‘Suicide special’ off the streets

Roy and I seem to share one mind sometimes (a critic would say we share one brain). I, too, was thinking about the realities of crime because 12 Division tweeted this today:


Good on them! It’s a gun off the streets. I’m glad it’s gone, and I hope the nincompoop who had it rots in prison.

There is another reason for optimism if you look at the gun. That gun sucks.

It was a cheap piece of crap when it was new—in 1890. You can buy one now for about $75 in the US, but you wouldn’t want to. It’s a ‘suicide special’—called that because its best use is to kill yourself (and not necessarily intentionally). It won’t even work with modern ammunition.

What kind of swaggering gangster would carry it? A desperate, poor one. And it turns out that most gangsters are broke. They make about $5 an hour. The last bunch we had in Weston, the ‘Five Point Generalz’, had to take the bus, and not because their Hummers were in the shop.

This isn’t the first time a gun has turned out to be junk. In the past, the police have seized replicas. And mark my words: the bulk of guns waved around are fakes. They’re much cheaper, legal, and easy to get. They fire, too: my wife once even found a blank cartridge while out for a run.

Even cheap real guns are expensive. The cheapest gun you can get on the streets of Toronto costs $1500—10 times its US price. That’s a lot of hours at $5 per, so criminals commonly rent one when they need it, I hear, rather than buy.

Of course, there are real guns out there, and real criminals too. But I, for one, take comfort that if they were truly plentiful, we wouldn’t see suicide specials.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.