AK 47’s biggest fans? Syrians? Congolese? No! Americans!
By Shlomo Maital
A boring short news item datelined Moscow: “Russian maker of AK-47s sells stake to investors”. The Russian government is raising money by selling 49% of the company that makes AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles to private investors. The weapon is named after its inventor, General Mikhail T. Kalashnikov.
“Izhevsk Machine Works…returned to profitability in recent years in large part because of robust sales to U.S. civilians. …The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of small arms, bringing in about $1.2 b. worth of guns in 2011. …Because of so many ‘bootlegs’ (copies), producing the gun of choice for a broad spectrum of people who carry firearms, from child soldiers in Africa to terrorists to rappers, was never good business for the factory known as Izhmash, until sales to relatively wealthy U.S. buyers picked up….40 per cent of the factory’s output went to gun buyers there – about the same number as bought by the Russian military.”
Why do ordinary Americans need AK 47’s, or their civilian version? It’s obvious. To protect themselves from the bad guys – who also have AK-47’s.
The crazed shooter at the Washington Navy Yard who mowed down many innocent people used a civilian version of the M-16, a lethal semi-automatic weapon that fires bursts of three bullets – burp burp burp. That way, even if you have poor aim, you still kill your target. And the shooter did use it as a semi-automatic.
Despite this, effective gun control legislation in the U.S. remains a fantasy, as the powerful NRA National Rifle Association dominates politics. The U.S. cannot even ban purchase of semi-automatic weapons, even though such guns have no conceivable use in hunting or self-defense. This is simply insanity.
There is of course an upside to this story. With its fiscal deficits, the U.S. can solve them all forever by zero-ing the defense budget ($729 b. in 2012) and firing every single U.S. soldier. Just put ordinary American citizens into the field, who own an AK-47, and they will easily match Russia’s AK-47 wielding army. And what’s more – the Americans who own AK-47’s are mostly nutty and extreme. So the Russians won’t have a chance.