A tip of the boonie hat to Herschel Smith, who provided this link: "Skilled gunsmith helps Kurds turn ISIS' guns on terrorists."
In their fight against ISIS, the Kurdish army known as Peshmerga has a secret weapon – a second-generation gunsmith so skilled he can practically turn a bucket of rusty bolts into a killing machine for the rugged, but cash-strapped, fighting force.Bakhtiar Aziz works in a dimly lit basement shop in Erbil, refurbishing guns taken from the enemy, bringing broken and even decades-old firearms back to life and helping to outfit an army as short on weapons as it is long on heart. On a recent day, he inspected an M-16A4 assault rifle badly damaged in a coalition airstrike. Pocked with holes, missing a large section of the barrel and with human hair wedged in its moving parts, the gun was found by Peshmerga soldiers near the town of Gwer.“The Americans gave it to the Iraqi Army, then when ISIS came, they took it from the Iraqi Army,” Bakhtiar told the military blog War Is Boring. “Now after the American airstrikes against ISIS, the weapon is in the hands of the Peshmerga.”Aziz’s shop is outfitted simply with a work bench, chair and tools. An arsenal of firearms, including old muskets, line the walls. He learned his trade from his father, who openly repaired weapons for hunters, and secretly fixed them for Kurds who resisted Saddam Hussein. Now, with the Peshmerga battling ISIS along a 600-mile front line, Aziz is putting his skills to work repairing weapons for the fight against the Islamist terror group.
Now this story illustrates a number of points that I have made in the past. First, the Kurds, like the Haganah in the Israeli War of Independence, have few friends and so are making do with what they can. (A further indictment of the U.S. policy of refusing to seriously arm the Kurds, our only real friends in that part of the world.) It also demonstrates the futility of "gun control," for in truth there will always be people who can "practically turn a bucket of rusty bolts into a killing machine." I know such folks, and their skills are truly amazing. Finally, it reinforces the need for budding logistics officers to remember never to discard anything as truly useless and to have a plan to scavenge future battlefields for the raw material of resistance -- not just broken weapons and dropped ammunition but packaging that can be reused, web gear, the list is endless.