[lit-ideas] Re: A Question REALLY Answered

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 19:22:13 -0800

1. Aiming a tank gun is NOT like aiming a rifle; it's a fairly technological action, requiring lots of thought while one is bouncing around inside a hot dusty metal box. The Russian tanks were much "simpler" than American designs, but that increases the need for the Iraqi tank gunner to make compensations on the fly. This would be difficult for American soldiers, too, but Americans are inside a much more comfortable and much more sophisticated metal box that does most of the compensations for the gunner.

I didn't write about this, because it's not very often that I use tank cannons. From what I know about these, John is right; it's a very complex process which requires training and practice. The tank is moving, the target is moving, and so on.

2. If we're talking about firing a rifle with a scope, the problem may be that you can clearly see the human being you are aiming at. You can even see the blood spray out of the other side of the falling corpse. To be able to fire at a single living human with a particular face is something that DOES require extensive training; it's possible to shoot once or twice without training, but after that the human feelings take over and you need some strong counter-factor that lets you shoot even after you know what's going to happen. Training supplies this.

Okay, I know about this one.

If looking at the target without a scope, say, a deer, then you only barely see it. You can make it out at 200 yards, but you have to look closely. But there's no details.

With the scope, you can see it better. But you don't have time to gaze at the deer, etc. You find it, you aim, you fire, as quickly as possible, because they move.

In practically all shots, I braced the rifle against a tree limb. Only a few times have I done a standing shot, where one stands and fires. This is difficult because you have to hold the rifle perfectly still.

You don't see blood spray out or falling corpses. I've shot quite a few deer. You aim, you squeeze the trigger, and then you peer around and see if you hit it. 99% of the time, it simply disappeared. Did you miss and it ran away? Or did you hit it and it's knocked down in the grass? When a 30.06 rifle goes off, it's quite loud and the recoil is remarkable. You don't see anything for a few seconds.

It's very rare to see a deer get hit. A few years ago, I shot a deer. My father was standing several dozen yards away and he watched. He told me that was the first time he'd ever seen a deer get hit, and he'd been hunting 50 years or so. The deer gets knocked down, as if you hit it with a baseball bat. The velocity and mass of the bullet is considerable momentum, so the deer gets knocked down hard. In this case, all four of his legs were broken.

You're thinking perhaps of sniper fire, where a scope is used and the
target is far away and stationary. In ordinary practice on a firing
range (again at stationary targets) telescopic sights aren't used
(unless people are being specially trained in the use of them). A twelve
year old kid could learn to fire an M-16 (the common individual weapon
in Iraq) in a couple of hours. An M-16 is a light weapon, effective when
fired in short bursts. One would, I think, seldom have the luxury of
holding a weapon perfectly still while firing it at stationary targets,
etc., in the conditions that prevail in Iraq
The problem with our 'friendly' Iraqi troops can't be that they're
unable to fire a modern rifle. This is just silly.

The quote from the magazine is about the usage of rifle scopes. They're not talking about snipers, which is an entirely different skill. This is just ordinary scopes on rifles. Iraqi don't know how to use scopes.


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