Every time there is a mass shooting in the US Gaston Glock, sitting in his cellar in Carinthia, watches his top-line sales number skyrocket. The killings are also good for his bottom line: Glock is among the 25 wealthiest men in Austria.
Gaston Glock can be proud that his semi-automatic pistol is the weapon of choice for lunatics in the US who run amok:
"It's no surprise that the Glock has also been the gun of choice for some prolific psychopaths. Byran Uyesugi used a Glock 17 to kill seven people at a Xerox (XRX) office in Honolulu in 1999. Seung-Hui Cho, who murdered 32 at Virginia Tech in 2007 before killing himself, used the same Glock 19 model that Loughner is accused of firing in Tucson. Steven Kazmierczak packed a Glock 17 when he shot 21 people, killing five, at Northern Illinois University in 2008."
And, of course, it was a Glock 19 with an extended magazine that was used earlier this month to gun down Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford and 19 others (six killed).
Gaston Glock and his defenders - they are legion in gun-crazy America - will argue that people, not weapons, kill. Perhaps, but extent of the deadly mayhem we see routinely in the US is also a result of the Glock's unique technology:
The smooth-firing Glock did not cause these massacres any more than it holds up convenience stores. But when outfitted with an extra-large magazine, it can raise the body count. The shooters in Arizona, Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, and Texas could not have inflicted so many casualties so quickly had they been armed with old-fashioned revolvers. In its 2010 catalog, the manufacturer boasts that while the Glock 19 is "comparable in size and weight to the small .38 revolvers it has replaced," the pistol "is significantly more powerful with greater firepower and is much easier to shoot fast and true."
Glock's company is private, so we don't know his exact numbers, but it is estimated that two-thirds of his approx. €100 million turnover comes from the US, where the pistol has become a cult-item:
In den USA sorgt der Name Glock dafür, dass man Österreich nicht nur wegen „Sound of Music“ und Arnold Schwarzenegger kennt. Die Waffe hat eine leidenschaftliche Fangemeinde. Es gibt ein knappes Dutzend Internetforen, in denen man über seine Glock diskutieren kann; wenn man sich eine neue Pistole kauft, nennt man das „Glockmas“ (in Anspielung auf Christmas), manche feiern gar den Geburtstag von Gaston Glock (19.Juli) und das US-Staatsmotto „In God We Trust“ haben die Fans abgewandelt in „In Glock We Trust“.
(In the US, the name Glock means that Austria is no longer just associated with "The Sound of Music" and Arnold Schwarzengger. The weapon has a passionate community of fans. There are at least a dozen internet discussion forums where people can discuss their Glocks; whenever a new Glock is purchase it's known as "Glockmas" (a play on Christmas); Anton Glock's birthday (July 19) is celebrated, and fans have changed the national motto "In God We Trust" to "In Glock We Trust".)
As for Gaston Glock, the wealthy recluse hides out in the basement of his huge compound, venturing out only in his private jet. As he told Forbes:
„In der Luft gibt es weniger verrückte Menschen.“
("Up in the air there aren't as many crazy people")