Sales of handguns—especially the Glock 19 (shown at right)—surged right after the Tucson shooting spree. Sales rose 60% in Arizona, 65% in Ohio, 38% in Illinois, 33% in New York, and 16% in California, according to reporting by Bloomberg from FBI data.
The Glock 19 is the weapon the alleged shooter used, complete with the handy 33-round extended magazine. This Austrian-made semi-automatic pistol is the most popular handgun in U.S. law enforcement and among gun enthusiasts. I’m neither of those, but I do know how to shoot and I’ve shot the Glock 19 at a firing range. It strikes me as an ideal concealed weapon—lightweight (it’s made of plastic), small, reliable, and devilishly simple to operate. Indeed, the manufacturer advertises that it’s “suitable for concealed carry.”
Why the sales surge?
It’s dangerous out there, some say, what with all those gun-toting nuts. We need handguns (especially with the 33-round clip) to protect ourselves and our families. More people with guns might have prevented the tragedy, according to Arizona Representative Trent Franks, a Republican. “I wish there had been one more gun there that day in the hands of a responsible person, that’s all I have to say,” according to Politico. It’s a 21st century version of the Wild West. Gun store owners attribute the run on guns to worries that handguns will be more tightly regulated or even banned.
“The best memorial [to the Tucson victims] would be to regulate firearms every bit as seriously as we regulate automobiles or toys,” writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.