6 Stupid Gun Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)

Hollywood wants you dead. We said it. We don't know why. We don't know what they could possibly gain from it, but it's true all the same. Hollywood has been teaching you lessons about guns for decades and decades. Hollywood wants you to build your entire understanding of guns based on the gun tropes they parade in all of their movies. Hollywood wants these gun rules ingrained so deeply in you that you apply these lessons in real life. Even though doing so will kill you.

That's right. All of the lessons Hollywood has taught you about guns are wrong.

Dead wrong.

#6. Dropped Guns Go Off

Most of you probably don't own guns, but you all have a pretty good idea of just how dangerous they can be. A firearm is basically a giant metal tube loaded with explosives, just ready to murder the heck out of everybody at the slightest provocation. Hollywood has taught us that even a light fall turns the average side arm into a pinwheel of death. Take this scene from the "darkest" Community timeline, where a revolver in Alison Brie's bag hits the floor and immediately fires an artery-seeking bullet into Chevy Chase's leg:

Or that famous scene from True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis drops a MAC-10 down a staircase and murders half a Guantanamo worth of enemy combatants.

The Geneva Conventions don't say shit about unmanned weapons. Probably.

Alas, for the screenwriters of the world, modern firearms do not fire when dropped just a little bit. See, the gun industry is the same as pretty much any other industry. If their products kill people when they aren't supposed to be killing people, the government gets real pissed off and their stock tends to plummet. Which is why the Gun Control Act of 1968 made drop-safety tests mandatory.

And thus the great sport of Gun Toss was born.

If anything, the Hollywood-concocted myth about guns firing on impact inspires us to be even dumber with guns. If you drop a gun, your first instinct will be to try to catch it before it hits the ground, because movies taught you that gun + ground = death. In real life, however, grasping for falling objects is an inherently imprecise act, and you run the risk of accidentally catching the trigger while you fumble around like an idiot trying to catch it. Which is why experts agree: It's much safer to let a gun fall than to try and catch it. Or if you want to avoid dropping the gun altogether, you could always just tape, glue or surgically secure the gun to your hand so you always have it with you. Then you'll have gun hands. How about that?*

"I guess you could say I blew the Johnson account wide open. Ha ha ha ... they're all dead."

*Editor's Note: Cracked.com in no way endorses permanently or temporarily securing a gun to your hand and is not responsible for any injuries caused by idiots hot-gluing pistols to their hands, feet or faces.

#5. Ceramic Guns Are a Thing

Terrorists are at their most terroristy when they bring deadly weapons to places one doesn't generally expect to encounter deadly weapons, like a school, or the airport. So in Die Hard II, when John McClane encounters bad dudes who somehow sneaked handguns past airport security, we know that shit has now officially gone from "mostly not that real" to "real."

We'll quote you the pertinent dialogue: "That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me, you know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport metal detectors and probably costs more than what you make in a month."

"I'm going to need the names and addresses of every sizable kiln in the tri-state area."

According to our research, the problem isn't that the German porcelain gun is expensive; it's that it's imaginary. First off, there isn't a Glock 7, but more importantly, there's no such thing as an entirely ceramic handgun. It's easy to make the frame or magazine of a gun out of some non-metal polymer, but things like the barrel and the pins are under way too much heat and pressure to be made of anything but good old-fashioned metal.

"Sure" you say, "maybe that gun isn't available to civilians, but surely rich people or the government could build one." That's what we thought, Reader McStrawman, until we read the story of David Byron. He kicked off all this madness about undetectable guns when he was issued a patent for one in 1987. Congress even tried to ban this as-of-yet unbuilt gun. But that didn't stop Byron from hooking up with investors and starting a company focused on making this "plastic gun" a reality.

The Firearm Blog
"I won't stop until we have a thousand plastic guns for every aircraft!" -- David Byron, probably.

But that plastic gun never materialized. And in 1988, Byron stopped making the news ... only to reappear, making the same claims, in 2000. He formed another company, Magnum Technology, and somehow secured $800,000 from the Department of Defense to finally make an airport-proof gun. Because the existence of such a weapon is clearly in America's best interest and could never backfire in any way.

If the Founding Fathers didn't want us to wield guns in planes, they wouldn't have given us guns and planes.

This time, Byron's claim seemed very solid. He stated that his company had successfully fired rounds from a weapon with a machined zirconia tube crossed by carbon fibers. That sounds pretty damn plausible to us non-gunsmiths. But Magnum Technology shut down in 2007 without ever presenting such a weapon. And Byron? He's currently the CTO of another defense company. And he still hasn't proven that there's any such thing as a working metal-detector-proof handgun, though he's happy to keep collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars pretending!

US Patent
This is basically the unicorn of firearms.

#4. Bullets Make Everything Spark

Quick! Picture a gunfight from one of your favorite action movies. Remember what happened when the bullets hit a car, or a doorframe, or anything metal at all? Sparks, right? Which makes sense, because metal causes sparks when it hits metal real hard. You can verify this fact by slamming a hammer into your neighbor's car very fast. (Editor's Note: Cracked doesn't endorse this either!) Or by watching this scene from Hard Boiled:

And this scene from Terminator 2:

And this scene from Running Scared:

And similar scenes in, like, a trillion other movies. You're probably thinking that, if you were ever in a gunfight, you could follow these sparks and use them to find out how close you are to getting shot. It's a nice little tracking system, like planting a bright flag in every bullet hole. Too bad it's totally bullshit, because bullets don't spark. Almost all bullets are made of copper or a copper alloy. And copper is famous for not causing sparks. Only rifle bullets get hot enough to cause sparks, and even then those sparks are seldom and not nearly as flashy as the movies make them seem. So if someone's shooting you and you're waiting for the sparks to tell you how close you are to death, think again! Also? If someone's shooting you, stop reading this Cracked article.*

Perhaps consider investing in an Official Cracked Murder Tube.

*Editor's Note: Cracked NEVER endorses not reading Cracked articles.

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