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- Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is in the process of buying more than 100 plastic handguns that would be difficult for airport security forces to detect. Incredibly, the pistols are made in Austria - where Gaddafi-supported terrorists shot up the Vienna airport during Christmas week.
"This is crazy," one top official told us. "To let a madman like Gaddafi have access to such a pistol! Once it is in his hands, he'll give it to terrorists throughout the Middle East."
The handgun in question is the Glock 17, a 9-mm. pistol invented and manufactured by Gaston Glock in the village of Deutsch-Wagram, just outside Vienna.
It is accurate, reliable - and made almost entirely of hardened plastic. Only the barrel, slide and one spring are metal. Dismantled, the weapon is frighteningly easy to smuggle past airport security.
- In a terrifying example of progress outpacing common sense, the handgun industry is poised on the brink of the first major change in concealable firearms in this century--plastic handguns.
Incorporating resilient, lightweight, corrosion-proof polymers into their design, plastic handguns will render metal detectors ineffective. When broken down into their component pieces, they will easily deceive X-ray machines.
This new generation of handgun will appeal to numerous gun aficionados for a variety of reasons, but will be best suited for one in particular: terrorists. Unfortunately, we already have a glimpse of the future. Austrian plastics manufacturer Gaston-Glock has developed the Glock 17, the first handgun in the world to employ plastic in its structural design. This "handgun of the future" is almost half plastic. Only three of its major components are metal: the barrel, slide and spring. Including its clip, the 33-piece gun weighs only 23 ounces and can be field-stripped and reassembled without tools.
- Sugarmann, Josh (March 24, 1986). "Progress Gives Us Great New Handgun--Hijacker Special". Los Angeles Times.
- Innocent people lost their lives to a gunman whose import Glock 17 was a death machine which fed bullet after murderous bullet in the firing chamber.
- I got my twin Glock .40s, cocked back.
Me and my homies, so drop that.
- Christopher Bridges, "Roll Out" (2001), Word of Mouf
- I have a Glock 9 millimeter, and I’m a pretty good shot.
- Representative Gabby Giffords, in a 2010 interview with The New York Times (Becker, Jo; Lou, Michael (January 10, 2011). "In Tucson, Guns Have a Broad Constituency". The New York Times. ; Lowrey, Annie (January 11, 2011). "The Glock Spiel; How the company that made Jared Lee Loughner’s gun became so successful". Slate. ; Lowrey, Annie (January 13, 2011). "America's 25-year love affair with Glocks; How company that made Jared Lee Loughner's gun became so successful". Slate. NBC News. ; Allen, Nick (January 9, 2011). "Gabrielle Giffords: profile of the Congresswoman fighting for her life". The Daily Telegraph. ; Mak, Tim (September 1, 2011). "Ariz. GOP raffling off Glock gun". Politico. )
- The sickening shooting spree in Tucson holds many lessons for our country, but the most important is this: It's much too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on deadly weapons.
We must change this.
A good start is by banning high-capacity gun magazines -- which allow scores of bullets to be loaded at one time -- such as the one used in the Tucson massacre that left six people dead and 14 others wounded, including my colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
According to news reports, Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter in Tucson, used a 33-round magazine in a murderous rampage. The sheriff says 31 spent rounds were found on the scene.
As we now know, a group of heroic bystanders stopped the shooter by wrestling him to the ground. But they didn't have an opportunity to intervene until he emptied the magazine and paused to reload.
If the shooter didn't have access to the high-capacity magazine that he used, he would have stopped to reload sooner and lives might have been saved.
Loughner's magazine was attached to a 9 mm Glock 19 semi-automatic handgun, which is the preferred weapon of deranged madmen. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho used the same model in the Virginia Tech shooting spree, which claimed 32 lives.
- Frank Lautenberg (Lautenberg, Frank (January 12, 2011). "Ban high-capacity gun magazines like one used in Tucson". CNN. )
- Enhanced lethality, that's what we are talking about. Lethality increases when you have larger bullets, more ammunition and the guns are easier to operate. That's the contribution Glock and others have brought to America.
- Virginia Tech. Gabby Giffords. Now Aurora, Colo.
The names and places are linked by tragedy, death and the Glock semiautomatic handgun.
The young men who carried out these mass shootings — and analysis says such killers are almost always male and most often young — all counted at least one of these versatile, easy-to-fire pistols in their arsenals....
Like other mass shootings, Friday’s attack sparked calls for more gun control.
- Horwitz, Sari (July 20, 2012). "Glock semiautomatic pistol links recent mass shootings". The Washington Post.
- Certain guns have a reputation of being especially deadly. They would be the weapons of choice. Contrary to popular belief that these are guys who go berserk, they tend to be well-planned executions. They plan what they are going to wear and what weapons to bring.
- James Alan Fox, criminology professor at Northeastern University and an expert in mass shootings, in reference to the Glock semiautomatic handgun (Horwitz, Sari (July 20, 2012). "Glock semiautomatic pistol links recent mass shootings". The Washington Post. )
- The bullets it fires are larger. They put bigger holes in things.
