View Full Version : Robert Parker on Guns
Glenn E. Meyer
So I'm reading a new Robert Parker - The one about a widow and I learn that:
1. Faced with a semi, if it isn't cocked - which you can visibly see, you can just grab it as it won't shoot.
2. 40 SW guns are rare and unusual.
Oh, well - I still like to read him.
I like to read him too but I doubt he knows or cares a lot about guns. In one he says that after a check, no .41 caliber guns were found registered in Massachussetts. Huh? Not even 1 .41 mag ? I'd have to say BS. But he was talking about some old single action. So I'm guessing he never heard of a .41 mag.
He always makes references to a .357 he carries in cases he gets attacked by a rhino. And he kills bad guys with one shot with a .25.
Oh well I have read all of the Spenser books and will continue as long as he keeps writing them.
I've gotten pretty sick of the Spenser stuff, but his newer series still have my interest. Liked the Tombstone book, too.
He doesn't know squat about guns. It's hard to believe how bad he is.
Parker makes many mistakes regarding firearms.
In his earlier work, Spenser and Hawk favored Smith and Wesson shotguns. I've been around a long time, have seen most every kind of firearm there is, but I've only seen a Smith and Wesson shotgun twice. Maybe they're ubiquitous in Boston.
In 'Mortal Stakes' Parker has a bad guy using one of those rare M16s that fires the 7.62 caliber cartridge, the standard military round, doncha know. ;Q
In same story, Spenser, armed with his trusty Smith and Wesson shotgun, uses it to kill an attacker behind cover, up hill and 50-75 yards away. Must have used some of that special load only available in Massachusetts or to private detectives. As we all know, he should have used a plasma rifle in the 40-watt range. ;f
What annoys me about writers who make such mistakes, and Parker is by no means alone, is that getting it right is so easy. It is simply arrogance and disdain for the reader.
Don't get me started on Hollywood. ;P
I have an article/interview of Robert Parker that I saved from the Boston Globe from May of 1992 when " Double Deuce" was coming out. Technically he doesn't know much about firearms but on the plus side he seemed to advocate people having the right to own guns. Similarly in an article published by Northeastern Magazine, ( my alumni magazine and the place Parker taught English before becoming a full time author), a few years back it shows him holding a Glock 17 9mm. He has a License to Carry while residing in Cambridge Massachusetts. This place might be a little tougher to get a permit than say New York City or anywhere in Southern California. I digress he claims he doesn't carry too often but feels it's important as a writer to know how one (a gun) works.
You have to understand something about Mr. Parker, he is not one to do a great deal of research on anything. For example the descriptions of the insides of the old and new Boston Police headquarters are all from his imagination. From what I understand that at least with the old location on Berkely street he has only seen the exterior, yet he writes about Quirks and Belson's offices like he visits regularly. So the fact that he even owns a gun to understand a small basic idea on how they work is a massive amount of research (for him). Think about this his character Jesse Stone who is in his late thirties and a former L.A. cop carries a Browning Hi Power in 9mm. Now lets look at this logically. Say Stone joined L.A. when he was 22. Let's call that 16 years ago or circa 1988. Let's say he stayed on for 13 years because in his first book he is 35 when he returns to Paradise MA and becomes chief of police. After 13 years with L.A.P.D what handgun(s) do you think Stone would be most familiar with? If you guessed a Beretta 92FS, a S&W 5906, a S&W 4506/4516 (late 90's post N. Hollywood shootout), a 1911 .45 if he was ever with SWAT, or even a G21 if he was with some of the more elite investigative units out of Metro, then you would be correct. But no Parker has him using a 9mm Browning Hi Power. A good gun but not one that Stone is likely to be experienced with. However Parker probably read about Brownings some time in the mid to late 80's because that is when Spenser started carrying one, (checkout Playmates).
So yes this thread is showing my gun geekiness, and probably too much insight into Parker ( a little scary unto itself) but the guy just doesn't do a whole lot of research. If the gun thing bothers you imagine if you are someone who does police work and or investigations for a living. You're pulling the hair from your head. Remember this is a guy that has never seen the inside of the old Boston Police headquarters, yet wrote about it like he had an office there. What do you want to bet he has never rode in a squad car doing a ride along. The guy still references them as "prowl cars." I don't know for sure but I think that term went out with the original episodes of "Car 54."
Okay rant off. I may have to talk with the mods of not allowing discussions of Parker on this board. It becomes way to time consuming.
Glenn E. Meyer
That was very interesting. I liked the point about him just learning one thing and never letting go.
I think the same thing is going on in the Anita Blake stories. She carries a Browning and Firestar even though there are much better BUGs now. She must have taken an Ayoob class because she gives him a credit and quotes him now and then.
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