Last week, when the awful murders in Paris occurred, there was some blather about how this was a ‘military-style’ assault. I guess military-style assault is like kosher-style deli (boldface mine):
Both brothers who carried out the attack against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo traveled to Yemen via Oman in 2011 and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, an al Qaeda stronghold, two senior Yemeni sources said on Sunday….
“These two brothers arrived in Oman on July 25, 2011, and from Oman they were smuggled into Yemen where they stayed for two weeks,” a senior Yemeni security official, who declined to be named, said.
“They met (al Qaeda preacher) Anwar al-Awlaki and then they were trained for three days in the deserts of Marib on how to fire a gun. They returned to Oman and they left Oman on Aug. 15, 2011 to go back to France.”
Three days of basic firearms training is hardly advanced military training (U.S. Army basic training is ten weeks and consists of two weeks of combat training). This is not to slander the murdered police officers or to downplay the horrifying attack: that three days of training can result in such murderous lethality shows just how lethal high-powered automatic rifles can be, even in the hands of the relatively untrained.
This has no relevance to the proliferation of such weapons in the U.S.
Though, in a perverse way, it’s probably more comforting to some, for many reasons, to believe these guys were highly-trained supervillians.