Hooray for Hollywood
I grew up with guns, but they were always the two-dimensional type. I still laugh every time I see Bugs Bunny put his finger in the barrel of Elmer Fudd’s shotgun and it blows up in Elmer’s face. Also, I never understood why Sgt. York licked his finger to wet his front sight, but it still made me giggle. From cops and robbers to absurd car chases and unrealistic explosions, I am a fan of it all. I thought Cowboys & Aliens was the best combination since peanut butter and jelly.
Of course, I know, as we all should, that this is moviemaking magic, pure entertainment and, in a word, fake. These are things that are not to be imitated or duplicated in real life. Yes, I have always wanted to work a lever-action rifle by twirling it by the lever—how cool is that? Cool yes, safe, not so much. Having a bullet that curved would come in handy during hunting season, but that magic is for another cinematic blockbuster.
Growing up, I had no appreciation for real guns, the joy of target shooting or the respect firearms deserved. Now I do, and it makes watching movies—now with a more educated, critical eye—even more fun.
The fundamental rules of firearms safety are not always followed on the big or small screen. You may see an actor running around with his or her finger inside the trigger guard and wonder if they have had any real firearms training at all. Then you see another actor sweeping their co-stars with the muzzle and you want to laugh, cry or scream, “muzzle, Muzzle, MUZZLE!”
I love real-life target shooting and the shooting sports. And I have a great appreciation for Westerns and the guns of that era. Having a phaser I could set to stun would be pretty cool, too.
Until I reach the rank of Jedi Master and my light saber training is complete, I will continue to enjoy my fantasy life by watching and enjoying all the entertainment industry has to offer. In real life, I’ll continue to help introduce newcomers to safe gun handling and the excitement of target shooting through NSSF’s First Shots program.
As you watch movies and share in the lives of the on-screen characters, always remember that firearms safety depends on you!