Well, duh. I could probably write an entire book on the complete un-reality that is portrayed in movies, but it would not be even remotely interesting, because most of that stuff is obvious. To be honest, I wouldn’t even want to go there, as movies and television are pure entertainment to me. I know Die Hard is ridiculous, but I love it.
I started taking action on my “new things I want to try” list, and decided to go to a local shooting range. As I’ve said before, I have very limited military experience, which involved a little bit of rifle shooting. I don’t know jack about handguns. All I know, is that it seems like anyone in any movie or TV show can immediately pick one up and know what to do with it. Can’t be that hard, right?
Well… there are some things that the movies don’t really clarify:
1. Guns are LOUD! Again, duh, but I don’t really think about that when I’m being entertained by a wild shootout between good and evil. Obviously, you wear ear protection at a range, but it’s still surprising every time anyone takes a shot. I kept jumping and flinching and dropping stuff. It was no secret that I was a beginner the second I said, “uh, how do you do this?” but I just looked like a bumbling idiot twitching all over the place every time there was a boom. Nevermind what I kept doing once I started shooting my own weapon…
2. Guns kick back! I was shooting a Glock 9mm, which is actually a relatively simple handgun, all things considered. It’s fairly easy to load, and there really aren’t a ton of moving parts. It’s not particularly heavy. That said, it still propels a bullet out of its chamber at an alarming speed, which causes the barrel to kick upwards after firing. Between the noise and trying to control the kick with my dainty little wrists, I became a little scared of each shot. Being scared caused me to (more often than not) close my eyes when shooting. I think you can recognize this as completely counterproductive even if you know nothing at all about shooting.
3. Brass flies back at you with no warning whatsoever! As the bullet is released through the chamber, the brass casing falls out (excuse me, shoots out) through a determined spot on the weapon. Every weapon is different, with some being designed so that the brass falls out the bottom, out of the shooter’s line of sight. Not so with the Glock. The brass pops out the top of the gun, sometimes nicely falling to the side, sometimes beaning you in the face. Thank goodness for eye protection. It’s not painful at all, but it is certainly surprising and not helpful to one who is already struggling to keep her eyes open.
All in all, I didn’t do horribly. I engaged the target at times (other times not so much), and I can definitely tell that it’s fun. I can see how the slightest jerk, flinch, uneven breath, or blink of an eye can make inches or even feet of a difference once the bullet is downrange. This makes me admire the folks on Top Shot all that much more. It clearly takes years of training to hone your aim, and I can see how how each weapon must be much more vastly different than I ever would have thought.
Conclusion: fun, and I will continue to practice, because goshdarnit I will get better at this. Hollywood, you suck for making it look so easy.