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Home / Articles / Opinion / Editorial /  Glock Talk

Glock Talk

By John Rasmuson
Posted // January 19,2011 - Too much of what politicians say these days doesn’t pass the common-sense test. That they get away with it troubles me. Here’s a recent example, a headline in The Salt Lake Tribune: “Chaffetz says he’ll likely carry his concealed weapon more now.” The headline writer captured the essence of Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s response to the horrific shooting in Tucson. Expressing concern about his personal safety, he told every reporter who would listen that he had a concealed-weapon permit and would be carrying his Glock semi-automatic pistol in public places. “I like it, and I do it,” he told The New York Times.

He may like it, he may do it, but the congressman’s plan makes no sense.

Before I explain why, allow me to establish my bona fides. As a sometime Army infantryman, I have a lot of experience with rifles, pistols and machine guns. I’ll bet I have fired many more .45 caliber rounds than Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, the guns-for-everyone lawmaker who proposed Utah adopt the Browning .45 as the official state gun.

I am also sympathetic to Chaffetz’s unease. I once lived in a place dangerous enough that my employer paid a guy with a streetsweeper shotgun to guard my house around the clock. At the time, I would have been comforted to have had a loaded Browning in the nightstand.

I think it is fine if Chaffetz wants to keep a Glock in his house to fend off intruders. Carrying it in public is another matter. In so doing, he tacitly agrees to an exchange of bullets with a gun-wielding bad guy. In such an exchange, the risk of errant rounds is high. So, too, is the vulnerability of bystanders.

Before considering a worst-case scenario, think of the pivotal scene in Pulp Fiction, when a guy bursts through a door and fires six shots at Jules and Vincent at point-blank range. All six miss. It happens in real life. Then, consider the words of John Taylor, interviewed by a Tribune reporter at a recent Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Sandy. Of the Tucson shooting, Taylor said, “You hate to hear of anything like that. But you can’t help but think what might have happened if there were a few people around who were carrying.”

Here’s what I think might happen in a worst-case scenario. An elected official is the speaker at an informal outdoor event. He is carrying a concealed pistol. A rope line shapes the audience into a horseshoe with a podium placed at the open end. As he speaks, a bad guy ducks under the rope, raises a pistol and begins to walk and shoot. Pandemonium! The official ducks behind the podium, draws his Glock and fires. Two guys in the crowd are carrying guns. One is on the east side of the crowd; the other on the west. Both draw a semi-automatic pistol and engage the bad guy. As the four agitated shooters fire, bullets tear into the crowd from all directions.

I can also envisage a scenario in which the three shooters hit the bad guy with their first shots. This one is predicated on the acquired skill of drawing a pistol and hitting a target under highly stressful conditions. I have trained on shoot/don’t shoot simulators, and I would be lying to claim I can always make a first-round hit when the adrenaline is surging. It takes a lot of practice to be proficient with a handgun. My friend, a former Secret Service agent, had to qualify with his sidearm each month. I think it is safe to say that neither Chaffetz nor most other licensed carriers go to a range each month to hone their skills. It is also worth noting that a 9mm bullet can slice through one body and penetrate another.

The truth of the matter is that in most scenarios, the good guy’s concealed weapon is irrelevant. Experience shows that the bad guy empties his gun in a matter of seconds. Think of the assassination attempts on Ronald Reagan and George Wallace. Both shooters had fired all their rounds before they were wrestled to the ground. Common sense dictates that Chaffetz’s holstered gun is useless—and surely dangerous. A better personal-security measure for him would be a bulletproof Kevlar undershirt. He can buy one on for about the same price as a Glock at Cabela’s.

A clear-eyed risk assessment is important when the subject is deadly force. To avoid the potential horror of accidentally shooting a bystander, I would think a prudent man would leave the gun at home. There just aren’t many scenarios in which a handgun is useful. A holstered Glock is useless in a drive-by shooting or when the bad guy has a rifle and scope, like Lee Harvey Oswald. That is not to say there aren’t instances in which a concealed weapon would be good to have. One or two come to mind. Nothing like a gun when confronting an unarmed mugger or rampaging Rottweiler.

