During this past week America sent a naval expedition to New York City viaFleet Week. ....
The big ship in town hosting the public has been the USS Kearsage, a big aircraft carrying, hovercraft carrying assault ship, loaded up with all the guns, light tanks, artillery and such that you'd ever want to pour onto an enemy beach. You walk on board, are greeted by marines and sailors who are kids, 18 or 20 years old ... and you see how they love their guns.
A parent bringing children on board...has a friendly, smiling marine greet them right away with "Hi, junior, what's your name? ...Well, Johnny, have you ever held an assault rifle before? Here, see how light it is? Your Super Soaker weighs more when it's loaded with water. Now try the trigger...." ...Ten-year, eight-year, six-year olds being introduced to the joy of assault rifles.
....Next display, the machine guns. The marines have a landing craft rigged up with all kinds pointing out in all directions. The little kids get lifted up there and rush right to them. ....Have you ever seen a 7-year-old pointing a .50-calibre machine gun and getting instructions on how to shoot it? "You pull this bolt back and the action works like this. Yeah!"
....On the way out we passed a lonely, classic M2 .50 caliber "Ma Duce" machine gun. The little kids being elsewhere, this one Junior had a chance to try out. He's become a fan of engineering from watching some of the better cable TV channels, so I started to tell him about how the M2 is one of the great design and engineering achievements of last 100 years. It's original design and construction was so perfect that it is still being used virtually unchanged since the days shortly after World War I, and the military is still using stocks of it manufactured decades ago.
A passing marine, maybe 18 or 19 years old, overheard me and changed course to jump into the conversation. "You know your weapons, sir! This particular version of the M2 has been in use unchanged since 1954".
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