Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Look Back at Top 10 Gun-Related Stories

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Look Back at Top 10 Gun-Related Stories

Article excerpt

For Florida gun owners, 2014 was a great year -- one to remember.

Here are my picks for the Top 10 gun-related stories of the year, ranked in no particular order.

Some are national in scope, while others hit a little closer to home.

Right before the year began we witnessed the death of Gen. Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, inventor of the legendary AK-47. Today, an estimated 100 million AKs have been produced, including several semi-auto variants in my gun safe.

What started with a trickle of comments and concerns about the new, much-anticipated Glock 42 became a tidal wave of complaints. Readers said they experienced malfunctions with the diminutive pocket auto. I wrote a few stories about their problems, but Glock remained mute. However, the firm quickly made some design changes, which improved its overall performance and reliability.

In April, the Florida Sheriff's Association very publicly misinterpreted the Second Amendment -- the "keep and bear" part. In testimony before a legislative committee, FSA's lobbyist acknowledged that keeping firearms was a right, but said that bearing them was a "privilege." The lobbyist clarified her remarks the next day, but the damage to her client already was done.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in April that he was going to spend $50 million, about 1/600th of his net worth, to create a massive grassroots political action group -- a movement he said would rival the National Rifle Association's power and lobbying ability -- to finally bring an end to "gun violence."

Whatever.

2014 was definitely a great year for the Texas-based firm TrackingPoint, maker of the revolutionary "Precision Guided Firearm," which takes the science and the mystery out of long-range shooting. Using their flagship rifle, the XS1, chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, and its proprietary "network tracking scope," which can zoom from 6X-35X and calculates 20 ballistic variables 54 times per second, I was able to hit a 12-inch steel plate at 1,000 yards. No small feat that!

In May, the restaurant chain Chipotle asked their customers to leave their guns at home. The move came after some hungry open- carry activists in Texas brought their long-guns into one of the restaurants after a gun-rights rally. …

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