Firearms Encyclopedia: 65 Facts to Deepen Your Understanding of Guns

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1George Vera

George Vera

In 2009, a morbidly obese Houston man named George Vera managed to sneak a pistol into a jail by hiding it in his fat folds, before admitting it to the police many hours later.

2. In 1954, famous rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Ace died after jokingly pointing a gun toward himself and accidentally shooting himself with it. His last words were "It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded… see?"

3. John Moses Browning not only designed the M1911 handgun, but also the M2 50 caliber machine gun, the BAR automatic rifle, the 1887 lever action shotgun, the Auto 5 semi-auto shotgun, the Winchester 1894 lever action rifle, and many other designs and calibers.

4. The national gun homicide rate is down 49% since 1993, and 56% of Americans believe the number of crimes involving a gun is higher than it was 20 years ago.

5. A tank designed by the Swiss military had a bug where turning on the heater could cause the main gun to fire

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6Batman early years

Batman early years

In Batman's early comics, he used guns and killed criminals

7. In 2009 Kashmir, when 18-year old Rukhsana Kauser saw her parents being beaten as part of a forced marriage proposal by a militia commander, she killed one militant with an ax, gunned the commander down, then started a 4-hour gun battle with the militia.

8. In 2004, a DEA agent named Lee Paige accidentally shot himself in the leg while giving a lecture on gun safety and claiming that "I'm the only one in this room professional enough to handle this Glock 40"

9. To demonstrate the m1917, John Browning fired the machine gun for 48 minutes straight (~21000 rounds). The US army shortly after adopted it as its standard machine gun.

10. In 1990, Dr. Dre beat the crap out of a woman over an interview with Ice Cube. He picked her up by her hair, slammed her head repeatedly against a brick wall, all while his bodyguard held off the crowd with a gun. After trying to throw her down the stairs, he punched her in the back of the head.

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11Jencie Fagan

Jencie Fagan

In 2006, a teacher (Jencie Fagan) stopped a school shooter by hugging the shooter. The shooter dropped the gun, and the teacher held him firmly against her until other teachers arrived to help.

12. In 1963, four Princeton students forced a local train to stop by parking a car on the tracks. With a gun loaded with blanks, they got on the train, picked four girls as their dates, and rode away with them on horseback.

13. The man third in succession for the Presidency of the United States once pried a live grenade from his arm after it had been blown off and then continued to use his machine gun with his one good arm.

14. Mass-murderer Martin Bryant pointed a gun at a man but didn't shoot, because the same man had rescued him from a car crash 3 years before.

15. In 2009, a man named Tracy Ingle was sentenced to 18 years in prison for felony assault after pointing his gun at officers raiding his home in a no-knock raid. He was shot five times and police didn't find the drugs they were looking for.

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16Daisy Outdoor Products

Daisy Outdoor Products

The company Daisy Outdoor Products sold windmills and gave a complimentary BB guns with every purchase. The BB guns became so popular that they stopped selling windmills and started selling BB guns.

17. Big Bertha, a gun used during WW1, was so powerful that troops had to move 300 yards away and put cotton wads in their ears, eyes, and nose, as well as open their mouths so that their eardrums weren't burst by the blast pressure

18. One of the weapons America would have used in the planned invasion of Japan was Little David, a 36" (914mm) mortar used to test aerial bombs. Converted into a mobile siege gun, it fired 3650 lb (1.6k kg) shells at a range of 6 miles and would have been the largest caliber gun ever fielded.

19. A man from Texas died after attempting to play Russian roulette with a semi-automatic pistol. He was apparently unaware that semi-automatic pistols automatically insert a cartridge into the firing chamber when the gun is cocked. He was posthumously awarded a Darwin Award.

20. Vermont (42% gun ownership rate) had the lowest rate of gun murders in 2010: only 2

21Rogelio Andaverde

Rogelio Andaverde

In 2003, a man (Rogelio Andaverde) in Texas was abducted from his home right in front of his wife by two masked men with guns. He returned two days later unharmed. Turns out he staged his own kidnapping so he could to go out and party with friends.

22. Real guns are allowed at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, but water guns are banned.

23. Harriet Tubman carried a gun with her on the Underground Railroad. If a runaway slave threatened to give up and go back to the plantation, she would point the gun at him and threaten to shoot him dead.

24. Tupac Shakur shot two off-duty police officers who were assaulting a young man. Charges against Shakur were dropped because the officers were intoxicated and in possession of stolen guns

25. When Manfred von Richtofen (the Red Baron) was shot down and killed in 1918, the British Army gave him a full military funeral, complete with clergy, a gun salute and a wreath inscribed with, "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe."

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