Glock … the book, the gun, the gun nut.

There is an interesting interview with Paul Barrett, author of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun, published here. What I find most interesting about it is the way gun owners as a group are characterized. At several moments in time, private ownership of Glock pistols increased significantly for reasons that one would normally find explaining the behavior of toddlers, or dogs, or monkeys in an experimental setting, not sentient adult humans. For instance, the cops start using Glocks, and gun owners automatically want to use what the cops use. Or, a made up fictional Glock (the Glock 7) is described in a Lethal Weapon movie, where everything about it is wrong (remember, it’s fictional) and this enrages gun owners who run out and buy Glocks. And so on and so forth.

Now, one of the things that seems to rive Glock sales is the fact that they have been used in an increasingly larger number of tragic and horrific massacres on American soil. Somehow, the association with angry carnage and hateful violence makes American gun owners want one.

Glocks hold more ammo than other pistols, can be fitted with super-large ammo holders, and have a trigger that is very smooth making it easier for untalented amateurs to be better shots. Glocks should be banned.

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27 Responses to Glock … the book, the gun, the gun nut.

  1. Russell says:

    Glocks can’t be banned, for the same reason Planned Parenthood can’t be defunded. Both require a bill of attainder, something that the Constitution wisely forbids. So those who have some specific enemy in mind instead are forced to legislate with reference to general characteristics, rather than by naming The Enemy. Some Glocks were made illegal by the now-lapsed assault weapon ban. On the right, that act is simultaneously viewed as completely ineffective and the direst act of tyranny in recent history.

  2. Greg Laden says:

    Russell, obviously. Ban this kind of gun. If one simply banned “Glocks” there would be an imitative aftermarket.

    Hand guns should be a little hard to load and should not have more than six bullets in them.

  3. KathyO says:

    I’ve asked this in another of your posts, but why is it so impossible to have any kind of rational gun control? Are gun owners really adamant that they must be allowed unlimited numbers of bullets and all manner of weaponry at all times and in all places? Or is this just the gun and bullet manufacturers who are the real voices of the NRA?

  4. had3 says:

    And cars should be designed to prevent cell phone reception to the interior compartment.

  5. Pingback: Lest we forget … « Homeless on the High Desert

  6. Neon Sequitur says:

    Glocks hold more ammo than other pistols, can be fitted with super-large ammo holders, and have a trigger that is very smooth making it easier for untalented amateurs to be better shots.

    Actually, most of the Glock owners I know consider their #1 selling point to be the machine-washable frame.

  7. rturpin says:

    KathyO asks:

    Or is this just the gun and bullet manufacturers who are the real voices of the NRA?

    Anyone who thinks this is all the doing of gun-related businesses seriously underestimates the depth and complexity of the political gun fetish in the US. Many of those businesses are happy to cater to those preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Of course! Money is money. But they didn’t have to invent the market.

    I suspect the ability to write moderate laws has partly fallen victim to the desire for a complete ban handguns. The fact that some groups were pushing for a complete ban, and achieved that in some cities, made it quite easy for anything lesser to be painted as the start of a slippery slope. An interesting question is whether the Heller and McDonald decisions, by enshrining the ability to own a hand gun for self-defense and taking a ban and trigger locks off the table, provides a step to lesser polarization of the issue. I’d like to see that, if for nothing else, to remove guns as a way for right-wing candidates to pick up an automatic block of voters, many of whom otherwise might vote differently. Alas, I’m skeptical. It is an issue that now has decades of hardened battle lines. Guns are now A Cause. So, yes, the NRA will treat every and any gun law as the greatest assault on freedom since George III burned Washington, DC.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says:

    If the Glock 7 is fictional, how can “everything about it” be wrong?

  9. Nentuaby says:

    Pierce R. Butler:

    It’s wholly unlike any other Glock model, which share strong similarities (it’s more a line than just a brand). Also the 7 number is actually impossible under Glock’s numbering scheme, which isn’t simply serial.

  10. Drivebyposter says:

    If the Glock 7 is fictional, how can “everything about it” be wrong?

    My guess is that gun nuts rarely think this deeply about anything. They act mostly on instinct and their hero/martyr complex.

  11. Greg Laden says:

    That it exists, that there are any guns made of porcelain, that porcelain guns can’t be picked up on X-rays.

