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Around The Sun: How To Fire A Glock

Steve Harrison tells of a lesson in how to fire a gun.

I lived in Phnom Penh for a couple of years and met some really wild, crazy, delusional, dysfunctional, groovy people. All you have to do is choose the adjective and read on. The people are real. The names are changed.

Maybe it’s the lawlessness, maybe the freedom to do what ever turns you on. One thing is for certain, Cambodia somehow sharpens everybody’s pencil a little quicker than most other places on Earth.


Every time I saw him he was generally very quiet. You’d call him the sullen type. Usually his head was tilted downwards to observe the beer on the table in front of him. That head was shaved bald. His only facial hair was a pair of wispy eyebrows and a goatee beard that was long and plaited.

He always wore black.

Danny B was from Ireland. He was suspected of an allegiance to an organisation we did not mention.

One day my mate Phil and I were chatting to Danny B. He was on my right. Over his shoulder was a canvas bag which bumped into me. Its weight was surprising. “Hey Danny, what have you got in the bag?'' I asked.

He pulled out a gun which had a barrel with the dimension of a jam jar. It seemed to weigh a ton. I thought it was a starter pistol or a flare gun.

"This little baby is for certain situations,'' said Danny, becoming animated. "You, know. when the opposition think they have got a secure position behind a car or a brick wall. I just fire this, then boom, there’s no more car in the way.'' He pulled out another gun. "Then I can pick them off with this Glock.''

Phil and I were gobsmacked. We sipped our beers, pondering what went on inside Danny B's mind.

Two or three weeks later, in mid-afternoon, I was doing the social bar-owner thing, sitting at a table near the entrance chatting to one of the few customers. Danny B came in, put his Glock on the table in front of me, then, without a word, went to the toilet.

Five minutes later he returned, carrying a beer, said a subdued hello, then sat down and started to drink.

I suggested it wasn't a good idea to put a gun on the table at the entrance of the bar. What if someone came in, picked up the gun, and used it on a customer?

Quick as a flash Danny picked up the gun, putting the delivery end up against my temple. A split second can change your sense of time. This was one of those split seconds.

The talking end of the gun brushed the hair near my ear. There was a click, followed by a deafening silence.

Danny B chuckled. "It won't go off, no matter how many times you pull the trigger.''

He slid back the gun's chamber, aiming out into the street, into the air. "This is how you fire a Glock,'' he announced.


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