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What you see before you is an example of the no longer mythical “pen gun,” a device designed to fire a single .22LR cartridge at…well…someone. Now before we get all Our Man Flint here, let’s note a couple of things. There are no sights (laser or otherwise). It’s a single shot, meaning is half as useful as a derringer. And it ain’t cheap. Apparently, this little jewel goes for somewhere around two and a half Benjamins. Oh, and you can shoot your mouth off with this. Literally. And inadvertently.

Apparently, back in ’05, a budding rapper clicked on a pen like this and blew his brains out. (I’ll refrain from making the obvious connections between rap ‘music’ and brainless activities like shooting yourself in the head. Oh, wait…)

Aside from being a pen only Charles Darwin could love, just what would you do with such a thing? Well, I suppose if you needed a backup gun to your backup gun, you might make this your choice, but God help you if you were as absent-minded as most of the population seems to be, go for your pen to sign a ticket in a restaurant, and let one fly through the table and/or your leg. Explain THAT one to the EMS guys. (I’m in favor, by the way of “too stupid to live” as a valid emergency room diagnosis).

Even better, can you imagine the fun if you pulled out this puppy to sign a speeding ticket? “Yes, officer…sign here? Let me get my pen…” Oh, I’m sure the boys at the precinct house will be talking about you for decades.

Then there’s the “Barry Switzer Syndrome.” I visit airports a lot. Not to fly, mind you. I’m a divorced dad of an amazing 13-year-old daughter. As such, I don’t just wait at baggage claim. I have to get a gate pass and go through security to meet her coming in, and put her on the plane going out. Before we leave the parking lot, out comes my conceal carry piece, my tactical knife, tactical flashlight, inert bullet with my name on it that graces my keychain (long story), my fingernail clippers (!), and anything else the TSA considers a weapon.

A couple of times, I’ve forgotten to divest myself of something and had to jog back to the parking lot before going through security, to avoid confiscation and/or detainment. Can you imagine what would happen if the TSA found a .22 caliber pen in the X-Ray machine? (On the other hand, can you imagine what could happen if the TSA didn’t find the .22 caliber pen in the X-Ray machine?) I shudder to think.

Full-body cavity searches, court dates, and prison terms are not something I want to think about. And unlike Br’er Switzer, I’m neither famous nor rich enough to earn one of those “Get Out of Jail Free cards the rich and famous seem to have at their beckon call.

Unless you’re Patrick McGoohan and are on the set of another spy show, I think the pen gun is a screamingly bad idea. In fact, as bad ideas go, this one ranks below only one that I can think of – a device specifically designe to facilitate shooting your mouth off. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 9MM Glock, Toothbrush Edition:

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  1. My great-grandfather had a pen gun that was made in the USSR and chambered in .22short. My uncle and I would sneak it out of his sock drawer and take it to the docks. We try to shot the pier post on the other side (maybe 25 yards). While not a ‘defensive’ firearm, it was surprising accurate for having no rifling or a “barrel” for that matter. We’d be able to hit pier posts (36″ wide) at 25-yards all day long. After a couple trips to the docks, the firing pin or cocking spring must have broke. We put it back in it’s fancy wooden box and stuck it back grandpa’s sock drawer. Man I haven’t thought about that thing in ages!

  2. “Can you imagine what would happen if the TSA found a .22 caliber pen in the X-Ray machine? (On the other hand, can you imagine what could happen if the TSA didn’t find the .22 caliber pen in the X-Ray machine?) I shudder to think.”

    Why shudder to think about them not finding it?

    You are not planning on doing anything illegal in the airport or on the plane are you? Since you aren’t a bad guy why is having your gun a bad thing? You carry on the street without committing a crime why would you commit a crime on the plane?

    The core problem with TSA and American Security Theater is that they spend their time and effort looking for weapons instead of looking for bad guys. The system is structured on the assumption that every American who goes to an airport (soon bus, train, ferry — and after that who knows where) terminal is a criminal until you prove otherwise., about as un-American a concept as possible.

    I’ve personally been the potential victim of two terrorist bombs in my lifetime (way too many thank you) and I can honestly say that I am more concerned about Janet Napolitano and her band of merry men than I am about Al Queda. Al Queda has zero chance of taking over America but Janet and her ilk have every chance of turning America into a police state — in the name of security of course.

    The terrorists have won, they have our government doing their dirty work for them.


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