When reading Prof. James O. Tate’s review of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun (“Caring About the Glock,” September), I kept hoping that he would have recited the key statistic that makes guns so beloved and embedded in America’s history and culture: Each year guns are used some two million times to prevent a crime from happening, versus some 450,000 times when guns are used to commit a crime.  Author Paul M. Barrett and reviewer Tate might believe that the Glock is “ugly,” but to millions of American gun owners, their Glock represents a beautiful and logical choice for personal and family protection.  Politicians really love guns, too, for the exact same reason, which is why they all have bodyguards that carry them.

—Robert Bland

Darien, IL

Professor Tate Replies:

I acknowledge the point of the usefulness and the moral probity of gun possession, as did the author of Glock, Paul M. Barrett.  As for “ugly,” that did not come to mind when I recently saw photos of Bonnie Parker’s Colt Detective Special .38 and Clyde Barrow’s 1911 Army Colt .45, as they are coming up for auction.  Those are some lookers, but are expected to cost over $150,000 apiece, if not twice that.  I don’t know where Bonnie’s BAR is, if it exists, but however intimidating and effective it was, “pretty” wasn’t the word for it, nor for Bonnie.


Jews, But No Irish

In “A Mayor for London” (News, August), Christopher Sandford criticizes remarks made by mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone that were critical of Jews.  Yet there was no mention of the fact that Mayor Boris Johnson is a known anti-Irish bigot, who has repeatedly trashed the Irish people.

In February, Johnson referred to a London St. Patrick’s Day event as “Lefty Sinn Fein crap.” He went on to accuse the Irish of being “lazy and stupid.”  Obviously, the author objects to remarks against Jews, but has no problem when it comes to bashing the Irish.

—Ray Gordon

Bel Air, MD

Mr. Sandford Replies:

It is not so much that I have no problem with Mayor Boris Johnson’s remarks “bashing the Irish,” but that I was unaware of them.  I do know that the mayor has been known to express himself over-floridly in the past, and I apologize for not being familiar with his specific intemperance of phrase on this subject.  For the record, my paternal grandparents were Irish.