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Opinion
The inventor of AK47 deserves creditPublish Date: Jan 29, 2014
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By Peter Sunday

On December 25, 2013, Moses Lumbuku wrote a quite an interesting article in one of the dailies entitled the AK 47 fuelled more violence.

Some of the assertions by Lumbuku that the gun, made in Russia has contributed greatly to killing Gods people are true. To me, however, Alexander Kalashnikov deserves credit for the invention.

Alexander Kalashnikov designed his first machine gun in 1942 after suffering injuries as a tank commander for the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II, but it wasn't until 1947 after years of trials that the AK-47 was introduced for Soviet military service

Research indicates that he made the invention at the age of 20 while serving in the Red army. Not only did he make the PK and AK 47 as Lumbuku asserts, but he produced six other models such as AKM, AK74, AK105, AK1.2 RPK and Saiga semi-automatic rifle. He did all this after he had complaints from the Russian army of the inferior fighting weapons. Eventually the AK 47 was approved thereafter.

According to Hanna (2014), the weapon, recognisable by its banana-shaped ammunition magazine, became known for its simple effectiveness. It was easy to use and maintain, and it was reliable in extreme conditions, be they hot, cold, wet or sandy.

From the early 1950s, it became the standard weapon for Soviet and Warsaw Pact countries, according to (CNN 2014). The gun also proved popular with paramilitary groups: It was so successful in Mozambique's successful rebel movement of the 1960s and 1970s and it is no wonder that its image appears in the national flag.

There also reached a point in time that he wished he had invented a lawn mower other than a gun. "I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists ... I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawn mower " he once stated.

"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer ... I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery." he went on to say.

"I created a weapon to defend the borders of my motherland. It is not my fault that it is being used where it shouldn't be. The politicians are more to blame for this,” he also once asserted.

Despite the problems caused by his invention, he went to win the following: USSR State Prize (1949), Hero of Socialist Labour (1958), Stalin Prize (1949), Lenin Prize Hero of the Russian Federation Order of St. Andrew Order For Merit  of the Father of Russia.

Furthermore in 2009, the then president of Russia Dmitry Medev decorated him with the country’s highest order, the hero of Russia.

All in all though the invention of Mikhail Kalashnikov  is regrettable as many innocent lives have been claimed by it, it was intended to make Russia victorious at that time and is still used worldwide today.

The writer is a researcher

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