Guns are ubiquitous in the world of the novel, highlighting the totally pervasive violence of life in the Kingston ghetto (and then, later in the novel, in New York City). As weapons that allow people to be killed quickly and easily, guns encapsulate the casual attitude that many of the characters have toward violence and the sense that, in the ghetto, life is treated as disposable. The fact that characters like Bam-Bam are given guns as young teenagers highlights how easy it is for ordinary people in Kingston, some of whom are still children, to wield the power of taking the life of another. Alongside this, guns are also an important symbol in relation to the theme of masculinity and sexuality. Guns are often thought of as phallic symbols, meaning that they both resemble penises and have cultural connotations related to male genitalia. The idea of guns as phallic is illustrated through Bam-Bam and Demus’s interrelated desires to shoot and kill after getting high on cocaine. Many of the male characters in the novel experience their own desire in a violent way, and the will to shoot someone and the will to have sex sometimes appear as different versions of the same impulse. Finally, supplying guns––like supplying cocaine––is used by some characters as a tool of asserting control over people. For example, Josey gives his crew guns and cocaine in exchange for them killing targets of his choice. These guns are originally supplied by Louis Johnson and Doctor Love, highlighting the fact that Josey himself is under the influence of these figures and thus of the CIA.
Guns Quotes in A Brief History of Seven Killings
I remember when that was the only place any man, no matter what side you on, could escape a bullet. The only place in Kingston where the only thing that hit you was music. But the fucking people soil it up with bad vibes, better if they did just go into the studio one morning and shit all over the console, me no going say who.
Nobody who kill a police going to hell but is something else to kill the singer. I let Josey Wales tell me that the Singer is a hypocrite, and he playing both sides taking everybody for idiot. I let Josey Wales tell me that he have bigger plans and is high time we done be ghetto stooge for white man who live uptown and don’t care about we until election time. I let Josey Wales tell me that the Singer is a PNP stooge who bow for the Prime Minister. I let Josey Wales tell me to shoot up three more line and I won’t care who.