An energy type weapon is designed to subdue the target without killing it : the wounds are small but painful, the beam cauterizes the wound and it's fairly quiet. It's a civilised weapon.
A powder propelled type weapon is designed to kill the target and scare its opponent : the wound can be huge, it bleed a lot, the sound is horrifying. It's a human weapon. -- Anon Guest
The argument against humanity joining Galactic Society went like this: Have you seen their weaponry?
When it came to weapons of mass destruction, the humans were in a perpetual arms race with their mortal enemy - other humans. They got incredibly good at making weaponry that would terrify any sane mind. But humans were not, according to Galactic Standards, sane.
These were a people who would ban a child's sweet because of the toy inside and its inherent dangers, yet continue to leave automatic firearms lying around a home, or in the hands of anyone with an agenda. Who would rather let kindergarteners die en masse than regulate their horrifying guns. And that should have been the end of that. It wasn't.
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