Father tells how soldier son died because army wouldn’t buy a gun

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by singha61, Oct 4, 2010.

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  1. Express
    THE father of a British soldier killed by a rogue Afghan policeman believes his son would still be alive if troops had been supplied with more weapons.

    Adrian Major’s son James, 18, was shot along with four colleagues in Helmand province in November last year.

    The men, from the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police, had been training the Afghan National Police and had returned to their compound when they were shot.
    The Taliban, thought to be infiltrating the Afghan police and army, claimed responsibility for the murders.

    Guardsman Major’s father, Adrian, said the deaths could have been prevented if the men had all carried pistols. He claims an Army official told him it was too expensive to provide them all with handguns. Mr Major tells File On 4 on BBC Radio 4: “Out of 16, only three had small arms and we were told that they couldn’t afford to give them all a side arm. If I’d known. I’d have bought him a sidearm.

    “If they’d had sidearms and body armour on I don’t think he’d have done it because it was an ideal opportunity with them all sat round and relaxed.”

    The Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “This is absolutely not an issue of cost. Not all British troops routinely carry sidearms. There are enough side arms in theatre, should individuals require them, and they will be carried if individuals are trained to do so and their roles require it.”

    Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | UK News :: Father tells how soldier son died because Army wouldn’t buy a gun
     
  2. Its on the Beeb website as well.

    From my experience (On H11) there was no issue with pistol availability. Trained thoroughly during PDT and available to all those who needed (and wanted) one.
     
  3. Very valid point. Fear of losing a sidearm is what puts blokes off requesting them. I doubt there's a story here - just some poor bloke's grief being exploited.
     
  4. As much as people getting killed is always a tragedy, even if it was an issue of cost (which it doesn't actually seem to be) there comes a point where we have finite resources and really have to think how many of our precious beans we are willing to spend on giving Tommy Atkins every ounce of kit he could ever want in any situation; beans which we then can't spend on other things like paying the wages of enough people to make him part of an effective unit. Seems to be yet another one of those crap, 'blame-the-army' stories that always seethe out of the Scum and such like
     
  5. If you're all stood down and having a break and some bloke lets rip with a belt fed, a pistol is not going to change things much.
     
  6. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    One bit I read, can't remember where, but the father was also blaming the Army for the fact his son was allowed to take his body armour off inside the compound.
     
  7. On patrol all these pistols, and spare ammo for them would be a dead weight. Couple extra mags for the rifle would be far more useful.
     
  8. You also have to remember the high accident rate with pistols. How long before some grief stricken relative blames the army for issuing a pistol to someone who had an ND with it?
     
  9. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Distinct lack of military knowledge shown in this arrtical
     
  10. I've heard that been said a few times before now.
    I would suggest that it's a very sorry position to be in if a professional Army like ours is unable to issue a sidearm to their men through fear of them accidently doing themselves a mischief.
    Sidearms can be a valuable tool and have been put to very good use by a fair few in recent times.

    Do I think sidearms would of saved or prevented this type of an attack?
    Probably not and I suspect that it just another sad case of a greiving father misdirecting his anger.
     
  11. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Hollywood Hero syndrome, the hero always has a pistol. But in a military situation most people would be better off throwing the pistol at the enemy, as stated above just another piece of unwanted weight,I want my Small Metal Gun back

    They do make handy clubs though

    Belfast City Centre - Ex 17th/21st Lancers - All - OLD MATES - Message Board
     
  12. Well, I seem to recall something called the Firearms Act 1997/8, which means he couldn't have bought his son a pistol anyway - unless there's some special provision, that the press are privy to and which I haven't been able to find...
     
  13. A "military situation"? Im guessing you mean a fire fight of some sort? As i've already said, theres been numerous times recently where pistols have been used in action. As far as I'm aware none of these incidents involved throwing them at the enemy.

    I don't think theres a need for every man jack within a platoon to carry one but theres certainly times and roles that find them useful.

    I think were doing ourselves a diservice by so readily poo pooing them as being "Hollywood" or "unwanted weight" or suggest that they are more dangerous to their users than the enemy. It says more about peoples skills and drills than it does about the weapon system itself.

    but like I aleady said, I doubt it would of prevented this type of attack or the outcome.
     
  14. I seem to remember back in the bad old days in N.I.,an awful lot squaddies,policemen,and prison officers did themselves a lot of harm with pistols.Perhaps it's better to restrict them to those who really really need them.The father has my sympathy for his loss,but I think he is mistaken in his belief that issuing pistols to all and sundry would be a good idea,an extra body or two for guard duties might be a better way to go.
     
  15. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Read rhe edit on my last post