A lit road flare in your hand is less recognizable than the shape of an AK-47 rifle. As a kid I once heard an adult describing U.S. Army soldiers in Vietnam who’d pulled AK-47s from the mud, shouldered or ditched their M-16s, and fought back with the superior rifle. It’s an impression that’s outlasted all subsequent glorification.
Take the AK-47 off the battlefield and into in Idaho strip mall, as the serial bank robber known as the AK-47 Bandit did earlier this week, and everyone will know just how much business you mean. Snap in a 75-round capacity drum magazine and the police will know it too. With one of their own recently having caught a round in Chino from the very rifle in question, there’s no forgetting.
People like this only head in one direction: toward Zero Hour. It’s a Scarface ending where, afterward, the mistakes, bold moves, and bullet holes are tallied, the clock is reset to zero, and everyone waits for the next one. For some in Lancaster, such a clock was just reset.
The AK-47 Bandit is also suspected of robberies in Vacaville, Sacramento, and North Bend, Washington. On Wednesday, at the East Idaho Credit Union, the man the Salt Lake City FBI believes is the same suspect entered a bank wearing a ballistic vest, gloves, a ski mask, and carrying what is most likely an SGL21-61 model. Witnesses have described him as being highly professional and issuing orders with a command presence to match that of his chosen firearm.
(Ak-47s in strip malls, huh? What are we lookin’ at here, a tripped out Afghan combat vet visiting Anytown, USA – with a vengeance? Don’t get me started on the Catch 22-isms of American forces in Afghanistan, or what some soldiers are bringing home.)
If the AK-47 Bandit were to open fire during one of his robberies, particularly in a rural bank lacking the fortification of thick plexiglass, bullet-catchers wouldn’t have a chance. Particle-board teller windows and copy machines aren’t made to withstand the impact of high velocity 7.62 rounds. Any small arms fire traveling at 2329 feet-per-second would shred whatever it hits like it was dropped into a blender, which is why the AK has long been considered a weapon of mass destruction.
If the AK-47 Bandit brings it, one only needs to consider the North Hollywood Shootout to imagine what it’ll look like. Zero Hour.