Odd absence of serious ranged weapons

Looking at the videos and photos of the street fighting in Ukraine, it would seem that the riot police formations would be quite vulnerable to arrows, bolts and slugs even if fired from extreme range. And yet I see nothing but gasoline in bottles and rocks but not the more conventional munitions likely to penetrate light armor. With all the noise, even an unsuppressed 22 rifle could have been used to great effect from within a building to hide the report and flash. It’s almost as if the protesters aren’t seriously interested in hurting the cops. The cops also seem more interested in hurting and maiming people than in actually killing them. Odd.

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13 Responses to Odd absence of serious ranged weapons

  1. Weston M says:

    What do we know about gun ownership in Ukraine? A quick google search shows me about 3 million guns, about 6.6 guns per 100 people in civilian hands on average. Seems plenty high enough to make a showing. You are right, it’s odd….

  2. jjimbob86 says:

    It’s still (at this point, anyway) a protest demonstration, as opposed to a civil war.

    The idea is still to demonstrate that those in the streets are unhappy with the way things are going …… not to kill the enemy.

    • HSR47 says:

      Exactly. Figuratively they’re still standing around on the porch bitching about how bad things are, but they haven’t quite gotten to the point of stepping off the porch. Frankly, that actually looks like a good sign: Things are bad enough to get people to demonstrate, but they’re not bad enough to start shooting yet.

      Mexico on the other hand….

    • LarryArnold says:

      Agreed. The demonstrators still think government is the solution, but that it just needs to learn the right answers. As opposed to “we need to sweep clean and start over.”

      The police commanders, hopefully, know that killing demonstrators can change that.

  3. Andy says:

    Also note that everything legal is required to be registered. You get busted with an unregistered weapon and it’s 7 years in jail. I’d assume that they’d also be prosecuting protesters they catch with firearms. The other think is that 2 million or so of those firearms are shotguns. We’re talking fewer than 100k rifles. Shotguns are all well and good, but when the oppressor has the ability to put aimed fire into your crowd with impunity, you don’t want to escalate to that point.

    Nobody wants to be a martyr.

    • Lazy Bike Commuter says:

      I don’t really think people decided not to shoot at the police because they don’t want to be caught with an unregistered weapon.

      …my CAPTCHA is “Go Windpower”. I want a new one.

  4. Firehand says:

    And, considering the state of things, have to wonder how many people have had a knock on the door and “We show a rifle registered to you; it must be surrendered due to the public safety situation.”

  5. 8notch says:

    What Firehand said.

    They are being creepy Orwellians already using cell phone metadata to identify protesters and send them a text:
    “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”


  6. Precision270 says:

    The thing is, the protestors don’t need to be attacking or clashing with the Police. That really has no change of changing anything. They should be holding these demonstrations to push attention there while small armed groups take scummy politicians behind the woodshed. Failing the appropriate response with that activity, the time honored Russian activity of disappearing people needs to occur with the politicians being the disappeared.

  7. PubliusII says:

    I recall a discussion somewhere that while the Thin Red Line held the French at Waterloo, the British could have also done a lot of massed, rapid-fire damage to the advancing French columns using archers: the old Crécy/Agincourt approach (which, let it be noted, was also directed against the French!).

    High-angle archery with standard hunting (or perhaps even target) points would do significant damage to anyone it hit, given the lack of arrow-protective clothing in period armies. It would also let you strike at the rear of an infantry column over the heads of those along the front and sides. The French weren’t stupid — the front ranks and sides were the newer recruits and conscripts, with the old sweats embedded through the column.

    A rain of arrows striking hard enough to inflict serious to lethal wounds could break an attack. But the trick then, as anytime, lies in massed, rapid fire against clustered enemy personnel out in the open.

    • Y. says:

      Waterloo, the British could have also done a lot of massed, rapid-fire damage to

      Except they didn’t have archers nor longbows at Waterloo. Longbow archers required lifelong training..

      • Longbows require several months of training. But it’s true that gunpowder displaced bows rapidly. The reasons were:

        Faster training.
        It doesn’t take any longer to make muskets and powder than good bows and arrows.
        A sick musketeer can still shoot. A weakened bowman cannot.
        You can replace a musketeer faster. This is both a logistical and a SOCIAL advantage.

        The bow was a superior TACTICAL weapon until breechloaders came along. Much higher rate of fire and adequate range. The musket had logistical superiority.

        The protesters could at least tape cords to the molotovs to sling them further, or use staff slings for rocks. But they’d have to know about such things.

  8. mikee says:

    The police injure rather than kill because a dead body just lies there, but a wounded protestor takes another one or two protestors out of the riot to carry the wounded comrade away. Same rationale as wounding soldiers on a battlefield, rather than killing them.

    The protestors don’t kill the police because after the riots, after the revolution, after the new government gets in office, those same people in riot gear are going to be protecting the new office holders. You don’t kill the servants when you want to change masters.

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