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Who to Watch Out For

Arma Borealis notes from his time in Afghanistan:

On a personal note, the author’s observations about the Lee Enfield and its usage squares with what I observed in Afghanistan. Don’t worry too much about dudes with AKs; it is the old guy with a bolt gun that you need to be concerned about.

I think this is truth. It’s the guy who aims you should to be afraid of. Prior to the Virginia Tech massacre, Charles Whitman’s shooting rampage from a clock tower at the University of Texas was the largest mass shooting in US history, most of which was accomplished with a Remington 700.

10 Responses to “Who to Watch Out For”

  1. Ronnie says:

    I think Charles Whitman had an M1 Carbine with him up in that tower too, you know, one of those darn “assault weapons” that the gun haters in various state governments and at the federal level have either banned, or want to see banned.

  2. Jake says:

    In general, you’re correct. But beware of the ones who plan ahead, too. The Virginia Tech killer only got as many victims as he did because he chose his time and place well, and made advance preparations.

    By chaining the doors shut, he bought himself time. By choosing a victim disarmament zone, he made sure there would be nobody in a position to effectively resist. By attacking classrooms, he had targets that were packed close together with no good escape route, so aiming was less important. In fact, even though it’s estimated that he fired at least 174 shots, “only” 30 people were killed and 17 wounded. Even assuming every victim was hit twice (which is not the case), that’s only a 54% hit ratio.

    Imagine how much lower that would have been if he hadn’t been firing into crowds with nowhere to run to.

  3. JKB says:

    They’re arming 9 sharpshooters in each company with the M110 to combat this problem. Seems in the barren hills, the engagement ranges are 600-800 meters. A bit out of range for a M4 used effectively in Iraq. Although, M4 is proving effective in the flatlands.

  4. I was also speaking specifically about Afghanistan. I do not intend to address any sort of domestic situation…

    The other factor is not just the bolt gun, its the old guy. As has been reported in the media, Taliban marksmanship is poor. There is no formal Taliban Rifle Fundamentals Training School. The best school is experience, so the experienced insurgents who have been knocking around for awhile sometimes have more expertise.

  5. As another thought, I thought it was notable that there was actually a well written, non hysterical, informed article about firearms from the NYT…

  6. Dave says:

    Well I recall an article that went in to great detail as to why the insurgents have poor accuracy. As I recall the gist of the problems went like this. Old worn out rifles and, mismatched old, corroded ammo that was stored in questionable conditions. Insufficient training . Uncorrected vision problems. An over reliance on full automatic fire.

  7. Jujube says:

    What about James Huberty? Just looking up stats, Whitman killed 14 people, Huberty 21, Virginia Tech 32. Huberty had a variety of weapons though……

  8. PeterT says:

    You missed George Hennard…. 22 people, though based on the writing quality of the blurb I read, that may have included people killed with his truck when he rammed the building…

  9. Peter says:

    1) Is there a link to this NYT article they reference?

    2) I would have asked the bloggers directly, but I’m not about to sign up for something I don’t need/want just to do so. SOmeone should clue them in about that.

  10. Peter,

    Whoops, I forgot to link in the post. Sorry!

    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/a-firsthand-look-at-firefights-in-marja/

    It is free. I read the NYT when I got it for free but I don’t pay them…

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