Glocked and loaded

Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun


Paul M. Barrett




This novel summarizes the entrance of the Glock into the realm of manufactured firearms in the late 20th century. It delves into the beginnings of Glock and the owner Gaston Glock, who in 1980 was a manager at a radiator factory in Austria, and relates how he gained a contract with the Austrian government to manufacture a pistol.


Much of the book enumerates the legal struggles inherent with the gun industry in the 1990s, as well as the accompanying press and publicity that Glock successfully used to its advantage.


Throughout this novel you’ll find the fascinating history of Karl Walter, who was one of the first employees of Glock, and who single-handedly marketed the Glock to law enforcement officials in the United States.


The gun industry has gone through many shifts since the 1980s, both in the law enforcement industry and in the public sector. This book provides yet another morsel of information regarding the rise of one America’s most popular pistols, and illustrates how the Glock’s popularity is deeply intertwined with America’s gun culture, laws, and politics.


I recommend this book for both gun enthusiasts and the average citizen, because it describes the influence of the media on commercial enterprise. However, it’s especially interesting to see the intersection of politics and guns, an issue that seems to always be at the forefront of our minds in the 21st century, when much of the current presidential administration seems to be vociferously engaged in a battle to strengthen gun control laws.


Ryan Hartwig



Questions to consider while reading this novel



Who was a radiator factory manager in 1980 in Austra whose side job was manufacturing curtain rods?



How old was _________ when he submitted his first patent for firearm design?



Who did _________ hire to market his gun in the United States?



What strategies did Glock use to influence the market in the United States?



Do the names of Glock models correspond to the magazine capacity of their clips?



Where did ______________ test his first prototypes of the Glock 17?



Which police department first transitioned to the Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol?



What was the criteria used by the Austrian government to choose a new pistol for its military?



Which police force in the U.S. received Glocks in 1989 and then had them replaced in 1994 for new ones at no additional charge?



What aspect of the Glock 17, never before seen in a pistol, sparked a wave of negative publicity in the late 80s?



What did early tests by the FBI tell about the Glock 17?



What are some obvious disadvantages of the Glock 17? Advantages?



Which Austrian was conscripted into the German military(Wehrmacht) as a teenager during WWII?

Excerpt: Cien Años de Soledad

Page 195, General Moncada

“Lo que me preocupa — agregó — es que de tanto odiar a los militares, de tanto combatirlos, de tanto pensar en ellos, has terminado por ser igual a ellos. Y no hay un ideal en la vida que merezca tanta abyección.”


English translation by Ryan 

“What worries me”, he added, “is that because of  your opposition to the military, your hate and your focus towards them has caused you to become like them. There’s not a belief system in the world that deserves such degradation.”



Politics, Racism, Prejudice

Book Review: I Am Legend

Yes, the book was better than the movie. This book definitely had some suspenseful moments that made my heart skip a beat or two. The main character, Robert Neville, is the sole survivor of an vampire plague, due to a chance vampire bat bite while in Panama.

What I found remarkable was his ability to persist in the face of opposition. Despite being the only bacteria-free human, he persevered in his efforts to destroy the recently infected humans in his neighborhood. Even his own neighbor had become a vampire, and would taunt him on a daily basis.

While at the edge of despair, he becomes motivated to find the source of the plague. He learns how to use a microscope, reads up on bacteria, and learns the secrets of the vampire plague.

For me, Robert becomes a legend because of his ability to persevere in the face of adversity. At the end of the book, he is the sole survivor of the human race. He strikes fear in the new race of vampire-humans. Perhaps what strikes fear in them is his ability to learn and overcome.

On a personal note, I find his research into the origin of the plague most interesting. As a former pharmacy technician, I know there’s a big difference between treating the symptoms and treating the cause of the problem. I feel like many of our political solutions are mere quick-fixes, and don’t treat the true causes of moral decay and apathy.

Robert was often tempted to give in to the masses. He would have become a vampire, and probably wouldn’t have missed his humanity. However, he was true to his identity.