Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Put the Gun Down!

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old gunHow many cop shows and books include this line? I was watching a movie the other day. I thoroughly liked this one, just for the record. At the most exciting part of the movie, the bad guy is holding the heroine at gun point. The cop jumps into the room with his gun drawn and says, “Hold it. Put the gun down.”

The bad guy spins and points his gun at the cop. The cop repeats, “Put the gun down.” At that point, the bad guy turns again, aiming the gun once more at the heroine. Finally, a side character speaks truth and convinces the bad guy to let the gun go. And it drops to the floor.

Do you see any issues with this scene? I see two HUGE boo-boos. And mistakes like these can rip a reader (or in this case a watcher) right out of the story line. Tweet This!

First Big Boo-Boo

She dropped the gun and it hit a hardwood floor. A loaded gun, cocked and aimed, yet the gun didn’t go off. I truly expected a blast. And I couldn’t believe the instruction to “drop the gun.” That was just asking for a misfire. Am I right? I’m not a gun person, but I’ve learned about them. If I’m wrong, let me know.

Second Big Boo-Boo

The second is bigger. Anyone watching the news today knows that a cop shoots at an aggressor. It’s a matter of survival. Don’t get me wrong. It made for more drama to draw the scene out and actually arrest the bad guy. But what cop would let someone point a loaded weapon at him? Surely they would shoot the moment the armed person begins to turn, right?

But not only did this detective have a stare-down with the bad guy, he let him turn again and put an unarmed witness in danger. And again, didn’t fire. What was he waiting for?

I’m not a fan of killing, not even in fiction, but this fictitious police officer didn’t seem to do his job very well. I couldn’t help asking myself; what would it have taken to make the man fire his gun?

My Take

I have two trains of thoughts on this. First, I want the real cops to take the shot. They’re the ones protecting me. They’re trained and experienced. Even though everyone makes mistakes, I would hope that if my unarmed life was at risk, the cop would take the shot. But that’s in real life.

In fiction, this movie is still a favorite of mine. Even with the unrealistic ending, I’ll watch it again and again. So does it matter that some of the police details aren’t exactly accurate? Does it cause you to cast aside a book or a movie?

Your Take: How important are the details of the representation of professional characters?

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

4 thoughts on “Put the Gun Down!

  1. I was pushed into gun ownership by my husband, and went kicking and screaming into the license and gun use course. The truth is that guns are extremely dangerous and must be handled–and pointed–with all respect. But the trigger is not easy to pull, and it’s protected by the thingy around it. In fact, my husband went out and bought a gun especially for me, and I can’t cock it and have to wrap both forefingers around the trigger and pull with all my might–affecting my aim–to shoot the thing. This is partially due to osteoarthritis in my fingers, but it requires a lot of force. He was so dismayed that I finally told him that in a real home invasion situation, I would have enough adrenalin to pull the trigger. And it does stay at home. So theoretically, dropping a gun won’t make it fire, even if it’s cocked. In reality, it isn’t worth the risk.

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    • That’s good to know, Lee. So it’s not the situation I described that was the farce. It was all of those other shows that displayed a dropped gun going off that were erroneous! LOL!

      I’m just glad to know that the guns aren’t as easy to set off as I thought. ‘Cause you’re right – terribly dangerous!

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  2. It depends. I just finished rewatching my favorite movie, Chariots of Fire, based on a true story. I found out a few weeks ago that my favorite line in the movie was made up. Eric Liddell Iived the words of the line, but didn’t actually say it. Did it make a difference? No, it was still just as powerful even knowing he didn’t say it. 🙂

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    • Oh! I know the line you’re talking about! You’re absolutely right. The truth of the line was lived out in his life. But it makes for a better movie to say it out loud. (And I remember the first time I saw that movie – in a theater – Amens rumbled through the audience.) 🙂

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