But it has to be at the right end of the bullet.
Like most people, I like to imagine that because I’ve seen things in films a lot, I can imagine what they are really like. You can see the absurdities clearly, right? You can see how something would play out in real life? How unrealistic was that?
So you know what reality is like, surely, how else can you judge reality.
All I know about guns is, I’m pretty sure I’d be terrified if I ever bumped into one. Perhaps in a shooting range context I’d be fine, but even with air rifles as a scout, I was nervous around them.
And I’m pretty sure that if anyone can fire one in the right direction, you’re pretty close to dead pretty quickly.
Aiming might be tricky, and maybe you’ll be scared enough to leap with adrenaline rather than be petrified, but it’s hard to say. When confronted with someone pointing something you can understand only as a heavy black tool of death, you probably get scared.
But then, by the same tone, it strikes me that someone would have to either fairly well trained or fairly psychotic to actually point a gun in cold blood. They say (and after a little google, I realise I’m basing my next foundation on a probable untruth) that in World War I only 15% of soldiers would be willing to shoot to kill. (Many analytic flaws, plus an interview versus a battlefield, who knows). Apparently, this led to various armies improving their dehumanisation programming in training, to allow people to shoot the enemy more efficiently.
It occurs to me that most people won’t have had that training. And that those who have can probably only do so under battlefield conditions (‘I was just following orders.’)
I don’t know.
But then, people DO kill people.
It almost seems absurd, but it’s true. It happens all the time. From war to murder, fits of pique to genocide. People take the lives of others.
And sometimes they use bullets.
I actually start to feel hollow even thinking about guns.
There’s a terrifying efficiency to them. Bullets are quite small, but a well aimed one will destroy a person utterly.
In films the main way people outsmart bullets is with stove doors, cigar cases, bibles (over the heart of course) or bullet proof vests.
I’ve often noted that it’s strange that more people don’t shoot each other in the face. An armoured face is fairly obvious.
And so I’ve suddenly taken part in this equation. Thought about how best to kill someone.
Hell, if you take my imaginary computer gaming life into consideration, I’ve killed thousands. Perfect headshots have been celebrated with celebratory elbow digs.
But still the thought of a gun in the real world makes me wince and recoil.
So how do you outsmart a bullet?
Don’t shoot it.
Illustration by Lucy.