The text you posted this morning was filled with with size, font, and other tags. Which, given they don't work on this board, made the post a cluster-fuck of shit. The cleaned up post is vastly better. It was explained somewhere in the Behind the Scenes stuff/interviews it is explained that energy weapons aren't common in the 'rim' (the outer, still "wild" planets of the Alliance of Planets) because they're too complex and expensive to maintain, repair and charge. Think about it. A gun is some springs, metal, and pins. Not much complex there. A laser gun is going to have circuitry, batteries and lots of other things to limit its ability as a weapon. If you firing your laser pistol and dies you're fucked. If you've a enough bullets on you, you can fire a gun forever. We do see a laser weapon in an upcoming episode and even get a hint of how "useess" they can be in the fronteir. Hell, we even get a glimpse of that when Jayne grows frustrated with the Alliance stun-gun in "Ariel" he calls it a "high-tech piece of crap" when it fails to effect a locked door.