One Rifle Per Child
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The Children's Assault Gun (also known as the Kalashnikid) and previously as the $100 Rifle, is a proposed inexpensive assault rifle intended to be distributed to children around the world, especially to those in poor countries, to provide them with sufficient firepower for everyday life. The gun is being developed by the One Rifle Per Child (ORPC) trade association. ORPC is a China-based, non-profit organization created by faculty members of the People's Liberation Army to design, manufacture, and distribute the weapons.
These rugged and low-maintenance weapons will not contain any optical or laser sighting, unlike more expensive traditional rifles. Full-scale production is expected during 2007, hopefully in time for children in Somalia and Ethiopia to have a chance to get individually involved in the future of their respective countries.
The company would like to point out that it is much safer and more fun to use a rifle than the rusty old clubs, knives and machettes that they have been using for years. They will start the kids out with a lower calibur in the 5.56 range and move them up to the .50 calibur after they prove that they can hit more than the side of a cow.
edit Participating Countries
The following countries have already signed up to the ORPC program:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- North Korea
- United States of America (specifically the states of Idaho and Maine)
On October 11, 2006 The New York Times reported that ORPC had reached an agreement with the government of Libya to supply assault rifles to all of its 1.2 million school children. The $250 million deal includes ammunition, funky leather shoulder-straps, one grenade-launcher per school and technical support.
edit Trial Program
After the company established the "One computer per child" program for many years, they eventually had to come to a halt because their goal had been achieved - every child had their own laptop. So instead of wasting the funding the company diverted the money to protect children who had been orphaned and had trouble taking care of themselves. The first successful trial program (with AK-47 rifles stolen during the Iraqi war) ran in Rwanda during 1994, drawing international attention to the campaign and raising awareness of the benefits that these modern weapons can provide. Further field trials in Africa over the last decade have proven the validity of the concept.
The primary criticism levelled at the project is that in many countries even an expense of $100 is seen to be extravagant, and many governments are advocating cheaper alternatives such as the machete.
It is believed by many that the ORPC project simply does not go far enough. While the Kalashnikid has enough firepower to protect a child from deadly animals and salespeople, it will not be much help if a child needs to attack a tank, plane or warship from a foreign country. US president George Bush has expressed his outrage that many children in the world are defenceless against heavy armour. It is likely that children in the ORPC countries will soon be issued with armour piercing bullets, cyanide releasing bullets and high explosive bullets that are all compatible with the Kalashnikid. Many other children's weapons are also in the process of being tested, including the "Bazookid", and the "C4 4 Kidz".