The NRA has requested its members fly their flags at half mast to honor the memory of renowned rifle designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, who passed away Dec 23rd at age 94. Kalashnikov is best known for his engineering of the AK-47, an automatic rifle that is easy to produce, operate, repair and clean and performs well in all climactic conditions. The NRA seeks to honor Kalashnikov’s passing, of natural causes, for the work he’s done to bring reliable, economical personal machines of mass murder to both the under-armed insurgents and lavishly brocaded petty tyrants of the globe. “Without his tireless efforts to produce a device of limited accuracy but rapid fire functionality we would have never acquired the ‘run and gun’, or ‘shoot and scoot’ warfare tactics so common in conflagrations and survivalist scenarios today.” NRA president Wayne LaPierre said in his request. “We encourage our members, and those who support our efforts to make rifles, handguns and other weapons as popular as Kentucky Fried Chicken to fly their flags at half mast over the Christmas holiday in respect for this man, who’s done so much for the world.”
Kalashnikov was born in poverty during the latter days of the Russian revolution and his twin interests were poetry and machinery. He was a short man, and, like many who seek to make up for their inadequacies, soon developed a strong interest in big guns. After being wounded in battle his interest in poetry waned and he turned his efforts to designing weaponry and elevator shoes that, to all appearances were normal footwear. Soon realizing that the elevator shoe market was limited, he focused his full attention on automatic rifles, the outcome of which was the eponymous AK- 47. A strong contender in the global small arms race, the AK-47 is perhaps the world’s single most popular automatic weapon given its impressive performance against watermelons and its ubiquitous presence in conflicts and gun-nut collections world wide. The Ak47 has played a key role in the struggles in the Sudan, Somalia, Belize and Detroit. Over 100 million have been produced to date, with approximately 1 million being manufactured per year, 90% of which are counterfeit.
The NRA had been considering the idea of issuing requests for flying the flag at half mast to counter the effectiveness of the symbol’s use to mark several recent tragedies involving firearms. “If we can honor the occasions on which gunplay has had a positive effect while at the same time diminishing the importance of the custom, then we’ve let em have it with both barrels and can enjoy our Starbucks vente macchiato with the full swagger the drink deserves.”, La Pierre said.