By Dan Shea
“There are no American troops in Baghdad!” – Baghdad Bob. Recently re-iterated by our Commander-in-Chief.
I couldn’t resist starting this issue’s Sitrep with the above quote. If you get it, you get it. If not, well... It made me smile, so I figure it will for a lot of the readers as well. Especially if you’re active duty and over in…. well, never mind.
“Training is not the responsibility of one party in the Armed Forces. No one can say that training is the responsibility of this party, or this person. It is the responsibility of all levels in the Armed Forces.” – Saddam Hussein, Fearless Leader & President of Iraq (retired).
That recently retired Head of State had a point there. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all persons are properly trained. This is regardless of whether we’re discussing a military unit like a squad, a platoon, or a company, or if it’s just taking someone to the range to shoot machine guns. If you’re taking them, even if you just meet them there, you should be acting responsibly and trying to help with safety, and passing on the knowledge of arms to them. Our readers tend to be knowledgeable on fully automatic weapons among others, so I’m focusing on that. Yes, I was just at a range and watching a “Gun Guy” pass on this martial pastime and history to some youths, and that always makes me happy. You hear so much negativity towards firearms in the media, almost always it’s not factual, and almost always it’s completely divorced from the reality of who the people in the firearms community are. Sure, we’ve got our share of idiots and hate-mongers, but there isn’t any community that doesn’t. Just go to YouTube for the “Hey Bubba, Watch This!” moments and look online at the trash spewed by a few people wherever they can make posts. That’s not the majority though, and I really enjoyed watching the discipline of arms, and the history being shared by that gentleman.
If you’re new to SAR please understand that this section is the place where I get to say a few personal things, opinions about the state of military small arms, collecting, or our community. We’ve hit the newsstands again pretty hard starting with this issue with our new makeover. We didn’t even have to go on Reality TV for that. We had to trim the number of newsstand issues down and go quarterly for a while as we built the online magazine – like most other magazines have done. Now that we’re back, we’re giving readers six issues a year, plus the massive online resource.
Primarily, we’re giving our take on current small arms and accessories, keeping some intriguing historical articles, but moving most of the newly written historical articles on rare and arcane weapons onto SmallArmsOfTheWorld.com so they can reach a wider audience. The website is around 100,000 articles, photos, manuals, test reports, historical documents and other related items now, and growing exponentially.
If you have libraries of documents you want preserved in this manner, please let us know. A lot of our older readers are beginning to realize just how important The Archive Project is, and are participating. Essentially, we’ll scan the manuals and documents properly, make them searchable, and put them online so the information will last forever, for future generations. This is a “Pay” site after the first free month, it’s only $2.97 per month, charged automatically monthly and included with a subscription to SAR. This helps amortize the cost of the people working, scanning, and presenting this information online. A project like this takes a lot of effort, time, and money to continue building, so please help out if you can.
Also with this issue, Jeff Zimba moves on from doing the layout. After almost 18 years of being “On the Mag” once a month, he’s gotten a real job with Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), an organization that he’s devoted himself to for many years. About 20 years back, Jeff was awarded the prestigious “Doc Garcelon” award for his activism and service to the community regarding Second Amendment Rights. It’s nice to see him working full time with SAM now, and he’ll be a regular contributor to SAR as well.
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