By November 18, 2013

Why Poor Firearm Trigger Control In Entertainment Is a Big Deal

I like Jason Statham’s movies. I am particularly interested in the upcoming movie Homefront, where Statham portrays a man with a violent past who left it all behind to start a family. Of course, trouble comes calling.

Unfortunately, there’s another bit of trouble on the Homefront. Two of the movie’s promotional posters feature Statham’s finger on the trigger of his Beretta pistol. He’s also holding his pistol muzzle up in both posters, which is also a gun safety no-no.

Here’s why little details are important.

homefront poster finger on trigger 2

The least important thing is that it reduces the film’s realism for those of us with firearms training and/or weapons familiarity. I have a hard time believing Statham’s character had a ton of training when he can’t follow one of the four basic rules of firearm safety.

Sedagive? and I alternate between laughing and cringing as we watch all kinds of cinematic bad asses point their guns at each other, hold their barrels up, constantly cock their guns when thrusting them out at full arm extension while holding their pistols in a teacup grip, etc etc.

Sadly a lot of people “learn” about guns and gun safety through movies and television. This is the unfortunate reality and a big reason why Statham and Homefront’s director Gary Fleder should pay more attention to how guns are handled in their movies — especially if they’re trying for realism.

The poster with the daughter is the most troubling. I’m not sure about the Beretta depicted in the poster, but most handguns have a a five to twelve pound trigger. This means that the handgun in the poster would need less than twelve pounds of force to fire a bullet. The human hand grips at between 55 and 120 pounds per inch depending on age. At the weakest end of the spectrum, that’s over four times the force necessary for the heaviest trigger, and eleven times the force for a lighter trigger.

Why is this important? Because if Statham’s character has a reason to draw a gun and keep it out while cradling his daughter, some bad shit went down or is about to go down. A human’s startle response is to grip with both hands.

If something spooky happens, BOOM there’s an accidental discharge.

homefront poster finger on trigger

This is the other promo poster I dislike.

It freaks me out less because there isn’t another person involved, but why is Statham holding his pistol like this? Muzzle up + finger on the trigger = accidental discharge with a round going who knows where.

Those of us with training keep our fingers off the trigger and the muzzle pointed either down or at the target. Any 10 year old kid who went through a basic firearms safety / hunter safety course would know this, why doesn’t Statham’s hardened badass?

“But DrFaulken, these are just movie posters for an action movie! What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that people all over the world are watching movies like this one and picking up bad habits. I attend several beginner handgun courses each year, and the same kind of mistakes we see in movies and TV make their way to the range. Except instead of a fictional character with their finger on a trigger pointing their gun up to the sky, you’ve got a real human being with a real gun around other real people.

I don’t expect everyone in the entertainment industry to give a shit about this, but I hope that Statham and similar stars understand that what they do shapes how real people handle firearms.

I hope the day never comes where someone has to hold their kid with one hand and keep their pistol out with another, but if they do their weapon should be pointed in a safe direction with their finger off the trigger until they’re ready to shoot.

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Posted in: guns, movies

1 Comment on "Why Poor Firearm Trigger Control In Entertainment Is a Big Deal"

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  1. Tachyon47 says:

    I recently re-watched Aliens and I noticed that many of the Marines had lousy trigger control, but Ripley, despite being new to her Pulse Rifle, was pretty disciplined about keeping her finger off the trigger