Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose name will forever be connected to one of the world’s most popular and deadly weapons, has died, according to news reports from Russia.
Officials there tell news outlets including RT and RIA Novosti that the 94-year-old inventor of the AK-47 rifle died Monday at a hospital in the Udmurt republic. He had been “suffering from heart-related problems in recent years [and] had been in intensive care in Izhevsk,” RT adds.
As NPR’s Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast Desk, because it is “simple, rugged and easy to maintain, the AK 47 became the weapon of choice for armies in developing countries.” It also became popular with terrorists.
Kalashnikov, Corey adds, “said he designed the gun only for the protection of his fatherland, and that it was the fault of politicians if the weapon was misused. There are estimated to be more than 100 million of them around the world, at least half of them knock-offs of the Russian original.”
RT adds that “on a few occasions, when in a more reflective mood, the usually forceful Kalashnikov wondered what might have been. ‘I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists,’ he said once. ‘I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.’ ”
The AK-47, All Things Considered noted in 2012, was designed in 1945 and was “the first gun to bridge the gap between submachine guns and long, heavy rifles. It was a simple, reliable, lightweight weapon that almost anyone could use. And once it was put into mass production, it was available to almost everyone.”
Journalist C.J. Chivers traced the weapon’s migration around the world in his book The Gun.
Read original article- Published December 23, 201312:13 PM
- Project coordinator Katharine Heumann said the decision came after hearing criticism of the proposal from Travel Juneau and members of the community.
- Wednesday is the first day of school for about 4,700 students across Juneau.
- Eight buoy tenders and their crews from Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest are in Juneau this week for the annual Buoy Tender Roundup and Olympics.
- The commercial harvest for Dungeness crab in Southeast Alaska this summer was the lowest in several decades. But it might not be a complete bust. The harvest numbers only tell part of the story.