By Brian Geiser
At the turn of the 20th Century, the high-calibur Gatlin gun was modified and advanced to become the machine gun — one of the most murderous weapons of WWI. During the inter-war period, a lighter version of the automatic, rapid-fire weapon was created in the form of the sub-machine gun. The Tommy-gun (Thompson sub-machine gun) was the famous example. It and other countries’ versions were designed to fire standard pistol bullets. The sub-machine gun was light weight, short and was good for close-in, urban environments. Unfortunately, because of the short barrel and smaller caliber bullets, it wasn’t so good in large-scale warfare where more accurate, longer-range weapons were needed. This was especially necessary on the wide-open battlefields of Eastern Europe during WWII. First the Germans and then the Russians developed rapid-fire, longer-barrel, high-caliber automatic weapons that fired rifle ammunition — the assault rifle. The M-16 made famous during Vietnam was the American version of this lineage.
The “elite” (the rulers) had long ago determined that the real enemy was not other states (countries, nations, whatever jingoist term you prefer) but the masses of their own “citizens”. Post-Vietnam, it was understood that there would not really be war between states but that the people were the enemy. And due to financial manipulations over the century, the people had been forced into urban environments. Hence, a sort-of reverse evolution has occurred. They took the powerful assault rifle and kept the rifle ammunition but shortened the barrel so as to make it more effective in close-in battles. Battles in which a soldier is assaulting the inside of a house or the spaces in-between buildings. The rifle bullet “gets the job done” and since the distances are not large, the longer barrel and associated longer-range accuracy are not needed.
This change in targets has parallels with other weapons. Few seem to notice that chemical weapons are not allowed in wars between states and neither are hollow-point bullets (pistol ammunition that was developed to give it more destructive power). Both of those effective close-in combat weapons are allowed for use by a state’s government on the real enemy – their own populace.
Look at those soldiers wearing black in the image. That’s so they don’t have to change for the more common mode of attack on the “enemy” – the night time assault. It’s urban camouflage worn at all times.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
“Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”
– John Basil Barnhill Indictment of Socialism (#3) from Barnhill-Tichenor Debate on Socialism (1914)