- Police said the alleged gunman had three weapons: a Remington shotgun, a Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifle and a Glock .40-caliber handgun. The assault rifle, which is akin to an AR-15 and is a civilian version of the military’s M-16, could fire 50 to 60 rounds per minute and is designed to hold large ammunition magazines. The source said that Holmes allegedly had obtained a 100-round drum magazine that attached to the weapon but that such large magazines are notorious for jamming. The law enforcement official said authorities think the gunman first used the shotgun — some victims have buckshot wounds — and then began using the assault rifle, which jammed. Then he resorted to the handgun.
- Fahrenthold, David A.; Heath, Thomas; Achenbach, Joel (July 22, 2012). "Aurora, Colo., shooting spree: A day of tears for victims and twists in case". The Washington Post.
- The Glock pistol reportedly used by alleged South Carolina mass killer Dylann Roof stands as a stark example of the gun industry’s marketing of increased lethality. Since the mid-1980s, increased firepower and capacity have defined the products of the gun industry — of both U.S. and foreign manufacture.
Glock pistols have been part of the arsenals of some of the most infamous mass shooters in the United States, including the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which left 33 dead and 17 wounded, as well as the January 2011 attack at a Tucson, Arizona Safeway parking lot by Jared Loughner which left six dead and 13 wounded — including then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Examples of additional mass shootings involving Glock pistols include:
* The 2012 attack at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that left seven dead (including the shooter).
* The 2012 mass shooting at the Century Aurora 16 movie theater that left 12 dead.
* A 1999 shooting at a Xerox Office Building in Honolulu, Hawaii, that left seven dead.
* A 1999 shooting in Springfield, Oregon, where the 15-year-old shooter killed his parents, and then went to school where he killed two of his classmates.
* A 1998 workplace shooting at the Connecticut State Lottery Headquarters where the shooter killed four before taking his own life.
* The 1991 shooting at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas that left 24 dead (including the shooter).
- We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.
- President Barack Obama (July 12, 2016) Remarks by President at Memorial Service for Fallen Dallas Police Officers
- Then Felicia Sanders heard the first startling boom, she said, as Dylann S. Roof removed a Glock .45-caliber handgun from his fanny pack and methodically shot one African-American worshiper after the next, nine in all, starting with the pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney.
- Sack, Kevin; Blinder, Alan (December 7, 2016). "Heart-Rending Testimony as Dylann Roof Trial Opens". The New York Times.
- Mr. Roof, 21 at the time, told the agents he was astonished to find the church parking lot not swarming with police when he exited a side door at 9:06 p.m. on June 17, 2015. He said he had saved one of eight magazines for his Glock semiautomatic handgun, loaded with hollow-point bullets bought at Walmart, so he could kill himself if confronted by the police....
A final scene from the security camera showed Mr. Roof exiting the church’s side door, holding the Glock at his right side and driving off in his black Hyundai Elantra.
- Sack, Kevin; Blinder, Alan (December 9, 2016). "Jurors Hear Dylann Roof Explain Shooting in Video: ‘I Had to Do It’". The New York Times.
- The man accused of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, legally purchased the guns he used to kill 11 people in what is believed to be the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States, according to the federal authorities.
Officials have said Mr. Bowers used four guns — an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns — in his shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
An investigation has concluded that the guns were “acquired and possessed legally by Bowers,” the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Tuesday.
Mr. Bowers did not fall into any category barred from gun ownership under federal law, including felons, convicted domestic abusers, dishonorably discharged veterans, or people adjudicated to be mentally ill or subject to certain restraining orders.
- The National Rifle Association is trying to export its guns-for-everyone-everywhere agenda overseas — and its global activities have little to do with its mission to protect the constitutional rights of gun owners....
For those manufacturers, cultivating relationships with the American gun lobby is paramount for business. Who, after all, will defend foreign gun manufacturers after their firearms are used in mass shootings here in the United States and ensure that the market for American customers remains unrestricted? The alleged killer at the Pittsburgh synagogue in October relied on three Austrian Glock .357 handguns (along with a Colt AR-15 rifle). The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School used a Glock 10mm handgun and a German SIG Sauer P226 9mm handgun as well as an American-made assault weapon to kill 26 people.
So it’s no surprise that in 2008, Beretta, an Italian gun manufacturer, pledged to donate $1 million to the NRA. Belgian FN Herstal gave as much as $200,000 to the lobby in 2013. Glock donated at least $115,000 during 2011, and both Glock and Beretta are part of the lobby’s Golden Ring of Freedom, an elite circle for donors that gift $1 million or more. SIG Sauer is also part of that club.
- The Pittsburgh City Council voted Tuesday to restrict assault weapons months after 11 people were shot and killed with an assault rifle and other guns at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue.
The three bills restrict the use of assault weapons, extended magazines and armor piercing ammunition in public places within the city of Pittsburgh, and allow courts to temporarily take guns away from individuals deemed to pose a significant danger to themselves or others.
"Today Pittsburgh took a stand to say enough is enough," city councilman Corey O'Connor told CNN. He said this "shows that the city of Pittsburgh is willing to fight to protect its residents."
The legislation comes months after the deadliest assault on the Jewish community in US history, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Eleven people were killed and 6 were injured when a man opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. Police said the shooter used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack.
- Sullivan, Kate; Romine, Taylor; Simko-Bednarski, Evan (April 2, 2019). "Pittsburgh city council votes to restrict assault weapons months after Tree of Life synagogue massacre". CNN.
- Encyclopedic article on Glock on Wikipedia