Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.
You have missed the point completely. Any crippled person with one leg and one trigger finger can fire any weapon from a fixed location where bricks, mortar, and rocks act as support. The female snipers in Russia were able to slip through enemy lines and get into positions easier than the men because women "were not the threat." And once they got into position, they simply had to steady the rifle on a target using artificial support to steady and squeeze.
Originally Posted by rathi
The ability to carry a weapon was also not the point. Any cripple with one arm and one eye can carry an M82, an M16, and an M9. But M16s are not fired from fixed locations like a Sniper Rifle is. The Sniper must be able to stand, aim, and fire this rifle true without the luxury of using other objects like stone or bipod to steady the weapon.
You state that there is nothing preventing a woman from firing both weapons effectivley. I state that there is and I use the overwhelming amount of female Marines that have trouble firing the M16 because of there arm length ratio to the weapon. There is also a matter "chest" obstruction. However, as was the case with my ex and plenty of others, they use their chest to steady the rifle by giving it a "legal" support base. But given this tactic, it strengthens the fact that women have difficulty firing rifles without artificial support like a bipod, the ground, or their "chest" to steady the weapon.
Now, aside from the firing aspects, there is most certainly a physical strength barrier to consider. Also, Snipers are often forward or seperated from large unit numbers. If captured, they will suffer the stigma of imprisonment. And the American culture isn't going to be too keen on the prospect that their women are being placed in posoitions where captivity will involve continual rape and other such devious acts while imprisoned.
Why do people only argue this from the "a woman can do anything a man can do" platform? There is a cultural issue at play as well.