Posts Tagged ‘combat’

The High of Handling Guns

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Lola Medina conducting a product demo at the offices of Centre Firearms movie prop gun manufacturer_circa 1955There’s a bit of a rush when you get around guns, isn’t there?

You can feel an energy shift when someone brings out some newly purchased rifle or revolver. Yet we rarely talk about just what that shift means or how it affects us. Is it intimidation? The thrill of being in the presence of potential danger? Maybe it’s simply human nature to keep such things to ourselves.

Whatever it is, some people –women as much as men– just plain enjoy handling, learning about, and shooting firearms. Doing so can be cathartic and spirit stirring, an exhilarating hobby to enjoy at gun ranges. For others, often regionally influenced, gun ownership is a rite of passage. Still others like the kick of ownership without the hassles of usage, and many of us don’t even own guns but get into their lore, power, and mythology. (more…)

Brian Williams, War-face

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

BRIANS WORLD_Where Excuses Go to DieBrian “Get to the choppa!” Williams’s character lapse makes him one.

So much for Brian Williams’s war-face, eh? I don’t know if some of the Gonzo from his friendship with the late Hunter Thompson rubbed off, but it turns out the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot of Williams’s career may be his having forgotten that journalists aren’t free to insert themselves in the stories they report.

At least Williams had the sense to step away from his anchor desk before NBC could suspend him, as it has. The move separates him from lesser public figures who might busy themselves with all the attention or be convinced by others to turn it in their favor, something that rarely ends well.

There’s also the fact that, as a passenger in a Chinook troop-transport helicopter, your visibility is extremely limited. Without the benefit of combat experience or theater of operations training, it’d be nearly impossible to differentiate which helicopter in any convoy was actually being aimed at. Think about it, amidst all the sounds of combat – automatic weapons fire, shouting, explosions – would you be able to distinguish between RPG rounds and the flash-bang orange glow of infrared countermeasures (ICMs) being released around you? ICMs BRAIN WILLIAMS_DEATH OR STORY_Where Excuses Go to Dieare, after all, designed to confuse missile optics and throw off rocket trajectories, and pilots navigating threat zones have to be specially trained for these potentially blinding and disorienting visuals.

Besides, when you’re in a convoy taking fire, it matters little whether the first helicopter is being shot at or the last: the convoy is taking fire. If one of its soldiers gets hit by a piece of shrapnel, he’ll be eligible for a Purple Heart. And we always hear soldiers claim to be all “in this together” and that they’re fighting for the guy next to them.

So while embedded reporters certainly aren’t soldiers, the only real-world recognition they get is an unspoken eligibility to use the word “we.” Williams was in a convoy that took fire, and he technically faced the same danger as the other passengers, in uniform and out. He could’ve been killed. So, “we.” End of story. (more…)