Paul M. Barrett, the author of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun, showed up at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. We have been pushing him a little bit for some of the things he has written in the past. While he is someone I would characterize as mildly anti-gun* I don’t think I need to put on my tin-foil hat. With the limited information DirtCrashr had his suspicion was reasonable. But I’ve spent many hours with him now and I think he is probably being straight with us when he says he thinks we will like his book. I have agreed to read it and write a review of it. I expect I will get a preliminary version in a few days. My expectation is that I will find it an interesting read and will suggest it to others.
He went shooting with us yesterday and he shot a variety of guns and said he had a great time. He also said he tried to buy a handgun but going through the paperwork required by New York City had a rather chilling effect, “The police have no business knowing all the information they requested.” That was a very good sign to me.
In case you are wondering; after I showed him the video I made he showed me the video he made. We had a nice discussion afterward and (I believe this is correct) his position is that there might be some instances where the banning of possession of magazines greater than eight or ten rounds would save a few lives. He concedes there might be cases where such a ban would cost a few lives. In any case that’s not something worth investing political capital in. He put that in there mostly to point out that the 1994 “assault weapon” ban was totally worthless. The only thing that would have a chance of making people safer is a ban that would prohibit possession as well as manufacture and sale. But again the political difficulty of passing such legislation is not worth the effort.
The bigger story, again paraphrasing my discussions with Barrett, is that the anti-gun people biggest successes were the seeds of their failure. The Glock supposedly being “invisible to X-rays” got it unwanted attention by the Federal Legislature. But this increased its public profile and sales. The same with the 1994 ban on magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds. The irony is fascinating to him and he explores this in his book. This is part of what makes the book a very good read.
I’ll let you know after I read it but for now he has me about 90% sold when he says it is a good book that gun owners will enjoy.
*Update: After reading his comment I think that instead of “mildly anti-gun” it would be more accurate to say he is accepting of more gun regulation than I am comfortable with to call him pro-gun. And in any case as I have said before finding something to disagree with him on, which I could find many, is not the way you recruit people to your cause. Find the things that you agree on and work together on those issues. If necessary the points of disagreement can be revisited when you have accomplished everything you can as a team.