break down, it is most likely to be the authorities themselves.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The enforcers are going to have psychic powers which will allow them to subjugate the people so they won't have a need for these weapons...as for the government free area...the people living outside the dome are essentially that only... $\endgroup$ – user96551 Nov 24 '15 at 16:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Two points: (1) It seems like medieval Japan is an interesting point of comparison here -- they were well aware of gunpowder, but the military class generally preferred to use bladed weapons and arrows. Sounds like your enforcers are in more or less the same position. (2) Your dome-dwellers will probably be even more inclined to accept disarmament because they already accept other restrictions that help each sealed community survive in a hostile environment. $\endgroup$ – Luke R Nov 24 '15 at 19:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @user96551 Can you add that bit about psychic powers to the original question? That has an unimaginably huge effect on what solutions there are. If you have individuals who are their own weapon, and have all unanimously decided to hold a monopoly on that power, that changes everything. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Nov 24 '15 at 20:50
2
$\begingroup$

For the sake of the question, modern weapon means any weapon which has a dependency on gunpowder or any kind of explosive or relies on any chemical reaction (this includes bio materials). So a trebuchet is good but a tank is a no-no. So a slingshot or a crossbow is OK but a harpoon is not allowed.

Well, I've got one for you, and although it's a stretch, it would completely justify the inability of mankind to use explosives or any modern weaponry. You have psychic wardens, though, so we're already violating science as we know it.

Solution to bio weapons is that the wardens can sense them and disable them from great distances, over a wide area, and with little effort.

For explosives, it's harder, but I'll give it a shot.

Mankind has, as a side effect of some developing psychic powers, developed an energy field which surrounds their limbs, can penetrate vacuum, and travels further with a conduit (any matter can act as a conduit.) This field affects oxygen's fluidity, not preventing oxygen from flowing, but preventing oxygen from flowing quickly or forming/breaking bonds quickly enough for use in an explosive device. When large groups of people gather, it can become uncomfortable to breathe, since the oxygen becomes too 'slow', but this would never be a health concern due to a hard cap in the field's strength. Also, all humans take a very small hit to their aerobic endurance because of a lessened efficiency in utilizing oxygen. Unfortunately, this also prevent combustion engines and some power plants.

This effect is powerful and decays at extremely low rates. A city of 10,000 people would prevent any explosive device for hundreds of miles in every direction, and New York City at current population levels would protect most of continental America. You can even fight a forest fire by dropping a network of cables, which dozens of firefighters are connected to (holding on would work), into the fire zone, choking off the oxygen supply. This wouldn't stop the fire, but would dramatically slow its progress.

Workarounds are possible, as it is possible to use an extremely long and slow-burning fuse. It would be possible to still use explosives to harm people, but considering the distances involved, it would be unfeasible to use explosives against a city.

If it turns out that you can do other explosives without oxygen, then expand the field to affect whatever fuel they burn.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Permanently eliminating them simply ain't going to happen. Arms race and all that. Even with some of the examples given (the Tokugawa shogunate or imperial China), external forces got rid of that internal hang-up. Either they resisted and got a proper kicking, or they caved because they knew they'd get a proper kicking.

But temporarily, longbows have a lot going for them. They're relatively cheap to make, and as the English proved on French knights, they're a highly effective ranged weapon. There was a good 400 years or so where mediaeval Europe had man-portable gunpowder weapons, but only as short-range skirmish weapons; longbows were the military choice. Even cannons took some time to replace trebuchets. The biggest problem was materials technology; early guns had a nasty tendency to explode on their users, because the steel wasn't good enough. All you need for bows is a decent forest.

It's likely that guns will exist, still. A few people will have one, together with a dwindling stock of ammunition. The smart ones will have learnt how to roll their own cartridges, but even then there's the problem of where to get raw materials, even if you return to the days of black powder. In a world of bows, a modern rifle is practically a magic weapon beyond price, and it'll be treated as such. But also it'll be a target for post-apocalyptic smiths to work towards. Mediaeval smiths and engineers didn't know what was possible. Post-apocalypse, there'll be ample records of what was possible, so everyone will know that getting there is "just an engineering problem".

Justine Cronin's "The Passage" isn't the greatest post-apocalyptic novel ever, but she's got a reasonably realistic setup of how this would work.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Target the guys with the guns.

Have your domed cities in Japan, Madagascar, Indonesia. There could be millions of guns in the USA, but it is so severely irradiated (everyone targeted the USA in the apocolypse) that even with radiation meds, no-one can make it there.

The USA has 113 guns per 100 people. That is a crazy number and it's hard to believe that they could all be destroyed, with millions of people surviving. It's also hard to believe that the government/army could accumulate all of these

With 0.5 guns per 100 people, Japan is basically gun free anyway.

Now imagine a serious war breaks out, and the Japanese government requests that its citizens hand in their guns for the use of the army. The citizens do it, because Japanese culture encourages thinking about the needs of the whole,not the individual.

All we need then is for the army to go overseas to fight in the USA, which then gets nuked and all of Japans guns are unreachable.

Or maybe Japan traded away all of their weapons and no-one wasted (many) nukes on them.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

to weed out all weapons, no exceptions. Is it possible to achieve this ?

The enforcers, who control these people and regulated entry into the dome, have psychic powers

I think you answered you own question. The enforcers know if you try to sneak something in, because they have powers.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Well wouldn't they use compressed air weapons that are spring loaded, they wouldn't be crazily powerful like firearms, but they would be deadly especially to unarmored people, also No one ever pointed this out but if you fired a weapon inside the dome you might puncture it and kill everyone by letting radiation in, so that might be the real reason for banning them. Even if they didn't use firearms they could use a bunch of batteries, wire, pvc pipe to create coilguns, that aren't hypervelocity but they would match the velocities of early firearms.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ That could make for an interesting storyline. Surely would be hard to ban all weapons. People are creative enough to figure out how to make deadly weapons if that was their intent. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Mar 11 '18 at 14:25
0
$\begingroup$

Taboo

People will police each other, provided the appropriate taboos are in place.

For example, in the UK, police use horses for riot control because attacking or harming a horse is socially unacceptable.

Smoking in or near a playground is also socially unacceptable. If someone does so, someone else will likely speak up. If the offender persists, things may turn ugly.

A taboo can be instilled through education (e.g drinking and driving) or can be created through cultural experience.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

As it has been pointed out the domed cities aren't a problem, within a closed environment, especially a tightly controlled one, you can eliminate virtually anything if the lack doesn't actively kill your society. Outside is a different story, you said that the outsiders take great pains to avoid still prevalent radiation. Given that the majority of damage in a nuclear war would be sustained by cities and the majority of the metal we use is also in cities, if you're okay with eliminating metal weaponry altogether then I'd suggest that the outsiders avoid metal altogether since the majority of it is still radioactive, or was for long enough that the practice of staying the hell away from it has stuck. This leaves you with the bow and arrow, the spear and a variety of bludgeons that can be made purely from wood or from wood and stone.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

For inside the dome, it is easy: just outlaw guns and explosives. (the civil engineers won't like it) You can make the enforcers have hyperacusis: They will hear gunshots at an even longer distance, and as they are more sensible to sound, they will come to hate them with a passion, while they may remain lenient with other weapons. If your dome is vulnerable to earthquakes, there should be a seismic array, which as a side effect will detect and locate any explosive usage.

For the outside, you could make it so damp, that artisanal explosives and firearms are not reliable enough.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.