    But really, the sense of it is irrelevant, as DBP says … there was not deep thought here, just one dog barking and the other dogs all running out to the Walmarts to spend 700.00 on a pistol they didn’t need.

  12. Irene Delse says:

    Anyone who thinks this is all the doing of gun-related businesses seriously underestimates the depth and complexity of the political gun fetish in the US. Many of those businesses are happy to cater to those preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

    Ah, the apocalypse! As a European, I’ve often wondered about the popularity of the “end of civilisation” meme in contemporary American media and fiction. Zombie apocalypse, the Rapture, total societal collapse, post-nuclear hell a la The Road

    It reminds me of something I’ve read about sailors in the bad old times: that they rarely knew how to swim, and that it helped them survive if case of a storm, because their reflexes were to save the ship at all price instead of feeling secure in the thought that they would be able to escape drowning by swimming. Even if the ship sank, their first thought would be to hold tight to a piece of wood, and this enabled them to keep afloat, when swimmers would have quickly died of exhaustion.

    I don’t know if the above is true, but it makes sense. And there’s something about the “got to defend myself if society collapses” meme that makes me think that this kind of people don’t believe in society, but in fending for themselves. Thus making it less likely that they would work to keep society going, which in turn increases the probability of a catastrophe.

  13. Nentuaby says:

    Irene Delse:

    I think the “collapse of civilization” meme is actually a very positive fantasy for most of the people who obsess over it. In their minds, they would (automatically and unquestionedly) be among the survivors, of course; this in turn would give them a simpler world to live by main strength and raw cunning, making their way as they see fit and when the time is ripe. No more complicated, regimented, structured, scheduled modern world for them.

    Essentially, it’s simply the romantic frontier, updated for a world that’s run out of unclaimed territory.

  14. rturpin says:

    Irene Delse:

    As a European, I’ve often wondered about the popularity of the “end of civilisation” meme in contemporary American media and fiction.

    Were that it were restricted to media and fiction! The real puzzle is how it embeds in the psyche of a significant number.

    It reminds me of something I’ve read about sailors in the bad old times: that they rarely knew how to swim, and that it helped them survive if case of a storm, because their reflexes were to save the ship at all price instead of feeling secure in the thought that they would be able to escape drowning by swimming. Even if the ship sank, their first thought would be to hold tight to a piece of wood, and this enabled them to keep afloat, when swimmers would have quickly died of exhaustion.

    When you fall off a boat, what usually kills you is hypothermia. Quite quickly, in many waters, and sometimes, even if you are fortunate enough to have been spotted and pulled back aboard. Swimming is good. And there is the rare piece of luck where someone falling off a boat at sea makes it to an oil platform or something else that keeps them alive. But that’s not how it usually goes. Sailors, whether they swim or not, have a healthy regard for keeping the crew on the boat, and the water out of it.

  15. sundoga says:

    Greg, are actually calling for a device to be banned because it’s too good at what it was designed to do? I’m sorry, “doing too good a job” should NOT be a reason to get your product banned.

  16. Garnetstar says:

    My gun nut friend once told me that when civilization erupts into chaos, in order to efficiently kill your rampaging neighbors, you’d need as much ammunition as possible. So, the best gun to have would be one that takes the same ammunition as the police use, since there’d be tons of it stockpiled for the evil government to impose martial law.

    What it is to have such a rich fantasy life.

  17. Greg Laden says:

    Greg, are actually calling for a device to be banned because it’s too good at what it was designed to do? I’m sorry, “doing too good a job” should NOT be a reason to get your product banned.

    So you admit I’m right then. Interesting. Most peopled don’t, and insist that this or that firearm is designed for target shooting, hanging on the wall, or hunting game. But you are correct. This gun is designed to kill the maximum number of people in the shortest amount of time in the hands of someone only moderately good at it, for a pistol.

    It is indeed a killing machine, nothing else, and as such should be banned.

  18. T. Hunt says:

    Ah, hysteria, thy name is Greg Laden. Instead of pushing for better laws and more accountability by those that own and use guns, you cry out for a ban. A BAN, you say! Let’s ban those evil things because, well they’re EVIL. And then you are surprised when the NRA or some other group on that side of the debate calls any law or regulation that would restrict gun ownership an assault on freedom.

    So both sides run screaming to the extremes and every time there is the mere mention of a gun or a law, the screaming starts all over again. And nothing will ever be accomplished.

