At one time or another, I’ve probably seen every episode of BtVs and most episodes of Angel, but haven’t really watched it religously. There are a couple of questions I have though. Feel free to spoil episodes I may not have seen.
Why, as far as I recall, do no vampires use guns? Pretty much all the human characters use one at some point, as do plenty of demons but I don’t remember a scene where a vampire uses one, even those who are up on modern culture like Angel(us), Trick, Spike and Darla. Even the wild-west themed brothers didn’t use guns.
Why the secrecy? We know the US Government is fully aware of the supernatural, so are a lot of influentual English. It’s not much of a stretch to assume most world governments are aware of the vampire menace. I’m not sure what the good guys are acheiving by keeping the public in the dark. Surely it would be better to issue everybody and his dog with a stake, some holy water and a crucifix and keep everybody on their toes.
Of course if there answers are ‘because that’s the way it is. Deal with it’ thats fine, I just wonder if there’s an in-series explaination.
I don’t think there’s ever an explanation given, but it wouldn’t really make much sense for vampires to use guns. They won’t kill other vampires or demons, and they will kill people - but vampires would rather do that themselves. Also, guns are noisy. Unless you’re about to run into a Slayer - and really, what are the odds? - a gun would be almost useless.
Well to the first question: Why would a vampire need a gun? The demon powering the body is enough to take on anything around, and guns just ruin the thrill of the kill. Plus, it would likely only work on humans, which vamps can handle quite easily on their own. Millions of little Happy-Meals on legs, remember?
As for the second question: Global panic is the best bet, coupled with the intense desire to control the Forces of Darkness. If everybody knows about vamps and such, then there will be chaos nad blood in the streets. Besides, it has been shown, both directly and obliquely, that vamps are well-insinuated into the existing power structure. Why would they want to openly declare war on themselves?
Your standard straight-out-the-grave vamp yeah, wouldn’t want the pleasure of his kill ruined. But if you take a clever, forward thinking, leader like Trick, and give him a crew, you’d think he’d use whatever advantages were available. I don’t see Buffy surviving a well planned 6 vamp ambush with firearms, although she’d dust em easily hand to hand.
Also, I thought most generic demons could be ‘killed’ through purely physical means, as with most of Angel’s hand to hand combats. Modern firepower would be very useful here surely?
It all comes down to ego, and there isn’t a vamp around (with one exception) that doesn’t think they could kill the Slayer by themselves, without resorting to manmade weaponry.
(Of course, the real reason vamps don’t use guns is that it turns BtVS into Hill Street Blues.)
Darla used guns in her final appearance on BtVS. See how well that worked out for her? Adam also used conventional weaponry against Buffy, albeit a greatly enhanced Buffy, which also didn’t work out too well.
We know of two national governments that attempted to harness the powers of the underworld. One was Nazi Germany and the other is the United States. Neither was particularly successful, the US’s Initiative failing to the point of having its headquarters ordered to be filled in with cement (which didn’t happen, but the order was still given).
We also know that there are demons highly placed in the US government (or specifically, we know of one in the Senate, who was positioning herself for the Presidency) and we also know about at least one town government, Sunnydale’s, which was aware of demonic activity and actively worked to cover it up. It’s not to demonkind’s advantage to have their activities well known amongst the general populace so it’s reasonable to believe they take action at various levels to minimize knowledge of their existence and activities. Non-governmental agencies, for instance Wolfram and Hart, also act to conceal supernatural activities.
There is also the willful blindness that humans seem to have regarding the supernatural. Witness Buffy’s “coming out” speech to Joyce in S2, to the effect of “how many times have you washed the blood out of my clothes” and Joyce was still strongly in denial. That denial seemed to have broken down somewhat in S3 around the time of the formation of MOO and, in Sunnydale at least, was pretty much completely gone as people fled the town en masse.
Plenty of the conventions Whedon adopted for the show are illogical, intended only as devices to keep the story moving forward. As original as he is, he is not the guy who invented this concept; it’s pretty standard practice. It’s best to keep in mind that BVtS is not intended as an educational tool.
