Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Epic Fail

{Caveat: This isn’t anecdotal. I saw the newspaper article, with pictures, of the incident in question.}

Back in the day, shortly after bidding adios to the Marines’ full-time department, I ended up selling firearms behind a counter. One of our all-time best selllers were little jam-a-matic Raven .25autos. We’d get them from the factory (in a shoebox!!) by the dozen, and sell them for $49.99@, and make a tidy profit.

The store chain I worked for probably distributed thousands of the things throughout the greater Los Angeles area, and we could have sold 5 times as many as we did if we'd received more to sell.

Then came a story in the L.A.Times: It seems one gentleman was seated in the front of a full transit bus at afternoon rush hour. As part of the group of new folks boarding, a basically crazy man got on too. Noting that there were no seats, he decided that his craziness entitled him to Our Hero’s seat. He told the seated man to get up and let him sit down. Words were exchanged (most of them with four letters) as the bus proceeded along its appointed rounds.

Crazy Guy decided he wasn’t going to stand, nor stand for being so shabbily treated, so he drew and emptied his Raven .25auto at the seated Hero, at a range of about 2 feet. Our Hero, duly perturbed, got up, and beat the living crap out of Crazy Guy, handing his much-the-worse-for-wear bloody and battered carcass over to the local constables, summoned by the bus driver’s radio, and the sounds of flying molars from the commotion (this was, obviously, the Pre-Cell Phone Era), whereupon they took custody of Crazy Guy and his Weapon of Mass Destruction, the Raven .25auto - now empty.

And all the slugs, which had lodged in Our Hero’s chest pocket.

In the photographs accompanying, Our Hero revealed his secret: Crazy Guy had grouped six shots of ferocious .25auto into his left breast pocket, in which Hero had carried his $6.95-cent, Radio Shack Pocket AM radio, now in several pieces. Not so much as a plastic fragment, let alone a bullet fragment, had penetrated almost 7 dollars’ worth of the cheapest Taiwanese technology sufficient to do any harm, not even a scratch or bruise, to Our Hero. In one photo, he held out the battered little radio in the palm of his hand.

(When several of us sent Radio Shack/Tandy Corp. a letter awarding their pocket radios an Honorary NIJ ½A Threat Level Rating, they were not amused.)

After that, we advised customers enamored of the little .25s to buy them by the six-brace, carried on a leather sash, a la Blackbeard. We further advised them to shoot them until they were empty (or until they jammed), throw the now useless weapon at their attacker, draw another, and continue with their personal combat.

But we cautioned them to be very careful with their shot placement, because if they accidentally screwed up and hit someone, they might irritate them, and be beaten to rags for their trouble.

Then we showed them other choices, starting in .380, and moving upwards.

No comments: