Monday, June 27, 2011

Hollywood Gunfight Bullshit

Let's get this straight once and for all: Hollywood-style gun use is purely theatrical.

That's right. It has no basis in actual use.

All show. All done just to look cool.

The cop hero who stands by the wall, waiting to duck around the corner, his gun raised up near his face?

Doesn't happen.

Shooting a gun sideways?

Idiocy.

Silenced pistol going phht-phht?

Nope.

If you've been using Hollywood as your source of gun use, you're doing it wrong.

Lela Gwenn gets it in her post, Dear Erotica: You Fight Like a Girl*.

Please, writers. When it comes to fights and depictions of weapons use, get it right.

If your character plans to use a gun, get yourself to a gun range and try out some guns. Or if you have a friend who is a gun enthusiast, ask them to take you to the range and sample some firearms. Learn how it feels, how it sounds, how it smells (yes, there's a definite smell to gunsmoke).

Most importantly, learn how they operate.

Even if you're not planning to give the exact model of handgun your character will use, at least know whether it's a revolver or semi-automatic pistol.

Talk to the fine folks at your local gun shop. Ask them questions. Tell them you're a writer and you're trying not to fall into the clich├ęs of Hollywood-style gun fights. Most will be more than happy to help.

(And contrary to popular belief, gun store owners--heck, gun owners in general--are not illiterate, no-neck, knuckle-dragging neanderthals. I should know. I'm a gun owner myself. We're actually nice people. *gets off soapbox*)

So the lesson here is to go out, get your hands dirty, and get your details right.

*Yes, I know it's an old post. So what? I stumbled onto it recently. Remember: Good advice is evergreen.

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