North Korea’s Generals Don’t Seem to Know How Pistols Work

 In North Korea

Earlier this week, images sur­faced out of the reclu­sive nation of North Korea show­ing Kim Jong Un posing with a bevy of senior mil­i­tary lead­ers as they show off their fancy new pis­tols. The pis­tols were handed out by the nation’s Supreme Leader in cel­e­bra­tion of the 67th anniver­sary of the Korean War armistice, and accord­ing to North Korean media, the pis­tols were award­ed to Kim’s top gen­er­als as a symbol of his trust in them.

Of course, after look­ing at the pic­tures for a minute… you might start to wonder if that trust is all that found­ed.

Literally chillin’ like a villain. (North Korea’s KCNA)

Long before a recruit earns the right to call him or her­self a Marine, they’re ingrained with the four weapons safety rules. This essen­tial train­ing step comes before being bestowed the title of Marine for good reason: If you can’t handle your own weapon safely, you rep­re­sent a poten­tial threat to your fellow Marines. Let’s run through those rules again, just in case you’re not famil­iar with them:

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never point the weapon at any­thing you do not intend to shoot.
  3. Keep your finger straight and off the trig­ger until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Keep the weapon on safe until you intend to fire.

The first thing I couldn’t help but notice in these pic­tures is the egre­gious lack of trig­ger dis­ci­pline on dis­play in this photo of what should the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be North Korea’s most com­pe­tent mil­i­tary minds. The third weapons safety rule says clear­ly that you should keep your finger straight and off the trig­ger until you’re ready to fire. Why is that rule so impor­tant? Well, in this case, it would be so you don’t acci­den­tal­ly blow the leader of your country’s head off…

north korea pistols

north korea pistols

But this guy is clearly thinking about it.

And this guy might just want to replace the 3-Star sitting in front of him.

Dude on the left is literally pointing a pistol at Kim with his finger on the trigger.

Of course, even if you vio­late the keep­ing your finger straight and off the trig­ger rule, the people around you should still be fairly safe if you’re care­ful not to ever point your weapon at any­thing you don’t intend to shoot.

north korea pistols

north korea pistols

I’m pretty sure these two guys think they’re in a water gun fight.

“I’ll just point this weapon safely at Bob’s face.”

north korea pistols

north korea pistols

Maybe they’re all trying to rob each other?

Of course, it’s safe to assume that none of these weapons were loaded, as Kim Jong Un almost cer­tain­ly didn’t intend to equip his gen­er­als to over­throw him — but that’s not really the point. The whole idea behind firearm safety is not to grow com­pla­cent about the rules; a Navy SEAL and a food ser­vice spe­cial­ist learn and exer­cise the same basic ten­ants of firearm safety because it serves as the foun­da­tion from which you can devel­op more advanced skills. Snipers still keep their fin­gers straight and off the trig­ger until they’re ready to fire for the same reason pro­fes­sion­al race car dri­vers wear hel­mets: Because no matter how good you are, every­body has a bad day.

north korea pistols

north korea pistols

But like… has this guy ever even seen a pistol before?

Of course, North Korean troops are regularly starving, are poorly equipped, and almost cer­tain­ly receive sub-par train­ing even by a third-world stan­dard, so we shouldn’t be ter­ri­bly sur­prised to see how uncom­fort­able and awk­ward its mil­i­tary lead­ers seem to be with pis­tols. In that case, it’s the photo op that might be the most con­found­ing.

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