Do you have certain things that just set your teeth on edge whenever you encounter them? Some people cringe when they someone says “for all intensive purposes.” Others start twitching if they hear nails on a chalkboard, or can’t help but gag if the smell of tuna salad assaults their noses; there’s any number of things that make you want to immediately start ripping the doors of parked cars and throwing them at people like you’re some low-rent Captain America.
I’ve got a metric shit-ton of pet peeves (including but not limited to the use of the phrase “pet peeves”), and while I could regale you all with why I want to start slamming my thumbs into people’s eye sockets when I hear the phrase “pretty unique,” I’m trying to avoid an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis, I’ll stick to something a little less esoteric: inaccuracies in movies and on television when it comes to firearms.
We’ve all seen it in some movie or television show at least a dozen times: there’s this massive gunfight where you’ve got lead flying by in every which way, and you never see people reload. Now, I’m nowhere near an expert on firearms, but I’ve handled and shot enough handguns to know that the average gun used on police procedural shows is usually a police-issue Glock or some other 9mm semi-auto pistol, and they usually hold around 15 rounds or so in the magazine, give or take, yet somehow you can typically see a firefight rage on for a minute and a half with the good guys and the bad guys firing off nearly continuously – and it’s a surprise if you see anyone reload.
I can kind of let this go, most of the time. Yet there’s some instances where I just kind of cant my head to the side like the RCA dog in confusion, like I did watching the NCIS episode I caught last night. The bad guy had gotten the drop on someone with his big fat nickel-plated revolver, and had even squeezed a shot off before there was a tussle over the gun. Good guy grabs gun and empties the cylinder into the bad guy, firing off six shots.
Six shots. Plus the one fired at the beginning. That makes seven.
How many seven-round revolvers have you ever seen? Yes, I know that .22 revolvers typically hold eight rounds, and big ass hand cannons like the Taurus Judge only have room for 5 rounds of .45 Colt or .410 shotgun shells (yes, it’s a handgun that shoots shotgun shells. No I’m not making it up), but I nearly lost my shit when this handgun fired off seven shots.
I was terribly disappointed in NCIS for fucking something up so goddamn integral. They’re usually pretty good with their accuracy, though I don’t know anyone who operates their ultra-powerful Federal agency computers by banging on the keyboard like a deranged chimpanzee with fetal alcohol syndrome. In a blind nerdboy rage I took to the internet, looking for any evidence of seven-shot revolvers, and my jaw hit the floor.
Holy shit, but they were everywhere. Not only that, but they’re popular as hell – especially the Smith & Wesson .357 magnum, which just so happens to completely match the revolver used in the NCIS episode. I felt like a complete asshole, getting so bent out of shape, but I was so accustomed to ridiculous gun physics on television and in movies that I was fully expecting the worst.
I realized then and there that no matter how much I know about a subject, there’s always more out there to learn – and that I should keep my big fat mouth shut until I get all the facts straight. I mean, I could have made myself look like a total dickwad if I’d gone on a 1,000 word rant about the magical nonexistent seven-shot revolver the show used.
However, I can say that if I catch you using the term “pretty unique” I’m going to have a god damned meltdown. Shut up, I know what I’m talking about this time. The primary definition of unique is “the only one of its kind.” It’s a binary fucking relationship, something is either one-of-a-kind or it’s not. Calling something “kind of unique” or “pretty unique” is like being a little bit pregnant. It just doesn’t happen.
And yes, I know – the third accepted definition of unique denotes a state of being simply unusual or extraordinary, and that you can make an argument for adding a qualifier to it. Well you know what? It’s the third accepted definition for a fucking reason.
Don’t fuck with me on this. My blood pressure is high enough as it is.