Another Iraqi left-hander

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shelton Gore, left, demonstrates the proper way to hold a rifle during an AK-47 rifle training exercise for Iraqi police officers at Combat Outpost Spear in Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 15, 2007. Gore is assigned to the 552nd Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade. DoD photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Hubenthal, U.S. Air Force.

Notice that the guy with the leather baseball hat is a lefty. (Or maybe just horribly unskilled.) An earlier pic I posted had a number of Iraqi southpaws, as well. Just coincidence? Or do the Iraqis have a larger percentage of left-handed shooters than normal?


  1. Jeez I remember that earlier photo…………that is kinda weird. Are you sure Iraq isn’t just some sort of reverse image Bizzaro world? LOL!

  2. I remember that earlier photo as well. It seemed to me that they had put all the lefties on one end of the firing line so the photo seemed to show an inordinate number of them in the foreground (3 in a row IIRC). Looking at all the shooters, including those out of focus in the background, it doesn’t seem like the numbers are all that skewed.

  3. Could be a cultural/religious thing. Like you don’t eat with the same hand you wipe your ass. Maybe you don’t eat with the same hand that kills (pulls the trigger)?

  4. IIRC, 1 in 10 persons are southpaws. Also, while I am righthanded, I have to shoot lefty, as my left eye is dominant.

  5. Hey Murdock – It’s a damn fine idea to separate the lefties on a firing line. Far too many years ago, while McDuck was in basic training at Ft. Knox, we were on the range firing at pop-up silhouettes with our M16 squirrel vaporisors (NOT the M16A1 with the forward assist and brass deflector). The guy next to me was shooting left handed in the knelling position and a hot empty went down his shirt. Needless to say, this somewhat upset the sinister recruit and he jumped up to alleviate the problem when he accidentally squeezed off an accidental discharge and shot a hole through the brim of our DI’s hat, who happened to be standing behind him! All the permanent party locked and loaded on the poor guy thinking he was trying to murder our DI (Who hasn’t thought about that, Huh?) Luckily for him the DI jumped him before anybody shot him. He was rather rudely escorted off the range. We continued with our day and his locker was cleared out by the time we returned to barracks. McDuck

  6. Im a leftie, handed, that is… I have always shot rifles right handed… bit problem for me, as for hand guns, i go either way…left or right, its all about training… oh and eye dominance does make a difference.

  7. FTR, Murdoc is left-handed as well. But he shoots right-handed because he decided to teach himself that way. He’s never shot left-handed except maybe with a BB gun as a kid.

  8. Im lefty and do everything lefty, including playing bass. The only thing i can do with both hands is…you guys know what.

  9. Two pieces of trivia:- – The French FAMAS converts between right and left handed use by simply switching a plug between the two ejection ports provided; and – The Australian Owen submachine gun of WWII had its magazine mounted above feeding down with cases ejecting downwards, but it could still only be fired right handed because the sights were offset to the left to see past the magazine.

  10. My understanding is that its closer to 15% to 20% are left-handed, depending on whose numbers one trusts. That’s 1-in-6 to 1-in-5 for the percentage-impaired. Seems about right, then, that one guy in that picture might be left-handed.

  11. I don’t know what the most accepted official numbers are, but I can not believe for one second 15%-20%. Surveys and such usually indicate more leftys than I ever seem to meet. I can’t speak for surveys, only for what I’ve seen. I’m left handed. I know a few left-handers, and I’m sure that there are some people that I know that are lefty that I don’t realize are lefty. But, being lefty, I’m usually pretty quick to notice it. I seem to notice it far, far more quickly than most of the right-handers that I know. Nowhere near 1/5 or 1/6 of the people I know are lefty. I would guess somewhere around 1 in 20. Or worse. It’s also possible that some of the people I know are naturally left-handed/left-eyed but do everything right-handed because they’ve been taught that way. I don’t know one person who actually shoots left-handed, even left-handers.

  12. More trivia:- – During WWII, the wonders of modern bureaucracy (says the story) did things very scientifically. Assigning everybody in alphabetical order, it generated an entire unit with everybody called ‘Smith’. It is not impossible that it generated entire units of left handers. – At one point, intelligence reports described a new Russian tank. The reports were thrown out once common sense showed that the guns could only be loaded by left handers less than five feet tall. So much for common sense; the tank came in, and Soviet style conscription supplied the crews. – Picasso once produced an engraving of a bull fighter killing a bull. Unfortunately he forgot that the mirror image reversal would show the wrong final thrust – so, with a stroke of genius, he titled it (in Spanish) ‘the left hander’.

  13. I think they should demonstrate the proper way to hold a rifle somewhere in the USA. Our soldiers die there one by one and for nothing.’ In the USA, Patricia?