Good question rs.
The idea around the name is that nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are capable of taking out a whole population with one event, while bullets and bombs require multiple sequential events to accomplish the same goal.
The whole idea of 'taking out' anyone revolts me. I choose to work where I do because what I do makes it possible to survive such an event.
I suppose the "moral" thing to do would be to just avoid getting involved with defense against weapons of mass destruction because of the taint such a concept places on those of us who do this kind of work.
Several years ago the "Committee for Responsible Genetics" and the "Foundation for Economic Trends" argued that making treatments and vaccines against biological weapons created a "first strike capability." They then concluded that we should do away with programs to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests against such things and ask the world to sign an agreement. It is interesting to note that Iraq signed such an agreement, but that did not stop Saddam.
Then, a New Yawka, Richard Preston published the "Hot Zone," the movie "Outbreak" came out and there was a disaster in Japan when Aum Shinrykio released poison gas in the Tokyo subway system.
The world has been very different since then. Saddam Hussein really did have enough Anthrax to eliminate a large segment of the world's population. The stuff has not been found yet but records and knowledge of its production were reported by his now "late" son-in-law.
It pays to be careful; and, like you mentioned elsewhere on this site, make sure you lock your door.
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