Trigger point

January 07, 1994|By Art Buchwald

WARNING: This is not a funny column.

I am on a crowded bus and I'm on my way to New York to visit my friend Noodly, but I may not get there.

Everyone on the bus is staring at me -- they think they're better than I am -- but I am better than they are because underneath my coat I have a semiautomatic, and if they don't stop staring at me they are going to know who I am.

I bought the Glock 17 at a gun shop in Virginia.

A nice guy sold it to me for $300 instead of the ticket price, which was $550.

I showed the dealer Noodly's driving license, the one he stole out of a guy's car in Astoria, and there were no questions asked.

The dealer said, "What are you going to shoot with the Glock?" I replied, "Clay pigeons." He had a fit laughing. "That gun takes 17 bullets in its magazine," he told me. "You're going to wipe out the entire shooting range with it."

I chuckled, "Maybe I'll shoot some bats, too."

Then the man showed me special bullets that exploded when they hit a body. He informed me that there was a run on this type of ammo, and he was selling only eight boxes per customer. I couldn't say no, so I asked him to gift-wrap them with the gun.

What's good about the Glock is that you can hide it under your shirt or jacket.

The TEC-9, which Noodly keeps under his pillow for self-defense, has a 20-round magazine and 9mm snout. What Noodly likes about it is that it will take a silencer or a barrel extension. The only thing I don't like about it is when you carry one everybody can see it and then some spoilsport calls the cops and before you know it you're trying to explain all about the TEC to people who don't know diddly damn about weapons.

I'll tell you what else I don't like. It's that guy sitting across from me who keeps looking at me as if I'm nuts or something.

I have a good mind to show him my Glock and see him dive for the door.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not the kind of person who wants to use his gun on every Tom, Dick and Harry on the bus. At the same time, people who ride buses are always asking for it. If I shoot it's going to be because they looked at me funny. If one of them bumps into me when the bus stops -- he has no chance of getting off alive.

Sometimes when I'm carrying my Glock underneath my shirt the cold steel gives me goose bumps. I'm tempted to take it out and get off a few rounds in the back of the bus. Other times, just rubbing my stomach with it makes me feel warm. You didn't notice, but a passenger just got on the bus and he looked like somebody who doesn't have any use for people like me. My father was like that, and so was my mother.

They never would give me the right time. I have my hand under my shirt, and if that guy so much as glances in my direction he'll be sorry he bought a bus ticket.

You know what I think? Everyone should carry a Glock 17. That way no one will have to take any garbage from anybody who boards a bus. I haven't made up my mind yet about whether or not I am going to fire my weapon, though I'm getting pretty tired of just sitting here.

I'll tell you something. It's the people behind me that I dislike the most because they're looking at the back of my head. They think I can't see them, which is a damn lie and makes me so mad that I have to bite my tongue to stop screaming that they've looked at me long enough.

When you read the papers tomorrow, say that what I did was in self-defense. If I didn't have my Glock, I know that everybody on this bus would try to shoot me.

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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