RARA-AVIS: riot gun

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 10 Sep 2003

I finished Lionel White's Hostage for a Hood yesterday. It was good, maybe very good. One thing that really struck me was how Gold Medal novels finish. Screw summing up or offering a cool down period at the end. The climactic action goes up until the last page. There is only half a page after that to wind things up. And then it's over.

I also liked how White kept track of how things vibrated out from earlier acts, anything from a stray dog dragging around, then dropping a chewed up scarf to coming back to note a widow grieving over a character killed pretty early on.

However, the real reason I'm writing is to once again expose my lack of gun knowledge and ask a question. White refers to a cop's riot gun. What is this? I thought it was a pump action shotgun, but it shoots bullets not buckshot. If this is the case, did cops really shoot bullets into crowds of rioters as late as the 1950s (seems to me there would have been a lot more death in the civil rights movement if they did), or did it just retain the name from an earlier time?


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