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Papi: Cómprame un Kalishnikov - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Papi: Cómprame un Kalishnikov [ Saturday, 02 Feb 08 | 09:02 ]
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |aggravatedaggravated]

Daddy: Buy me a Kalishnikov

In December CNN+ aired an investigative report about guns and kids in the US. Often these types of programs originate from other countries and have a voice-over in castellano. In this case a Spanish team was sent to the US with a Spanish point-of-view.

The show gets its name from the Kalishnikov rifle, better known as the AK-47 (short for Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года; Kalashnikov model automatic rifle of 1947). This is a gas-operated assault rifle. It was one of the first true assault rifles and, due to its durability and ease of use, remains the most widely used assault rifle. More AK-type rifles have been produced than any other assault rifle type.

The premise of the report was the ease at which children, as young as three, are exposed to the use of arms as if it was play with another toy. The people interviewed readily identified themselves and saw nothing wrong with providing their progeny with automatic arms. Most of the footage was shot at a gun range in the South. Many of the people had “southern accents”.

Another chilling aspect was the mix of religion (read “Christian crusaders”) and racism that permeates the “gun culture” portrayed. At one point, one of the people said that they differentiated between “Spaniards” and “latinos”, meaning the former were OK, and the later were not welcome in the US. I probably shouldn’t have to mention that Spaniards consider themselves latinos. (They consider Italians as latinos as well, but many Italians disagree with that description. As Ruben says, where do they think the word latino originates?)

Some of the people who sell the weapons appear to do so just for the money rather than promoting a cause. My concern is that children view these arms as just another plaything and conditions them into trivializing their use. Watching a young child fire off a hundred rounds with an automatic weapon as if they were playing a video game scares me. People don’t seem to see any connection with the headlines they hate and their own activities.