Guns on TV

This is a discussion on Guns on TV within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I know this sort of thing has come up from time to time, but I have recently been becoming extra aware of it and finding ...

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Thread: Guns on TV

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Guns on TV

    I know this sort of thing has come up from time to time, but I have recently been becoming extra aware of it and finding it both seriously annoying and humorous at once: how guns are portrayed on TV and how seriously wrong they get it. Some examples:

    1 - showing modern guns in historical settings
    2 - hammer-less guns and ones without a thumb safety (e.g. Glock) always accompanied by cocking sounds, even when there is no thumb motion.
    3 - cocking sounds repeated after firing one round
    4 - absolutely no recoil, gun stays steady even when fired one handed with arm limply extended.
    5 - BG always playing with gun, typically shown racking the slide (usually when interfacing with the main characters).
    6 - complete downplay of sound levels associated with shooting.

    It really makes me wonder how much TV impacts the perception of the average uninitiated, or even worse, the rabid anti.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noway2 View Post
    I know this sort of thing has come up from time to time, but I have recently been becoming extra aware of it and finding it both seriously annoying and humorous at once: how guns are portrayed on TV and how seriously wrong they get it. Some examples:

    1 - showing modern guns in historical settings
    2 - hammer-less guns and ones without a thumb safety (e.g. Glock) always accompanied by cocking sounds, even when there is no thumb motion.
    3 - cocking sounds repeated after firing one round
    4 - absolutely no recoil, gun stays steady even when fired one handed with arm limply extended.
    5 - BG always playing with gun, typically shown racking the slide (usually when interfacing with the main characters).
    6 - complete downplay of sound levels associated with shooting.

    It really makes me wonder how much TV impacts the perception of the average uninitiated, or even worse, the rabid anti.

    While that concerns me, what concerns me even more, is that television and movies teach some very unsafe gun handling techniques to people who then acquire guns.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    Ex Member Array 1hogfan83's Avatar
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    I find it frusterating that someone can shooting about 80 rounds out of a 1911 but they only run out of ammo in dire situations.
    Spade115 likes this.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Part of number 6 is simply limitations of the technology involved. Microphones can only pick up sounds up to a certain volume before it gets cut off. Ever wonder why sound gets distorted when you yell into a microphone? It's because part of the waveform gets cut off basically. Plus, if the volume of gunshots was proportional to voices when you were watching a TV show or movie, you'd either have to wear hearing protection to protect your ears from the volume of the shots, or you could turn the volume down so they weren't so loud and not be able to hear voices.

    You really can't complain about the volume of firearms on TV. They can only do so much.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Actually I think over the years it is more realistic. Folks are ever more vigilant to find errors in movies. Watch a few shows a long time ago. But when you get down to it, it is entertainment, not a DIY show.

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    While that concerns me, what concerns me even more, is that television and movies teach some very unsafe gun handling techniques to people who then acquire guns.
    I agree. Everyone always has their fingers on the triggers. I find this almost unbearably distracting, since I can't seem to silence the little voice in my head screaming "he's spoiling for a negligent discharge!" Ditto on pocket/waistband carry.

    Less nervewrackingly, it also never fails to amuse me how often characters are shown carrying guns with no rounds in the chamber, such that—as they are about to head into a situation that bodes trouble—they are always unholstering and racking the slide. I just watched The American, and the George Clooney character is shown doing this at least twice with his sweet little Walther PPK, an extra step that a professional assassin being hunted by his colleagues wouldn't risk needing to take. (The movie is fairly silly, by the way, if you haven't seen it.)

    Edit: as for levels of sounds, I believe they attempt to show, if not the "real" sound level, the actual deafness that would ensue, in some scenes in Blackhawk Down. Then there is the scene when the main character in The Walking Dead shoots a zombie inside a tank and experiences agony from the sound. And then, while it's not a gunshot, the cafe bombing in the beginning of Children of Men leaves the main character pretty deaf (and blanks out the sound for the audience at first), and then he seems to be suffering from tinnitus for the rest of the movie. By the way, the main combat scene at the end of that movie seems pretty well done to me (in terms of capturing how terrifying and bloody a house-by-house firefight between a heavily armed force and lightly armed "insurgents" would be). I'd be curious what someone with more experience thought of it.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    You really can't complain about the volume of firearms on TV. They can only do so much.
    What I think the OP was referring to is not so much the sound coming from the TV rather the character's reaction to the sound. For example, in a scene where people are firing off 45 calibers inside of a car with no hearing protection, the characters will seem not to mind the noise. Yet we know in real life that would cause them serious issues.

    Yep - I've made a post about this before too. I hate all of the "gun noises." Anytime a gun is moved, handled, picked up, put down, etc, it seems to make clicking noises. I hate shows where there are 20 people shooting machine guns somebody and nobody can hit him. But the GG can use a pistol and kill them all. Ever notice bullets can kill people 20 feet under water in movies? How about when they show slow motion shots of a bullet flying through the air but the shell is still attached? Don't even get me started on portrayal of silencers. Notice how when people get shot in a movie they always fly backwards and there is tons of blood all over them? Couldn't be further from reality. If it is convenient for the plot line the BG always dies immediately when shot. However, if it is an important character he'll always live at least for some time after being shot.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    Member Array denver's Avatar
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    On one episode of "The Walking Dead" the main character shot a zombie inside a tank. At least they had his hearing leave and you could tell it was painful. One of the few TV shows with semi accurate weapon stuff.
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denver View Post
    On one episode of "The Walking Dead" the main character shot a zombie inside a tank. At least they had his hearing leave and you could tell it was painful. One of the few TV shows with semi accurate weapon stuff.
    Well, except for:



    Although I am a fan!

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    Well, except for:

    Although I am a fan!
    Cool. I didn't know the slide release on a Glock can double as a safety.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    While that concerns me, what concerns me even more, is that television and movies teach some very unsafe gun handling techniques to people who then acquire guns.
    It's not suppose to teach you anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    It's not suppose to teach you anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes, but it does. When you consider the time/attention given to the three main sources of education these days (school, parents, media), which one do you really think is most powerful?

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    Yes, but it does. When you consider the time/attention given to the three main sources of education these days (school, parents, media), which one do you really think is most powerful?
    Well, parents these days generally have a habit of passing off life lessons and learning to teachers and the media, so there goes one out of the equation.
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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Yep - I have discovered that most Americans have absolutely no conception of science, economics, or life outside of the USA other than what they see in movies. They aren't interested enough to read or research things for themselves. But they remember things they see in movies.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    Yes, but it does. When you consider the time/attention given to the three main sources of education these days (school, parents, media), which one do you really think is most powerful?
    fic·tion

    a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
    b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
    a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.

    I guess all the action scenes in Star Wars need to be redone. I am not disagreeing about influence. But again, it is for entertainment. What do ya want, all the medical shows to be 100 percent accurate, crime shows and how they do investigations? I like to sit back and have fun. But if it bugs ya that is cool. I suggest switching to PBS.

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