Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

A: 463, according to the BBC

The BBC has made an audacious if flawed bid to establish the "coachload of terrorists" as a standard for quantifying arms caches.

Back in 2014, Suffolk police found an impressive 177 rifles, 136 handguns, 88 shotguns and 38 machine guns, plus 200,000 rounds of ammunition at the home of James Arnold.

So impressive was the arsenal that this Beeb report attempts to break it down by explaining there were "enough weapons to arm nine coach-loads of terrorists if they had fallen into the wrong hands".

Well, improbable units experts will immediately see that this falls down on two points. First up, the size of the coaches in question is not defined. Secondly, we really need to know just how heavily armed each individual terrorist is.

In reality, the BBC would have been better off laying all the firearms end-to-end and expressing that length in terms of bumper-to-bumper double-decker buses, or indeed Brontosauruses.

Standards are evidently slipping down at Auntie - the corporation which back in 2011 was able to magnificently inform us that Blighty's 244,820km2 area is the equivalent of 1,000,000,000,000 doormats. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to reader Damian for the tip-off.




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