[Ed: If you haven’t already read it, make the jump to The Truth About Guns for the rest of this excellent article by my friend Joe Grine. It was written after the Obama/Romney debate in which the President made a quip about the obsolescence of cavalry and bayonets, but it’s just as good now as it was then.]
President Obama displayed ignorance when he characterized bayonets as being similar to horses – obsolete weapons in modern warfare. As an initial matter, the bayonet is a soldier’s last remaining means of defense when the soldier’s primary weapon system is no longer works for whatever reason. In addition, bayonets are a weapon of psychological intimidation; bayonet charges have long incited fear in enemy forces, particularly in conscript or green forces. Finally, bayonets work well for prisoner control, adding a little extra sobering reminder of the fate that will befall any prisoner who tries to escape . . .