In the clamor of rhetoric that followed the Tucson horror, Sarah Palin offended Jews with her “blood-libel” remark. Reformers lamented the 2004 lapse of the assault-weapons ban that made it possible for Jared Loughner to buy a 30-round magazine for his Glock. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, cited “abundant research suggesting in cities where more people own guns, the crime rate, especially the murder rate, goes down.” Chaffetz’s response was reflexive, not reasoned. It is certainly specious. My concern is that there aren’t enough tough reporters around anymore to call him on it.

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Posted // December 29,2011 at 23:17 This article has fail written all over it. As others have pointed out, the author uses totally incorrect nomenclature that even my 12 year old caught... LOL  It's fine if you don't want to carry concealed, that's your choice, but the reality is that criminals will carry guns anyway. I think it makes sense to at least give people the option of carrying a firearm. If they choose not to carry, then that is their business.  When you carry a concealed weapon, you carry the responsibility of how it is used. Every round that leaves your barrel is addressed "To Whom it May Concern" but carries your return address. 


Posted // December 30,2011 at 04:31 - All the noise about the 33 round Glock extended magazine (BAD Magazine!) but due to the length, and difficulty reloading by the gunman (Nutcase) he was easily arrested. Useing a CCW pistol in a crowd? Not.


Posted // January 26,2011 at 08:37

Someone asked me what I would have done if I was at the shooting. Firing a gun in a crowd is not a choice. The chances of hitting someone else besides your target is too great. You would be better off tackling the guy. You are responsible for the rounds you fire. If a bystander is hit, you might be going to jail. It would be my luck I'd shoot the guy, he would fall and a cop would shoot me thinking I was the perp. You are right that a handgun is not always the perfect tool and is not appropriate for all situations. Nether are the many other tools I carry every day. Each has a purpose and when used correctly in the right situation has good results. I hope the situation never arises where I feel like I need to use a gun. However, if it does I want the tools available, the skill to use them and the conscience to decide what’s right.


Posted // February 2,2011 at 10:45 - Here's the thing about Tucson as an example: There were armed private citizens present. One of them has been interviewed on tv news as saying that he pulled his piece and gave chase in the perp's direction. He came across the guys who tackled and disarmed the perp, holding his gun in the air. Our hero comes along and has confirmed that he thought the dude holding the gun, after disarming the perp, was the PERP! He froze up, not knowing who to shoot. And it's a good thing or we might have a dead hero add to the body count.


Posted // January 24,2011 at 09:27

Mr. Rasmuson - First: Browning does not and has never made a Browning .45 Cal Pistol. When you served in the military (if it was in the last 20 years) you fired a Browning 9MM pistol - academic point, but telling - since you want us to believe that you know something about guns. Second: The military is a VERY poor place to learn about civilian use of firearms since the military doesn't even allow its members to HAVE loaded weapons on base unless on duty and military use of weapons is significantly different from the sort of use that would arise for a civilian or a police officer in a normal, peaceful city or town. Third: Your scenario is amazingly ignorant. What gun owner would fire any weapon at an assailant with no concern for the bystanders and people behind the perp? No one that I know, and I know many people who carry weapons. Such behavior is reckless and would never be considered acceptable by any instructor or trainer or range master that I've ever met. Lastly, you seem to think that autopistols are somehow less reliable than revolvers. Has it occurred to you that reliability has to be the very first concern of any law enforcement agency supplying arms to its officers? Or that nearly every law enforcement agency in the entire world now chooses autopistols over revolvers? You are poorly informed, overly impressed with your own very limited knowledge and are clearly not objective on this issue. (Oh, and your mama dresses you funny.)


Posted // January 26,2011 at 06:53 - Mr. Rasmuson you are correct. The 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) was designed by John Browning while working for Colt. Colt had been working with Browning on a .41-caliber cartridge in 1904, and in 1905 when the Cavalry asked for a .45-caliber equivalent Colt modified the pistol design to fire a .45-caliber version of the prototype .41-caliber round. Eventually the Colt 45 ACP was adopted by the military and designated the M1911. World War II and the years leading up to it created a great demand. During the war, about 1.9 million units were procured by the U.S. Government for all forces, production being undertaken by several manufacturers, including Remington Rand (900,000 produced), Colt (400,000), Ithaca Gun Company (400,000), Union Switch & Signal (50,000), and Singer (500). So many were produced that after 1945 the government did not order any new pistols, and simply used existing parts inventories to "arsenal refinish" guns when necessary. Browning Arms never produced a 45 ACP for the military. I do not know what military anonymous served in but in my twenty years I’ve never heard the M1911 referred to as a Browning. That would be like calling the M16 a Stoner because Eugene Stoner invented it.


