A "Quaker cannon" looks like a big gun but is really a harmless object -- a stove pipe, a painted log (both famously deployed during the Spirited Disagreement Among The States) or even a fancy inflatable decoy (the Allies used that and a whole bag of tricks in WW II to create troops that never were -- and very successfully). It's a ploy used when you need guns but haven't got them.
The opposite? 'Way more real gun than you wanted or needed, perhaps -- and before you tell me, "You can't have too much gun!" you might want to check with the Police Chief in Greenwood, Indiana: Rick McQueary recently received a half-dozen Glock 18s (or equivalent) he never asked for.
For those of you who, like me, don't have all the Team Glock baseball cards, that's a select-fire 9mm handgun nearly indistinguishable from a Glock 17 -- indistinguishable, that is, except for the speed with which it can be turned into an empty gun. And unlike the little Beretta machine pistol, it lacks both a forward grip and few-round-burst capability; it's a weapon that requires a lot of time (and a lot of ammunition) to become competent with -- at which point, it still isn't much use to a small city police department. Chief McQueary points out his officers must consider every shot. He thinks that won't be safe at 1200 rounds a minute.
I'm pleased to hear a top cop speak, even by implication, of the importance of shot placement and taking into account what else might be downrange. Chief McQueary's not pleased at all; he's got six baby buzzguns his department didn't order and won't pay for -- couldn't even if they wanted to, it's not in his budget -- from a gun store that won't take 'em back. They're in limbo.
--No, don't ring him up with an offer to take them off his hands unless your name is "Sheriff" or "Police." They're post-'86 full-autos and thus can't be sold to We The People.
And there we have it, the opposite of a Quaker cannon: the über-firepower a police department didn't want and isn't going to deploy.
6 months ago