Responding to the revelation that rifle sights used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan are inscribed with Bible citations, a Marine Corps spokesman told TPMmuckraker today that the branch simply didn’t know about the inscriptions until inquiries were made last week.
But posts on gun enthusiast forums from as early as 2006 and Youtube videos watched thousands of times extensively discuss the Bible verses on the Trijicon rifle sights, casting doubt on the military’s claim that it was unaware of what was apparently a poorly kept secret.
At issue here are citations of various New Testament verses (e.g. John 8:12 — “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”) that are inscribed in abbreviated form (JN8:12) on sights made by Trijicon, a major supplier for the Army and Marines. The inscriptions, which are visible with the naked eye, typically follow the serial number on Trijicon’s scopes (see examples here).
Marines spokesman Carl Redding told TPMmuckraker that the Marine Corps — which, according to ABC, has a $660 million contract with Trijicon — only just found out about the inscriptions. “We’re still investigating it to try to understand what we can and should do,” he said, declining to comment further.
But the inscriptions were hardly a secret among many gun owners.
Check out this January 2006 thread on an online gaming forum by user “DesignatedMarksmen” titled, “Interesting-DoD contractor puts bible verses on it’s products.”
And then there’s this thread on Militaryphotos.net from May 2006, that begins: “Just found this on ARFcom, Has anyone ever noticed the Bible verse on their ACOG [sight]?” That links to yet another (now dead) thread on site AR15.com. User “Kersh” responds: “Yeah I read about that recently, but I didn’t know there were that many different verses on all the different optics.”
Here is yet another discussion of the inscriptions from last February on the Web site of the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association.
And, finally, in the below video posted last July, YouTube user “sootch00,” who produces a series called “Fun Gun Reviews,” discusses the Trijicon inscriptions at length (go to 3:40). The clip has nearly 20,000 views.
“Now one of the really cool things that I like about this sight … it does say in the little crevice here, Trijicon ACOG, then it says JN8:12. What that is is John 8:12,” he says, reading the Bible verse. “I love it, I love it. Yes, Trijicon, those guys are Christians. On all of their different sights they have verses on there. So, just a little neat side note. For those of you who aren’t Christians, well, you know, get over it.”
In this video also posted last July, the same user points out the (go to about 3:35) a Corinthians citation on the scope, noting that it’s in line with Trijicon’s Christian values. The clip has over 9,000 views.
We’ll be tracking the military’s investigation on Trijicon’s sights, so stay tuned.