Aw, shoot! I missed Glock Days again

On July 30, 2012, Catherine Murch shot her two children in her St. Louis-area home and then killed herself, using a 9 millimeter handgun that she had purchased on July 28 from ontargetstl.com for $473.  The tragic story of murder-suicide with a handgun was the top news story in St. Louis for days.  Less than one week later, on August 8, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dedicated the bottom half of page 3 of its front section to an ad by MidAmerica Arms, touting “Glock Days.”

I don’t go looking for gun-show ads. But I do read the morning paper, and this ad would have been tough to miss. I suppose I’m naïve, but I was rather shocked by the prominence of the ad, what it advertised, and how it portrayed and hyped the product.

Glock Days. It sounds so festive, it almost makes you want to pack a picnic lunch and head on over for some real wholesome, functional family fun. Glock’s own Facebook page calls Glock Days ” special events (similar to a department store one day sale).” And the ad copy is fun and celebratory,too:

“Come in to register for a free Glock drawing.”  [Hooray, I can get a gun for nothing!]

“See us for a suppressor/silencer.” [We all really need one of those, don’t we?]

“Ammo deals!” [The more the better, right?]

“3,000 square feet of guns, ammo, apparel, accessories, safes, knives, targets, optics and more.” [That’s more square feet that my entire house, and it’s hard to imagine filling the whole joint with firearms and ammo.]

My favorite promotional line from the ad: “Choose the right Glock for you from our great selection.”  [I can’t wait to have a professional gun profiler interview me to determine exactly which gun is right for my personality and purposes.]

And for those, like me, who have no clue as to how much money we need to stockpile in order to buy a gun, here’s some useful info from the ad:

  • Glock Gen 3, 9mm, .40, S&W:  $499.95
  • Glock Gen 4, 9mm, .40 S&W:  $539.95
  • Ammo, 9 mm:  $10.99/box

All the fun and special-event gun shopping was brought to us by MidAmerica Arms. It was on August 10-11, 2012 in South St. Louis County [6 miles from the site of the Murch murder-suicide]. And I forgot to put it on my calendar.

Gloria Shur Bilchik Gloria Shur Bilchik (472 Posts)

Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.


  • Joan

    This has to stop. No more gun sales on the internet. PLEASE, write your congress person. Two innocent children…gone.

  • EpsilonSemi

    I know this is not going to change anyone’s opinions or views, but I felt compelled to post:

    Buying a firearm online is not a simple matter of them shipping it to your house. Online purchases must be delivered to a federally-licensed dealer (read: a store that sells firearms like MidAmerica Arms) and put through the same background-checking process as purchasing a firearm in the store. So “gun sales on the internet” are not something that you need to write your congressman about — it’s more or less the same as buying a firearm at the store, but with a better range of selection…at least, in Missouri (can’t speak for other states, I don’t live in them).

    Also, drawing parallels between a mentally ill person who killed her own kids and a convention for gun hobbyists is frustrating. You can’t judge hobbyists based on the actions of one mentally ill person. Chances are if you’re at a point where you want to kill yourself and your children, the availability of a gun isn’t going to stop you from doing it (like that one mother who drowned her kids in the bathtub).

    Highlighting all the particulars of the “gun show” and making sarcastic comments about them, then pointing out that a gun was used in a mentally ill person’s actions is a way to demonize hobbyists. The majority of people who are “into guns” (like me) are fans of going to the range and practicing our marksmanship for fun and sport. It’s no different than people who are into archery or track & field — it’s a fun sport or a hobby, and we are not basketcases waiting for “one bad day” to go kill kids or shoot up movie theatres. If you bring up the “Glock Days” event and criticize it piece by piece, you should also be sure to criticize car shows and blame car hobbyists for all those drunk drivers that kill people in cars.

    And yes, there is a fundamental difference between guns and cars, I’m aware of that: guns are made to kill people, and cars are made to transport people. But the overwhelming majority of people who are into guns AREN’T KILLING PEOPLE. We’re enjoying our hobby and wishing that people would focus on keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them (by focusing on mental health programs and improving our criminal justice system) than attacking/criticizing normal, responsible gun hobbyists and owners like me and our events where we can get together and appreciate our hobby.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Davis/1796269175 Mike Davis

    Interesting comment – do you actually support increasing funding for mental health programs? If availability of guns does not “cause” people to kill – they at least increase the ease and likeliehood – otherwise how to explain elevated murder rates in countries with lower gun ownership laws? Some people enjoy hobbies of blowing stuff up – does that mean explosives should be readily available at Wal Mart?

  • EpsilonSemi

    I do support increased funding for mental health programs, definitely, though I’d love to see a little less emphasis on drug-based treatment — there’s a place for that, but it shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all Big Pharma pushes it to be.

    And regarding countries that have “elevated murder rates” in countries with “lower gun ownership laws” — what countries are these that where the murder rate is ONLY affected by the prolificity of firearms? The countries with the highest homicides (as per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate) have numerous problems that contribute to the homicide rate.

    The presence or absence of firearms does not directly contribute to murder/violence rates. Just look at the United Kingdom and its high knife crime rates: they’ve outlawed guns, yet people still commit violence and murder.

    I’m not advocating free guns for every child. I still believe there should be a standardized (even federal-level) process to keep guns away from felons, the mentally ill, and children (like background checks and a waiting periods, for examples). However, attacking and demonizing normal, law-abiding gun owners and hobbyists is not going to change how determined criminals are going to use instruments of violence in their crimes, be it guns, knives, or even lead pipes. The emphasis should be on education, mental health, and justice system reforms, as well as proper enforcement of already-established gun laws with appropriate background checks.
    And there are people who enjoy blowing stuff up, and they do sell that stuff: they’re called fireworks.