The Shed has an angle to mention on Chris Kyle, the guy played by Clint Eastwood in American Sniper.
Before he was shot by a nutter who hung around his civilian gun range, Kyle wrote quite a good book, called American Gun, which came to The Shed’s attention because it started with a chapter on the Kentucky long rifle, which made Davy Crockett famous and scared the shit out of the Brits when they tried to invade.
Kyle’s argument was that modern history has been shaped by gun technology, simple as that. It was not the rightness of the cause that prevailed at the crucial turning points, it was rate of kill in battle – or, between wars, in the power struggle between police and crimeand rival mafias, exemplified by the mayhem of the Prohibition era, when some mobs got hold of Thompson machine guns, designed for use in the First World War but delivered too late.
It’s an interesting argument and Kyle made it well, albeit with rather more technical detail than you want if you never dreamed of being the ultimate killing machine.
He died before it was published and his wife wrote a loving tribute as a foreword.
The Shed offers his perception to the debate about defence spending,as good guidance to a very reasonable military and ex-military view of the world.