20 December 2007


Mikhail Kalashnikov's Address to a UN Arms Trade Conference

Here's the money quote:

Remember the ancient saying: Vis pacem - para bellum - if you want peace - be ready for the war. Within the whole history of our civilization, no one disproved it. So let the weapons be not the means of terror, but the way to defend peace, democracy and law. I wish you all health, success and fruitful work. With best wishes, Mikhail Kalashnikov

Mikhail Kalashnikov is probably the most noteworthy living small arms designer (no, not a small designer of arms, a designer of small arms), as Sam Colt and John Browning have been out of commission for some time now. But it is interesting as the designer of what is probably the most universally villified rifle justifies his invention. The AK-47 is the Rodney Dangerfield assault rifle, it gets no respect, dismissed as a mass manufactured weapon of terrorists, while in actual fact it is one of the best designs of the past 60 years, which certainly helps explain its longevity. I've heard military types talk about how a modernized AK platform like the Galil and other recent adaptations ought to be considered to eventually replace Eugene Stoner's AR platform, but I doubt patriotism would allow that.

But regardless I thought Kalashnikov, aside from being a commie, had some great points.

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