14 August 2007

Now what?

(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)

In this photo (ED:it's been removed from Yahoo's site - here's the cached version) you'll see an Iraqi woman who claimed the two bullets she's holding in her hand hit her house.

Coupla problems here from a gun nut's perspective.

1. The only way those bullets (cartidges to be precise) could have hit her house was if someone threw them or they fell out of a passing helicopter ferrying troops around.

2. Looks like .223/5.56 rounds. Now the stickler here is that as far as I know, standard US Army issue 5.56 rounds are the SS109 round. They have a very distinctive green tip. You'll note on the photo that the bullets in question (BIQ) are lacking a green tip. The BIQ look like plain jane FMJ to me.

Now there's all sorts of possible explanations - perhaps the Iraqi army isn't issued the 109 rounds, or our own forces aren't utilizing them exclusively (can anyone confirm or deny this one?); perhaps the rounds came from one of many contractors in Iraq now - Blackwater, Triple Canopy, etc... Or perhaps the rounds just came off the open gun market in Iraq, which I understand is thriving.

One thing IS clear, however. The BIQ that this woman is holding were not fired out of a gun at her house. Thrown, dropped, whatever. But they weren't shot. You'd be hard pressed to understand that if you didn't understand weapons or at least have a BASIC understanding of how firearms work. But oh, I guess that describes the vast bulk of the media right there...
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