    I don’t know why but you are hysterical about handguns. And as long as you maintain this attitude, no compromise is possible. For you, not for the gun lobby. When you start from the ‘BAN’ position, anything less is complete surrender. A BAN is like pregnancy. You either are or you’re not, there is no middle ground.

    And I fully believe that the gun lobby has adopted the same attitude. They are just the opposite of ‘BAN’; they want complete freedom, anywhere, any time, for anyone. And once they agree to any compromise, they’re seen as having totally capitulated.

    So it’s a lose/lose situation.

    And since there is no compromise possible, you’ll go on writing these posts about the ‘evul guns’ and being hysterical and nothing will ever change.

    Do I have the answer? Not even close. But I do know that as long as people keep screaming from the extremes, nothing will get done. As has been said by many; you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Right now, you’re not part of the solution.

    T. Hunt

  19. Greg Laden says:

    T. Hunt, I have been pushing for better laws and more accountability, as anyone who has read my writing on this will know (see http://goo.gl/QAeYO and http://goo.gl/LZ6at )

    Banning is just one option, but for the Glock, a good one since previous effort to restrict large capacity mags and safety locks have not gone anywhere because of NRA lobbying. I’m all for ‘in between’ solutions but they’ve not bee possible because of the full-on opposition to ANY regulation or control whatsoever.

    So, instead of hysterically screaming at me about my hysteria, put your money where your mouth is. Do you happen to have a plan in mind?

  20. rob says:

    I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire two hundred sixty shots or only two hundred fifty-nine?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Glock 7, the most powerful porcelain handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  21. sundoga says:

    Of course it’s for killing. ALL guns are for killing. That’s their basic, designated purpose: They are weapons.
    But in America, we have the right to have weapons, for whatever purpose we choose to use them for. There are reasonable and fair restrictions – automatic firearms have been basically banned from private ownership since the 1930s, for instance. However, I can’t see that making a weapon that is qualitatively better then it’s competition illegal is either fair or reasonable. In fact, I see it as punishing innovation and rewarding mediocrity, with possible serious effects on our economy and research endeavours.

  22. Bexley says:

    That it exists, that there are any guns made of porcelain, that porcelain guns can’t be picked up on X-rays.

    OT but I think the film was Die Hard 2

  23. SleeperG says:

    Dang, your just making the case for me. Now I want to go get a Glock to go along with my HKs, S&Ws and SiGs. And it’s not the end of society meme that I ascribe to, it’s the Zombie Apocalypse. So I guess I need to get a suppressor for my Sig 556

  24. IraqVet1999 says:

    So it is designed to be a killing tool huh Greg? Funny that the Geneva convention states pistols are a defensive tool….. hmmmm. Oh yeah when police enter a house on offensive terms the use hand guns right? NO?…. Oh that’s right they use carbines and shotguns…… HMMMMMMMMMM….. Funny thing is any gunsmith of little talent can modify any trigger of any gun to make it more “smooth” and be more accurate. Why don’t you research what you are talking about just a little before spewing drivel like you always put out.

    And still no argument from you on my wanting to ban spoons. Obesity kills more Americans a year than guns.

  25. Greg Laden says:

    OK, fine. Pistols are not for killing. That would explain why no one has ever been killed by one.

    But if you insist, since pistols are not for killing, they are no good for home defense in which you kill someone so they are no longer needed for that. They can only be used for the defensive action in which you don’t kill someone. For that, you can use, say, macaroni or a can of tuna fish.

  26. IraqVet1999 says:

    I didn’t say it wouldn’t kill some one it is a firearm. What i said is that it is a defensive on. As to macaroni for defense, you gonna sit down with the meth head when they break in and have a nice lunch?

    As to the references to the apocalypse and us so called “gun nuts” being the only ones to make it that is probaly an unfair assesment, you “gun haters” will most likely live to, at least for a while, What ya gonna do for food though cuz there would be no grocery stores and meat and protien is important. You could fish but our lakes and rivers are so poluted that you will eventualy get heavy metal poisoning but hey you still could eat awhile. oh and you know there are other practicle uses that guns will have in that Fantastical situation that we use them for today. You know like DEFENSE….

  27. Greg Laden says:

    you gonna sit down with the meth head when they break in and have a nice lunch?

    Actually, social engagement has worked for me. I prefer it to sentencing someone to death and instantly carrying out the sentence.