Posted // January 24,2011 at 15:29 - Hey, numbnuts, that was me accidentally posting anonymously. One of us is full of shit and it ain't me. I carried a .45 semi auto pistol made by Browning in the Army in 1970. I have one of those cute little pins that says I did real good on the range with it that day! Better than most. This from Wiki: "The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, and recoil-operated handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.[1] John M. Browning designed the firearm which was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985. The M1911 is still carried by some U.S. forces." Now whatcha got, genius?


Posted // January 19,2011 at 15:29

I'm all for the right own guns. Even assault rifles. Because they're cool. But I also love my right to free speech which allows me to question whether or not gun owners and aficionados are into guns because they're more concerned about their small penises than they are about self protection.

I have a theory, and feel free to quote me on this: Jason Chaffetz has a small penis!


Posted // December 30,2011 at 07:55 - What an idiot! It's obvious that your "knowledge" of handguns was learned via Wikipedia. There is NO "browning .45." another poster gave the correct numbers for production and that the majority were3 manufactured by COLT and others. Ever hear of Colt 45? Even an idiot from that era heard of that MALT LIGUOR! Maybe that is why your recollection (and made-up "facts" are so ignorant. Give it a rest, leftist.


Posted // January 19,2011 at 15:21

Calling a gun a Browning 45, pretty much proves that you don't know what you are talking about. Browning designed a 45 caliber gun called a 1911 (nineteen eleven), and that is what peple call it...1911.

Your incorrect nomenclature concerning one of the most common and popular guns in America and in the US military itself shows a lack of experience in "gun culture", and consequently proves a lack of experience in the area...despite your claimed military experience. The military where they have never called any pistol a Browning 45.

You are obviously a liberal gun-hater who thinks that women should go unarmed, because they can't predict when a rape will happen. It's the same situation as your ridiculous and small-minded scenarios where people couldn't shoot the bad guy fast enough. Well, you are obviously pushing your agenda by pretending that no one has ever gotten their gun out in time to make a difference. It's too bad for you that they have.

You are wrong, you don't know anything about firearms, you want citizens to be at the mercy of criminals.

Anti-gun hysteria like yours should be classified a mental illness.

Same goes for you "black mamba" you are also confusing two of the most common guns in America for each other proving you don't know jack about the issue either. I'm sure the day you or your loved ones get robbed, you will be one of the first in line to buy a new gun. Just like all the other HYPOCRITE liberals who claim to hate guns but then get armed protection.


Posted // January 20,2011 at 08:08 - When I hear "Browning 45," I know exactly what it is. It's a Browning .45 caliber semi-auto pistol. Period. You can stick your tiny details of nomenclature and stampings back in your ammo box. This would be the same .45 semi-auto Browning pistol that I fired in the Army and received a little lapel ribbon that said I knew what the hell I was doing with that pistol in my hands. You got one of those, Inspector? I never heard an Army instrucor, a real instructor, call it the "1911." "All right men, remove your 1911 from its holster, insert the magazine and stand at the firing line and await orders!" Actually, now that I think of it, the military professionals, real experts, call it simply "your sidearm" or weapon or pistol. Now, semi-autos can jam in a bind. That's why I have my Dad's police pistol from 50 years ago, a S & W .357 magnum revolver. And, Inspector, I'll be happy to provide you with evidence of a tight pattern of 6 rounds at 50 yards hand held anytime. In fact, as far as handling and knowledge go, I challenge you to a shoot-off at any range, indoor or outdoor. And I'll use .38 special rounds. They're interchangeable with .357 magnum rounds, but you probably already knew that, right? Liberal gun-haters. . .what a joke. And yeah, if "my loved ones" get robbed, we're going to run out and buy guns and ammo! But really, we'll call the police.