Go Ahead–Make My Day

We had a very unusual field trip today. A friend organized a tour of the Glock gun factory just outside Vienna.

I don’t think these guys are Austrian.

Now, I’m not a gun nut. In fact, I’m a gun control nut. But I’m all for shooting things, especially after a very long week!

The tour included several teenage boys–big surprise! The Teenager even got out of bed at 8 AM for it. There were rumors that we would be allowed to shoot Glocks at the end. You know, like not with a joystick.With real bullets.

We weren’t allowed to take photos of the manufacturing process. But it was kind of like a scene from Iron Man. You know, those robotic arms that seem to know exactly what they are doing. And it was clean. Very clean. Kind of scary, clinical-clean. Definitely not Detroit!

The Austrians are apparently huge perfectionists. It was neat how much pride the tour guide showed in explaining how perfect they make everything, even to the point of manufacturing their own tools because they couldn’t find any on the market that were good enough. Somehow, he managed to do this without sounding like he was bragging. (Well, OK, maybe he was, a little bit, but he is in sales.)

The Glock people are very proud of the fact that law enforcement agencies first rejected their models, then couldn’t get enough of them (after the bad guys started using them and winning).

There was also a lot of emphasis on how traceable all their weapons are. Which, as a gun control nut, I did find a bit ironic. So, you are making these things that kill people and a major part of the process is about making sure you can find the bad guys who inevitably get a hold of your product–after they shoot someone? Hm.

There was also some commentary about stupid things people do with guns. Such as: leaving one lying around with a four year old in the house, putting one in one’s pocket without the safety on *cough*, and pretending one is in a cop movie. He didn’t mention any nationalities, but I’m pretty sure he was talking about Americans. Sigh.

I mostly know about Glocks from murder mysteries. All I know is that the  truly bad-ass lady detectives always have one. So, I was completely into taking one for a ride. This was the very cool part. Can you imagine, letting a bunch of teenage boys try out Glocks? Well, they did! These guys were so psyched. I’m glad they got a safety lesson, too.

The Teenager was a pretty good shot.

I shot a practice pistol, a 9mm, and something bigger with a lot of kick, the name of which I did not catch. But it made a big bang, and it was fun 🙂 I did not have any trouble holding onto the pistols and keeping them steady–I attribute this to extensive use of power tools. I was also a better shot than I thought I would be.

I’m still a gun control nut. Using these weapons just gave me more respect for them and the damage they can do. But I am glad I got a little instruction in how to use one safely and effectively–and I think the shooting range could be pretty fun some time, too.

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