Merry Christmas, blessings on this feast day of the Lord’s Circumcision, and happy Saint Basil’s day!
Weapons history enthusiasts were sad last month to see the passing of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47. The Telegraph posted a short article with photographs and video: “Kalashnikov inventor dies aged 94.” Correspondence between Kalashnikov and Patriarch Kirill has publically surfaced; read “Kalashnikov ‘feared he was to blame’ for AK-47 rifle deaths.” Alfred Nobel had similar concerns about dynamite, but he willed his fortune to award the Nobel Prizes as an atonement. Maybe, the Russian state could offer a similar honor in Kalashnikov’s memory. However, the Russkies should ensure that such awards not end up in the hands of men like Le Duc Tho, Yasser Arafat, and Al Gore and that they would go to worthy recipients—unlike Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama not even nine months into his first term.
Speaking of weapons history, I recommend that you visit the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum if you ever get the chance. It used to be at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, but the military is moving it to Fort Lee in Virginia. The place pretty much has every kind of gun, ammunition, and tank ever made. The museum director used to be an eccentric but genial officer who knew everything about the evolution of arms. He may still be there. He was a tough guy and may live forever.
Mikhail Kalashnikov—memory eternal!