The gun symbolizes the indifference attitude of the mayor toward the lives of people in the lower class. In the story, the gun was used as a weapon by the mayor for treating the dentist to take out the mayor's teeth . It demonstrated the mayor's selfishness and cruelty when the mayor told the dentist son that:"if you[he] don't[doesn't] take out his tooth, he will shoot you. It showed that the mayor valued his own welfare the most, people who refused to help him would have to obey him under his authority given by the gun. However, it seemed like the dentist was used to such threat, he did not panic and responded “Without hurrying, with an extremely tranquil movement”. It suggested that it was very common in Colombia for the politicians to own a gun, and it was often seemed as a symbol of abused authority that putting the people into dread. It also gave a hint to the death of "twenty dead men", they were likely to be killed by the mayor's gun, and victims under the violent ruling class. The dentist wanted to take revenge upon the mayor for the twenty dead men, yet the the pain of death was permanent, which contrasted to the temporary pain brought by the rotten teeth.