2nd Amendment Right?


“Good afternoon, madam. How may I help you?”

“Good afternoon. I’d like a FrintArms HandCannon, please.”

“A–? Oh, now, that’s an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady. I

mean, not everybody thinks ladies should carry guns at all, though I

say they have a right to. But I think… I might… Let’s have a look

down here. I might have just the thing for you. Yes, here we are!

Look at that, isn’t it neat? Now that is a FrintArms product as well,

but it’s what’s called a laser — a light-pistol some people call

them. Very small, as you see; fits easily into a pocket or bag; won’t

spoil the line of a jacket; and you won’t feel you’re lugging half a

tonne of iron around with you. We do a range of matching accessories,

including — if I may say so — a rather saucy garter holster. Wish I

got to do the fitting for that! Ha — just my little joke. And

there’s even… here we are — this special presentation pack: gun,

charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster

with adjustable fitting and contrast stitching, and a discount on your

next battery. Full instructions, of course, and a voucher for free

lessons at your local gun club or range. Or there’s the special

presentation pack; it has all the other one’s got but with two

charged batteries and a night-sight, too. Here, feel that — don’t

worry, it’s a dummy battery — isn’t it neat? Feel how light it is?

Smooth, see? No bits to stick out and catch on your clothes, and

beautifully balanced. And of course the beauty of a laser is, there’s

no recoil. Because it’s shooting light, you see? Beautiful gun,

beautiful gun; my wife has one. Really. That’s not a line, she

really has. Now, I can do you that one — with a battery and a free

charge — for ninety-five; or the presentation pack on a special

offer for one-nineteen; or this, the special presentation pack, for


“I’ll take the special.”

“Sound choice, madam, sound choice. Now, do–?”

“And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three

six-five AP/wire-flechettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a

Special Projectile Pack if you have one — the one with the embedding

rounds, not the signalers. I assume the night-sight on this toy is


“Aah… yes, And how does madam wish to pay?”

She slapped her credit card on the counter. “Eventually.”

— Iain M. Banks, “Against a Dark Background”

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