I was intrigued by that terminology because I like to think I know a little about weapons and the specification of "lethal defensive" begs the question of the differences, if any, between a lethal defensive weapon and a lethal offensive weapon. That thought, in turn, caused me to dredge up from my memory a discussion of this very issue by Richard Armour in his book "It all Started with Stones and Clubs being a Short... History of War and Weaponry..." In his treatise, Mr. Armour accurately points out that:
"The club and the stone were the first offensive weapons....rapidly
followed by the defensive club and the defensive stone.
These were approximately the same size and shape as the
offensive club and the offensive stone."
In short, there are no observable differences between offensive and defensive weapons. It would appear, then, that the offensive or defensive nature of a weapon is determined by two things. First, who is wielding it and, second, whether he is on our side or not. Mr. Obama did nothing to address this point in his announcement.
However, even if he had done so, we are still left with an unanswered question. That being, if there is such a thing as "Lethal Defensive Weapon", is there also something that could be referred to as a non-lethal defensive weapon? So, while digesting the President's statement this morning, I mused to myself that such a "non-lethal weapon" could, perhaps, be an M-16 assault rifle, but one that is provided to the Ukrainians without ammunition or a bayonet.
The best comment I can think of on the usefulness (or lack thereof) of such a piece of equipment can be found in the courtroom scene early in the John Wayne movie "True Grit". In this scene, the defense attorney, wanting to cast doubt on the accuracy of the Wayne Character's story of a lethal encounter with some bad guys, accuses him (Wayne) of "Springing upon [the defendant] with a deadly six shot revolver in his hand." When Wayne responds with "I try to be ready", the lawyer asks, "Was this gun loaded and cocked?" Whereupon Wayne rejoinders, "Well, a gun that's unloaded and cocked ain't good for nuthin'"
Such is the efficacy of a non-lethal defensive weapon---thank you, John Wayne!
These are the things that flooded my mind during this early morning newscast----maybe I am exercising too much!