Even as monuments continue to be the center of controversy in the United States, a monument in Moscow is now also very much in the news.
The editorial board of the New York Times commented on the fact that in Moscow there is a new monument to the late Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov is the developer of the automatic weapon known as the AK-47.
The Russian culture minister working for President Vladimir Putin, and following in the same strange model of Russian patriotism, cited Gen. Kalashnikov as “a true cultural brand of Russia.”
But as the editors in the New York Times noted, that brand includes the fact that the gun he invented has now been reproduced about 100 million times, and, as they wrote, it has also now become
“the weapon of choice for guerrilla warfare, crime, terrorism and jihad.”
What’s really interesting is that before his death in his 90s, Gen. Kalashnikov became very morally troubled by this. He wrote to the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church: “My spiritual pain is unbearable.” He went on to ask, because he’d invented this weapon, if he was guilty of people’s deaths.
But there’s not of that moral concern in this new monument to Gen. Kalashnikov in Moscow. And the AK-47 reproduced, as we have said, over 100 million times has indeed become a major engine of death over the last century.
It’s humbling to recognize that Gen. Kalashnikov invented that weapon in order to defend the Russian Motherland against the Nazis but that it turned out to have far greater effect in the decades following the war in the hands of terrorists, criminals, and jihadists.
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, offers a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.