Weapons Lesson for CanWest

Another note to CanWest News Service, this time about weapons terminology.

Here’s the lead paragraph to your piece recognizing people who’ve been recently awarded bravery decorations by the Governor-General (.pdf here if link doesn’t work):

“A young boy who saved his friend from a coyote attack, a Canadian soldier who used only his gun to neutralize a bomb in Afghanistan, and a caring bystander who shielded a stranger with her body to save him are among 47 heroes who will be honoured in Ottawa on Friday by the Governor General.”

Later in the story, here’s what is reported to have happened:

“Petty Officer (second class) James Anthony Leith of Shearwater, N.S., dismantled an improvised explosive device (IED) on a road in the Pashmul area of Afghanistan in September 2006. All of his equipment was destroyed when his vehicle was struck by the IED’s original blast, leaving the Star of Courage recipient with only his bayonet and his wits. Because of his bravery, coalition forces were again able to use the vital route.”

This is a “gun” (more properly called a rifle), and this is a bayonet.

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