The importance of Glocks in the World of Guns

The following was written entirely by Leon Harris for publication on this blog.

You may have heard the recent news story about Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords.  She was shot (along with several other bystanders) while making a public appearance in Tucson just a few short weeks ago.  The gun in question: a Glock.  While many are quick to say that such a powerful handgun should be blacklisted on the American market, they are probably not aware of just how prevalent this gun is in our culture.  In fact, the Glock 9mm is one of the most popular handguns in circulation today, owned not only by private citizens, but considered the preferred firearm of police officers across the country.  There’s no denying that this gun has mass appeal, and when you look at the particulars, it’s easy to see why.

The company that makes this gun is located in Austria, but even gun enthusiasts that support locally-made products will likely find this firearm attractive.  Not only is the weapon semi-automatic (making it legal to own and a lot of fun to fire), it is also lightweight and extremely reliable.  Made from composite plastic, Glocks are much lighter and easier to handle than their competitors (although other features are similar to any number of comparable firearms).  However, this one outstanding innovation has helped to catapult them to the top of the heap.

It is for this reason that they are extremely popular with law enforcement.  For a long time, it seemed that being on the right side of the blue line meant playing a constant game of catch-up as the criminal element always seemed to possess bigger and better weapons.  When the Glock hit the U.S. market in the ‘80s, it was like a godsend for police officers.  They seized upon the weapon as an equalizing force to confront gangs and other criminals that had been one step ahead before.  And it performed admirably, so much so that nearly two-thirds of any given police force carries them as a personal sidearm to this day.

Of course, the law wasn’t the only element to recognize the allure of the Glock.  Gun-toting law-breakers also claim this firearm as a weapon of choice (although most criminals won’t hesitate to supplement their arsenal with fully automatic guns and other illegal weapons).  And of course, the average man about town might also house such a weapon in his home for both protection and recreational purposes.  After being shot, Gabrielle Giffords herself admitted to owning a Glock, claiming to be “a pretty good shot”.

Although Glocks have garnered some media attention for their lethal force and rapid action, making them only one of many controversial firearms, they remain one of the most popular guns in the world today.  And the fact that they are endorsed by law enforcement officials bodes well for their continued circulation, despite the fact that a few criminals and nut-jobs are trying to ruin it for everyone.  As handguns go, you can’t get much better than the Glock.  They have, in many ways, revolutionized how we look at firearms, and to suggest that they be sent to legal detention because of a few heavily publicized incidents is not only unacceptable, but likely an impossible scenario.

Leon Harris writes for Silencer Co where you can find a variety of the highest quality suppressors tailored to your needs.


12 thoughts on “The importance of Glocks in the World of Guns

  1. I think it’s more than just petty nitpicking to point out that Glock pistols are not “made from composite plastic”. They are partially made from plastic. The other 80% or so, by weight, is steel. The same is true of their competitors: The Springfield XD, the S&W M&P, and the Walther P99 — and no doubt others — are all made of roughly the same proportion of plastic, and have magazine capacity in the same range. Those competitors are just about as light as equivalently-sized Glocks. The others are almost universally considered at least as easy to handle, too. The Glock is 30-year-old technology and there is absolutely nothing unique or even unusual about it at this point in history.

    So the balance of the above is devoted to painting a wildly inaccurate picture of what kind of technology the Glock actually is. He even throws in the “plastic gun” myth.

    I’m also wondering what “nearly two-thirds of any given police force” means.

    It’s good of Harris to speak up on the side of the angels, but if we demand that anti-gun people do a bare minimum of homework before shooting their mouths off (OMGWTF violentrhetoricI’mgonnawetmyself!11!) surely we can hope for the same from our own side.

  2. I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to read an article about a Glock where the author didn’t reference dropping his Glock in the mud a single time! They’re such good “mudders” according to virtually every other person who pens a piece about Glocks, that feral hogs have asked for the right to sell Glocks in Texas!

  3. “although most criminals won’t hesitate to supplement their arsenal with fully automatic guns and other illegal weapons”

    Nice of him to throw machine gun owners under the bus.

  4. In fairness, whatever full autos street gang people tend to use have not been anointed and blessed by the high priests of BATFE, and are hence illegal. Which is not to imply that the NFA and subsequent amendments aren’t a load of horse hockey, because they are that, but they are still (so far) in effect.

  5. I know everyone is being nice about the criticism but this post isn’t very well-written.

    “After being shot, Gabrielle Giffords herself admitted to owning a Glock, claiming to be “a pretty good shot”.”

    She hasn’t been able to talk yet. How could she say this?

    “so much so that nearly two-thirds of any given police force carries them as a personal sidearm to this day.”

    Where is the data on this?

    The other posters above caught things that also caught my eye.

  6. To sum up my thoughts on this article… are you sure it was written by a gun guy who is a professional writer? There seem to be about as many misconceptions and poor assumptions as the typical anti-gun article, though at least the author is more-or-less on our side.

  7. He asked if he were to write an article with the stated title if I would post it. I said I would have to read it but that I probably would.

    He sent it to me and while it said things that I would not have I didn’t have a problem with it being published. But then my criteria is pretty lax–there were no hints at illegal activities, it was not negative about gun ownership, and spelling and grammar were acceptable (I did correct one spelling error).

    Now you know just as much as I do about the writer and how his article came to be posted here.

  8. First, a disclaimer: I have seen no data, nor read much in the way of history, of how the modern police force is armed. What little history I read was a gushing endorsement of the 1911, which probably ought to be taken with more salt than I did at the time that I read it! 🙂

    But the claim that police are “out-gunned” seems rather odd to me: before any Glocks were introduced, wouldn’t the police have pretty much the same choice of gun as the criminal elements? Besides BATFE-unapproved machine guns and the like, of course, which might not offer all that much of an advantage as a criminal anyway–to this day, I don’t fully understand why someone needs a machine gun, from a tactical point of view–as best as I understand it, machine guns are used to suppress enemy fire, while others in your team advance in position.

    This doesn’t affect my belief that machine guns should be legal: they are, after all, military weapons, and so they should be legal, because of our roles, individually, in the militia.

    I’m getting side-tracked from my point: what special guns did the criminal elements have, that were unavailable to police officers? And why would having Glocks even out that advantage, even though the criminal elements would pick them up as well?

    Having said all this, I agree with the tone of the article: Glocks are popular guns, there are good reasons for them to be popular (although 1911 fans might disagree–I have to say might, because I read a gushing review of a Glock from a 1911 fan), and it’s stupid to blame a tragedy on the object used to perpetrate that tragedy, when the real tragedy was the mental illness lurking in the mind of the individual who perpetrated this event.

  9. “‘although most criminals won’t hesitate to supplement their arsenal with fully automatic guns and other illegal weapons’

    Nice of him to throw machine gun owners under the bus.”

    It was merely a statement of fact– Criminals bent on murder aren’t dissuaded by legal restrictions on weapons.

    I’d summarize the post as; “Hey – don’t pick on Glock just because this nut job happened to use one in a crime.” That is a valid point, though it may have been diluted a bit by the other stuff.

  10. Meh. Glocks are plastic handled bricks with all the ergonomics of a soup can. There are better weapons out there. If you can actually hit what you’re trying to engage, the couple of extra rounds they carry are likely moot unless you’ve got yourself into a situation where a pistol was the wrong choice to begin with.

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