One review I found contained this little tid-bit:
The curse of surpriseAnyway, one key element of the book is the motto of the weapons shops:
The atomic engineer Neelan, one of three main viewpoint characters in The Weapon Makers , suffers to the full what I call the van Vogtian curse of surprise. Not only is Neelan often startled by events, and struck dumb by realizations — sometimes twice on the same page — but he is even surprised, confused, or dumbfounded by things he already knows.
"The right to buy weapons is the right to be free".
The weapon shops are a court of last resort for people suffering from the injustices of the Empire of Isher. They form the opposition. Reminds me of a phrase used in England: the loyal opposition. I am wondering if this an idea whose time has come, or maybe it's already here.