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Posted: 6/15/2003 7:25:49 PM EDT
I wonder if American citizens will be so defiant when it is time for them to turn 'em all in to be melted down..... [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A60044-2003Jun14?language=printer]Few Iraqis Meet the Deadline for Turning in Their Guns[/url] By Daniel Williams Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, June 15, 2003; Page A14 BAGHDAD, June 14 -- The Iraqi guard at the entrance of the police academy, one of several places where citizens could surrender illegal weapons to U.S. occupation forces, shook his head when asked how many had met today's deadline for handing over guns without penalty. "We've had plenty of reporters, but no weapons come in," he said. A two-week weapons amnesty program designed to reduce the number of heavy armaments in the hands of Iraqis ended today with scant results. Nationwide, 123 pistols, 76 semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, 435 automatic rifles, 46 machine guns, 162 antitank rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 11 antiaircraft weapons and 381 hand grenades had been turned in as of this morning, according to the U.S. military. There seemed to be no last-minute rush. U.S. officials, while describing the response as light, were quick to explain that the goal was never to disarm Iraqis, but principally to inform them that banned weapons must not be carried in public. As of Sunday, it will be illegal for Iraqis to carry weapons in public without a permit. Nor can they possess or hide machine guns, high explosives, weapons designed to destroy armored vehicles or aircraft or arms that fire ammunition larger than 7.62mm. However, troops will not go house to house in search of such arms. Rather, the U.S. military will rely on "actionable intelligence" in making raids on suspected caches. No one knows how much weaponry rests in Iraqi civilian hands. Farmers carry rifles into their fields, and motorists routinely pack pistols and AK-47 assault rifles in their cars. Rare is the wedding celebration that does not include a fusillade of rifle fire to greet the happy couple. As ambushes of U.S. troops have increased markedly in recent weeks, getting guns off the streets has become a priority for occupation forces. Commanders have reported several busts of weapons caches, including one today that uncovered 300 tank and artillery shells, 475 rocket-propelled grenades and 1,000 light arms. Still, it is not clear how public possession will be curbed. In Baghdad, a city of 5 million people, less than half the Iraqi police force is on duty. They lack squad cars and, in any case, take to the streets only in the company of U.S. armored or heavily armed jeep units. At a district police station in eastern Baghdad, military police Lt. Andrew Sherzinger said only two Iraqis had dropped by to surrender weapons -- one machine gun and a grenade launcher -- during the amnesty period. "It's hard to figure the effectiveness of the policy anyway," Sherzinger said. "According to the rules, it's okay to keep an AK-47 in your home. But if there are 20 males in the house, does that mean each can have a rifle? That would be enough to arm a militia."
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 8:02:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2003 8:04:10 PM EDT by Airwolf]
Decades under a repressive dictatorship and now that they have a taste of freedom they are supposed to give up one of their primary methods of holding on to it? I don't think so. Also too many tribal and political "disagreements" (read: vendetta) out there with people looking to even the score. Expect someone else to look out for you? Yeah, right. I wouldn't be turning in any of my hardware either under those (or any other) circumstances.
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