Weapons: Cloth That Kills


February 25, 2006: Who ever thought that military uniforms could become weapons. Well, they have. Along with all those Cold War surplus AK-47s, there has been a proliferation of surplus combat uniforms being sold, cheap, everywhere. Usually green or camouflage, these have become very popular for leisurewear in many parts of the world. But in poor countries, a bunch of guys in green uniforms often means trouble. If they are soldiers, or police (who wear military uniforms in many countries), they may be out to shake down some civilians for some spending money. Worse, they may just be a bunch of thugs pretending to be soldiers, and out to do the same kind of thieving.

Many countries are trying to address this problem by making it illegal for civilians to wear military uniforms, or for troops to wear their uniforms when off-duty. Enforcing this is difficult. Crooks in uniform may shoot back when challenged. Some off duty troops will do the same. But in many nations it's become obvious that, if there is to be peace, not to mention law and order, the illegal uniforms, as well as the illegal weapons, have to be taken out of circulation.


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