Hollywood Gun Myths

Liberals everywhere think that we law abiding gun owners wake up in the morning and cannot wait to shoot someone. Especially in Hollywood. Seriously?! There are over 80 million gun owners in the U.S. and over a trillion rounds of ammo. If we acted like that, you would know about it!

Hollywood has been bullshitting…er…teaching you lessons about guns for decades, and wants you to build your entire understanding of guns based on the gun rules they parade in all of their movies. Hollywood wants these gun rules ingrained so deeply in you that you apply these lessons in real life. Even though doing so will kill you. Because of these decades-long Hollywood-contrived rules, everyone now believes this is how guns behave and operate.

That’s right. All of the lessons Hollywood has taught you about guns are wrong. Dead wrong! So, below are eight (8) myths that we are all now to believe is real.

Rule #8 – Dropped Guns Go Off

Hollywood has taught us that even a light fall turns the gun into a pinwheel of death. Take that famous scene from True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis drops a MAC-10 down a staircase and murders half a Guantanamo worth of enemy combatants.

MAC-10 going off while falling down the stairs

You see, modern firearms do not go off when dropped, even just a little bit. Gun manufacturers are just like any other manufacturer. They test their products in every conceivable way. If their product kills people, their customers, the government and their stockholders get real pissed off. Customers stop buying, not to mention filing lawsuits. The government wants a ban on the manufacturer’s products and the shareholders sell off their shares, plummeting the stock value. That’s why the Gun Control Act of 1968 made drop-safety tests mandatory. This industry is legally tough enough without the manufacturers making an inferior product. For the record, there is no such excuse as “it accidentally went off”. If a gun discharges when the shooter is not expecting it to, that is not an accident. It is negligence! The shooter did something wrong by not following the rules of gun safety and the gun negligently discharged…right Alec Baldwin?

In fact, this myth about guns going off if dropped is making us dumber about guns. Say what?! Let’s say you drop something like your cell phone. Your instinct is to reach down and attempt to grab it before it hits the floor. And this is also true about guns because Hollywood has us believe that Gun + Ground = Death. The reality is that catching a falling object is an imprecise act, and if you attempt to actually catch a falling gun, you could accidentally catch the trigger while you fumble like an idiot trying to catch it. Either let it fall, or if you really want to avoid dropping your gun, how about Super-gluing it to your hand? That would work, wouldn’t it?

Rule #7 – Ceramic Guns Are A Thing

We all know that somehow, some way, terrorists are at their most deadly when they bring guns to places that are not supposed to allow guns, like when they sneak guns past airport security because the gun is undetectable. Anyone who’s been through a TSA metal detector knows how sensitive those machines are set. Hell, my belt buckle sets them off.

But in Hollywood, apparently ceramic guns are real…well at least according to John McClane. In the movie Die Hard 2, John utters the dialogue “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me, you know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn’t show up on your airport metal detectors and probably costs more than what you make in a month.”

First, Glock doesn’t make a model 7. Second, Glock is Austrian, not German. Third, Glocks are affordable. But fourth, and most importantly, there is no such thing as a completely ceramic gun. The grip and some of the gun’s parts may be made of polymer, but not ceramic. The barrel and the breech are steel, because the expanding gas of a firing cartridge generates too much heat and pressure to be used in a ceramic barrel. The ceramic gun would simply explode because a 9mm cartridge alone can generate about 35,000 PSI when fired.

Rule #6 – Bullets Make Everything Spark

Don’t you just love it when the bad guy’s expensive Ferrari, purchased with drug money, is riddled with bullets by our action hero? Every bullet hitting that car creates a spark, so if you slo-mo’d the action and counted the sparks, you can see just how many holes are in that car. This is complete bullshit, because bullets don’t spark.

Sparks everywhere from bullets

Almost all bullets are made of copper or copper alloy, which does not spark. And for those other bullets that do cause a spark, the spark is barely noticeable. Sometimes at the range, for fun, I shoot “green tip” rounds in my AR-15. Green tip rounds are light armor piercing…totally legal in Pennsylvania and totally allowed at my outdoor range. I shoot at steel targets hanging on a chain at a distance of 100 yards and, yes, sometimes there is a spark, but it is hardly noticeable. For a spark to be made, the bullet has to hit the steel target at just the right angle. A lot of my shots hit the target and made the target sway on its chain, but there are many shots which result in no spark because the angle of the target to the bullet was wrong, and the bullet deflected into the ground or the backstop.

But Hollywood wants you to believe that every bullet creates a spark on every car they hit, regardless of the model of the car, the contour of the car and the placement of the bullet when the bullet strikes the car. And even then, the sparks are bright enough to simulate an Independence Day fireworks show. Total bullshit!

Rule #5 – Shotguns Clear A Room

Mad Max

Can you name a weapon more badass than a sawed-off double barrel shotgun? Bet you can’t. If you need an image, think Mad Max. The shotgun got its badass reputation for the supposed hole it leaves in drywall….er…a bad guy, spraying out hot lead, requiring no accuracy on the part of the shooter, and making a hole the size of a small Chevy.

