Weapons are weapons, gardening tools are gardening tools. Kitchen utensils are kitchen utensils. Even though all of these things MAY
be used for purposes other than their designed intent, that doesn't change the fact that as human beings, with all our cultural conditioning, we know a weapon when we see one. I submit that seeing, using, collecting, or playing with weapons, is NOT
in itself violence. But such activities do provide nutriment to subtle mental impressions and conditioning that is counterproductive to the spirit of ahimsa. And I do NOT
think that means direct intent to commit harm, but rather is a subtle and more difficult to recognize negative influence on our mental processes. The fact that so many feel the need to defend their practices speaks volumes.
So collect, play with, and glorify weapons if you so desire. I do NOT
think you are evil. I doNOT
think you are violent. I do NOT
think you intend to harm others. I DO
think you are harming yourself and creating conflict in your own mind and watering seeds of fear in other peoples minds. But people gotta do what they gotta do 'til they ain't gotta do it anymore.