Thursday, January 13, 2011

I just don't understand...

One of the greats of SF, Frederik Pohl, blogs!
When I first heard about this, I thought, "This is so cool!"

And then, today, I read this. Mass Murder Courtesy of the NRA

It's about the Tucson shootings, but Mr. Pohl's take on it is that the shootings are the fault of the NRA.

I can understand people feeling that the NRA make access to weapons too easy, but that's not it. Here's his take ......
However. the specific tool that Loughner used for his work of killing. was less widely reported.
He got them all — and wounded a dozen more — with his 9-millimeter Glock.
What is a Glock, and what is it designed to be used for? It’s a
rapid-fire weapon that can accommodate a 30-bullet clip, and it has only
one real use. It’s of very little value for hunting or for Grandma to
keep under her pillow to repel burglars. What it is good for is the
killing of groups of human beings by a single shooter, and for nothing
For that reason, it was outlawed by federal statute until 2004, when
that law expired and our Congress, cowardly as it always is when it
comes to offending the National Rifle Association, failed to renew it.
Since no conventional rifle or pistol could have murdered so many so
fast, it is entirely due to the work of the National Rifle Association
that most of this current crop of victims are dead.
I lost count of how many errors there are in this short piece.
  1. Pretty much every early story I read (which weren't that many. I hate repeat-news cycles) pointed out that the weapon was a Glock.
  2. I don't see how it would be of any more or less value than any other gun for Grandma to keep under her pillow. It's lighter than some.
  3. It's apparently good for other things than "killing of groups of human beings by a single shooter", being one of the top handguns chosen by law enforcement, and I don't think they're really known for that kind of thing.
  4. I've had a Glock 17 for 20 years. I bought it used from the firing range I used to go to. Legally. I certainly never heard anything about it being outlawed by federal statute.
  5. Pretty much ANY 'conventional' rifle or pistol could have murdered so many, so fast, since the Glock IS a 'conventional' pistol. I don't think it shoots much faster or slower than any other semi-auto.
I'm not an NRA member, but I have been in the past, and I don't think there's anything Mr. Pohl mentioned here that would make any member ashamed, since every point he made in his post is wrong. (Except the one about Christina Taylor Green probably not being a specific target. May she rest in peace.)

It's possible that he's a bit confused and thinks 'Glock' means '30 round magazine'. If that's the case, he probably doesn't know that 30 round magazines are also available for Smith & Wessons, Berettas, (that I checked on) and probably most other semi-auto handguns and rifles.

It sounds more like he thinks 'Glock' means 'Devil gun'. He's got that big honkin' picture of a Glock beneath the headline, and he seems to focus on the brand name more than any features (other than its magical and nonexistant rapid fire capabilities).

I don't know what the heck he's talking about, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't either.

AND.. I had my first blog comments deleted!

He invited comments on his piece, and I posted:
I’ve owned a 9mm Glock 17 for almost 20 years. I purchased it used at the gun range where I used to shoot.

When were they banned by Federal law?

I don’t know why it is any less useful to Grandma for keeping under her pillow than any other gun, nor how it differs from a “conventional pistol or rifle” in it’s ability to murder so many so fast.

It’s no more rapid fire than any other semi-automatic handgun.

What the heck are you talking about?.

But please, since I’ve never posted here before, let me also say that I’ve loved your writing since I started reading science fiction in the 60’s.

“Man Plus” is still one of my favorite all time novels.

They sat in moderation for a while, and then were gone.

UPDATE: I looked this morning, and they're back. possibly a moderating hiccup.