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The First Casualty.
Sometimes stories, photographs or videos circulating from conflicts simply do not make sense. A case in point: a video posted earlier this year by an apparent sympathizer of the Free Syrian Army, a screen grab of which is above.
Look at those submachine guns. At a glance they look like standard MP-5’s, with non-standard barrel extensions. But who would do that? There is no sound reason to take a compact and well-balanced (if tactically limited) submachine gun and make it so unwieldy. Can you imagine trying to run down a corridor, turn a corner, and fire that thing? Or get into and out of a car with it? Or go through a window? Or rappel or swim? Nope. Of course not. It just would not do, at least not for the return you’d get on the effort. And why would you bother? If you needed a weapon with a greater muzzle velocity or range than what a standard MP-5 could offer, you wouldn’t seek out extension barrels of such absurd length. You’d opt for an assault rifle, of which there are myriad strong and smaller options.
But enough about firearms for a moment, because there is a reason this group of would-be submachine guns doesn’t pass the sniff test. They are not submachine guns. They are something else altogether.
Soon on the NYT, a cautionary tale about the statements of combatants, and accepting them at face value, no matter your sympathies.
Remember: Sometimes what interests us about weapons is not the weapons themselves, but what the weapons (we use the word generously here) are trying to tell us.
Really like this tumblr preview piece! Refreshing NYT.