Others have given “within the story” reasons, but I find the meta-reason more compelling: As *Buffy *was written as a metaphor for High School as Hell, the reason the grownups are in denial is that grownups often *are *in denial about the dangers their kids face. Just like real adults feel overwhelmed about drugs, gangs, date rape, school shooting, frat hazing and other teen ills to the point where they deny their own children are at risk from them, Joss’s adults are in denial about vampires, demons, witches and boyfriends who turn into monsters after you have sex with them. Even when they momentarily break through their self-absorption to notice that something strange is going on, they rationalize it, sometimes to absurd lengths, so they don’t have to deal with the fact that the body count at Sunnydale High is rather alarming.
The first couple of seasons, besides Giles, the only adults who learn about demons do so from Buffy, because the Scooby Gang needs their help (or, like Principal Snyder, they’re Not of the Good, and try to cover things up.) As the kids get older, the adults come to admit they know at least some of what’s going on, and they meet grown-ups who they haven’t told themselves, but still know about the demon world. They find adults (like Rack, the magic-dealer*; Willy the Snitch, etc.) who are benefiting from the demon world. They meet more Watchers and Willow meets the coven in England. Principal Wood knew about Slayers long before he met Buffy, of course. And, of course, the Initiative, but they are literally an underground organization. Over on Angel, there’s Wolfram and Hart, which employees both demons and humans. Eventually, it’s apparent that at least some adults are “in on it”, but are either actively covering things up, are in actual denial, or are in denial in front of the kids. As the kids get older, they are allowed to know that grown-ups knew all along, they just didn’t know what to do about it - or they were actually benefiting from the very things hurting the kids. Kind of like life, no?
*although to be fair, we’re never certain whether Rack is human or demon.
To be fair (and to play along for the sake of discussion), 99% of the vampires Buffy, um, slays, are just out on the hunt: they’re not specifically out to get her. They’re feeding. So they don’t need guns. When a badguy is after Buffy specifically, it makes sense that they would usually go to the weapons they know: supernatural ones. Why bother with the clumsy bang bang and probable inaccuracy of a *human *weapon when you have Hell’s fury at your beck? Right?
If I were a vampire, I would use a gun. Not necessarily on humans, but if I am a superstrong and fast vampire, and am fighting another superstrong and fast vampire, a shotgun to the face would give me just the edge I need to ensure victory. It may not kill the vampire, but if I shoot it in the face and then tear it to shreds while its eyeballs are a pile of goop in the back of his head, he will be dead.
A sword in the hands of a vampire would be equally deadly, if not more.
Actually I think low-level Buffyverse demons can easily be killed by firearms. I know of at least one case for sure and vaguely think it has probably happened at other times, in the Angel series. In the episode where Angel and Gunn are masquerading as members of a heist to steal an ancient and cursed shroud, one of the demons that pulls the heist with them takes a bullet right in the head at the end of the episode and it kills him dead–and instantly.
I think a lot of the “stock” demons (whose race is never clearly revealed, or is of a race that is primarily restricted to a one episode appearance as minor players) seem to be fairly susceptible to most forms of being killed, just like humans are. The only difference is most of the demons in the Buffyverse are superstrong at a bare minimum, so they don’t “need” firearms in their day-to-day dealings.
The more powerful demons are pretty clearly going to be unphased by firearms. “The Beast”, “Marcus Hamilton”, “Skyp” and et al. wouldn’t be slowed down by gunfire. Some of them probably would be hurt by gunfire, but have means of protecting themselves from it, for example the demon sorceror Cyvus Vail appears very frail physically. I imagine a gunshot would kill him, but his magical abilities are so significant I imagine he could easily deal with firearms and prevent himself from being hit.
Skip was killed by gunfire. True, the MoG had to literally break a piece of him off for it to work but once he had a vulnerable spot he was susceptible.
Only on very rare occasions has a Buffyverse demon been shown as requiring a specific method to kill it. Xander encountered one that could only be drowned, Angel and Buffy met up with one who was killed by smashing the jewel it rather foolishly wore in the middle of its forehead and so on. And of course vampires have a short list of specific ways they can be killed.