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

#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.
 
#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
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
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?
 
#10
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?
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.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
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.
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
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
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.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
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.
Read rhe edit on my last post
 
#16
I have been on a section attack where one of our number suffered a broken trigger on his weapon. I suppose a pistol could of been used in the interim, but realistically, after the attack was (hopefully) successful, I'd imagine it would be better to use a captured en. weapon.
 
#17
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
A pistol is very handy whether you're searching cars, trying to be low key, or sat in the commanders seat of a warrior. But in those situations, they're almost always issued.
 
#18
And however many weapons you carry, there comes the point at which you assume it's safe to unload and/or take off your belt kit. With the pistol on it. At which point the geezer-you-thought-was-OK-but-isn't has a free run.

It's very natural that the father should need someone to blame, but from what's been in the press it doesn't sound as if his son would still be alive if he'd been carrying a pistol that day.
 
#19
I have been on a section attack where one of our number suffered a broken trigger on his weapon. I suppose a pistol could of been used in the interim, but realistically, after the attack was (hopefully) successful, I'd imagine it would be better to use a captured en. weapon.
The effective range and weight of fire from a pistol is so pathetic that it would be entirely useless during a section attack.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
If you read my link you will see that I have some experiance in this matter, if I had to carry a pistol now, in a safe way it would,be a 357 revolver,with 5 rounds,I would rather have less rounds than an Automatic with 16 in it, if it had a bent magazine lip. and not have the need for two hands to cock the weapon,even an old Enfield .38 would have given me a better chance than the Browning I was forced to use
 

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