John Woo taking out 2 bad guys with one blast

Take the scene in John Woo, where the shooter takes out two bad guys with one shotgun blast. Hmmm…maybe it does have its place in Hollywood lore if you need to take out a bunch of zombies all at once.

But the reality is way different. Take this photo from TheBoxOfTruth.com. This photo is the actual spread of a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with .00 buckshot (or as we say in these parts, “double-ott”) from a standard combat distance. The diameter of the shot placement is simply too small to hit more than one of anything. No matter how hard you try, that double-barreled shotgun is only going to take out one bad guy, or maybe like three mosquitos, aka the state bird of Pennsylvania.

Rule #4 – Deadly On The Range = Deadly In Real Life

The spread of the shot is too small to take out 2 people

Think about any movie in which Chief Badass has to prove his prowess. They all go to the range, and Chief Badass places shot after shot inside a circle the diameter of a beer mug, and the rookies hang their heads in shame. Very similar to those documentaries of African lions fighting each other, where the victor gets to mate with the lioness, and the loser limps off bloody.

Hollywood wants you to believe this sort of makes sense. Anyone who can hit a beer mug diameter sized group in a paper target at 50′ can surely squeeze a round into your heart at 10′, right? I guess it could work if the shooter is an emotionless robot, like in Robocop. But reality is much different. It is in our DNA not to take a life, so if you do need to confront a bad guy, you will have to fight through your adrenaline dump, ignore tunnel vision and forget any of the other physiological effects of high stress situations.

So how exactly does Chief Badass demonstrate superiority? Cover. Hiding. Most gun trainers agree “The element reported as the single most important factor in the officer’s survival during an armed confrontation was cover.” Hiding. Having the proper training to know what to hide behind.

To survive a gunfight, pick the right cover, not a couch

Don’t you just love it when our hero ducks behind a couch while bad guys, using illegally obtained machine guns, spray bullets in his direction. Miraculously, the couch stopped every shot. I have not yet seen an AR-15 round get stopped by a couch. Statistically speaking, the guy who knows what to hide behind is 60% more effective than the guy who can hit the bullseye 10 out of 10 times.

Rule #3 – Pros Never Rack

Ever notice on your favorite crime drama or action movie, our action hero LEOs never have a round in the chamber? Our heroes are about to enter an abandoned warehouse where terrorists or gangbangers are held up. But before they breech the warehouse door, they all rack their handguns and chamber a round.

The same thing happens in our favorite Westerns too. When John Wayne is in the wild frontier on horseback and is suddenly shot at by a marauding band of Indians, he jumps off his horse, takes his trusty “saddle rifle” out from its sheath, hides behind a rock, then racks the lever.

Scene from The Big Lebowski in which John Goodman’s character racks his handgun

So this Hollywood rule that when a handgun is racked, the sound the racking action makes gives the viewer a sense that these guys now mean business, and don’t mess with our action hero. I don’t know a single law enforcement officer that does not have a round chambered in their duty weapon or their rifle when their shift starts or if they are venturing into the great unknown. If anyone is going to have a high probability of drawing their firearm, it is law enforcement.

Rule #2 – They (Don’t) Kill Horses

Hollywood horses are the luckiest animal actors around. They never get shot, no matter if it is Gunsmoke reruns or a spaghetti western, the horses ridden are never shot. Yes, they go down, but that is because the Indian who just got shot riding one falls over and his shifting dead weight causes the horse to go down. After the dead Indian is thrown from his steed, the horse gets up, shakes off the dust and trots away.

Wonderful Hollywood rule. But that is not reality. The reality is that neither rider nor horse will probably be shot from our action hero’s trusty single-shot saddle rifle. Have you ever attempted to fire a single shot at a target moving at galloping speeds from left to right across your line of sight? Most shooters do not have the experience to lead a target and get the shot while missing the horse, unless you are Lee Harvey Oswald, if you believe the Warren Commission Report.

Rule #1 – Bullets Have Amazing Kinetic Energy

If you didn’t sleep through Physics class, according to Sir Isaac Newton, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. But not in Hollywood. They have a law there which states that the bigger the gun, the more the badass is blown away. How many times have we seen the bad guy get shot with a shotgun only to fly backwards through a plate glass window? The bigger the bullet, the more you rocket backwards. So let it be written…so let it be done.

Bullets don’t have enough kinetic energy to blow someone backwards

This is Hollywood’s number one rule that they have been bullshitting us for decades now. It simply cannot happen. Bullets don’t have enough kinetic energy to do that to a human body. Take a 9mm for example, the most popular handgun caliber in the world. The maximum bullet weight of a 9mm is 147 grains. Now keep in mind that 7000 grains equals 1 pound. The maximum effects of velocity, energy, etc., is at the muzzle. So even if you were shot at point blank range, there is not enough kinetic energy in a bullet weighing less than an ounce to push a 150 pound bad ass backwards.

What will happen instead is the bullet will either travel through you if it is a Full Metal Jacket round or tear up your insides if it is a Hollow Point round. Upon being shot, you will be standing erect until the shock and pain of being shot makes you collapse. But you will not fly backwards through a plate glass window.

My bullshit meter is pegging the pin now because Hollywood is teaching us how to die in a gunfight. How about yours?

Hollywood Gun Myths