One example of a person versus technology conflict is the presence of guns. Although most of the fighting in the story does not involve guns, their presence or potential presence elevates the conflict above normal fist fighting. Guns are dangerous and they make regular neighborhood disputes more serious.
"A fair fight isn't rough," Two-Bit said. "Blades are rough. So are chains and heaters and pool sticks and rumbles. Skin fighting isn't rough. It blows off steam better than anything. There's nothing wrong with throwing a few punches. Socs are rough. …” (Ch. 2)
The Socs and the greasers fight each other constantly. As long as these fights are just using fists, they will not be deadly. When a gun gets involved, especially in a large fight such as a rumble, there is a potential for serious danger or legal problems.
Although we usually do not think of knives as technology, they are a type of technology. It is a switchblade knife that helps cause all of the drama when Johnny kills the Soc Bob in the park. Pony has no weapon. Johnny has a knife, and because he has it he uses it.
Bob, the handsome Soc, was lying there in the moonlight, doubled up and still. A dark pool was growing from him, spreading slowly over the blue white cement. I looked at Johnny's hand. He was clutching his switchblade, and it was dark to the hilt. My stomach gave a violent jump and my blood turned icy. (Ch. 4)
Johnny and Pony have to go on the run after this, because they are afraid that the police will not understand what happened. They think that the law enforcement officials will just see them as hoodlums and murderers. The truth is that Johnny had the knife because he was scared and wanted to protect himself. If it had not been a knife, Bob would have been alive.