I’ve always been really interested in guns. They’re capable of such awesome power but are, of course, incredibly dangerous. Adding to this mystique was the fact that I never saw a gun in person until I was 19. Despite never laying eyes on one at the time, I wrote about guns a lot in my fanfiction days.
It’s just not Jimmy Neutron for me unless the gang is loading weapons and preparing for war.
I’ve always striven for accuracy in my writing, which meant that I researched guns a lot in my teenage years to ensure I wrote them properly in my stories. Of course, I definitely did make some mistakes (my characters had a habit of racking slides at every dramatic moment, thus apparently spewing unused bullets everywhere). Despite my years of research, however, there are still some things I just can’t seem to get answers to. My very limited experience with firearms (shooting about 50 rounds from a .22 pistol one time) hasn’t helped that much. I figured I’d lay my questions out here and hopefully get some answers from my readers. If you have experience with the points I’m about to raise, I’d love to hear about it.
1. How Loud are Gunshots?
If there’s one thing my research has taught me, it’s that Hollywood does not have the slightest idea how loud guns actually are.
Apparently aluminum bats don’t actually make pistols sound like Nerf guns.
I’ve spent longer than I care to admit researching the decibel levels of different types of guns, and everything I seem to find indicates that all guns are deafening.
According to this, a simple .22 pistol is louder than a jet engine.
I want to know firsthand how deafening this is! I see people in TV and movies constantly firing guns indoors and having casual conversations during gunfights. Shouldn’t their ears be ringing? Even more curiously, how the heck do soldiers fire high-powered weaponry and hear orders from their commanders? How is every soldier that was in a firefight not deaf?
I’d love to grab a pistol and shoot it outside without hearing protection to see what it’s like, but I’ve read that even a single shot without hearing protection can cause permanent hearing loss. I’m not willing to take that chance; my girlfriend would murder me if I deafened myself from something so stupid.
So, if anyone has fired guns without hearing protection, how much did it hurt? Were you still able to hear well after? Could you communicate with someone while shooting was going on? If you’ve used a silencer, how much did that reduce the noise? I know that subsonic rounds plus a silencer is the only way to get the typical “movie silencer” effect, but if you use both of those is it even as quiet as movies portray?
2. Are Rifles More Damaging Than Pistols?
I know that rifles fire bullets at a higher velocity than pistols do. This source says that pistol velocities range from 750 – 1300 FPS, whereas rifles shoot between 1,900 – 4,000 FPS. This obviously seems to indicate that rifles rounds do more damage than pistol rounds, but I’d like some confirmation of this. As I said above, I know that movies are not a solid source of information relating to firearms. But they’re all I have to go on for this point, and there have been plenty of times when people seem to shrug off pistol rounds like they were marshmallows.
He didn’t seem to mind those first three shots.
So if anyone has information on how much more damaging rifles than pistols are, such as a scientific paper on survivability of wounds from various guns, I’d love to see it.
3. Are Guns Nearly Everywhere in Some States?
I spent the first 21 years of my life in Rhode Island. I never saw a single gun in person until my mom hired me a gun instructor for my nineteenth birthday. As such, it’s really hard for me to believe that it’s easy to find guns in places like Texas.
Is this accurate?!
I hear arguments from these places over whether or not people can bring their guns into bars or churches and it just seems so utterly bizarre to me. Apparently the U.S. has 90 guns for every 100 residents. Aside from gun instructors and people at the firing range, I’ve met three people in my entire life who own a firearm. So how are there 9 guns for every 10 people?
If I ever saw this in Rhode Island I’d assume I was about to witness a mass murder. Is this really normal in other states?
I’m not trying to argue over whether or not it’s okay to carry guns openly or say it’s strange if so many people actually own guns in other places. I’m just curious; it seems so alien to me.
4. What’s the Best Way to Store a Gun?
I’ve long considered getting a pistol or revolver for home defense. My girlfriend Louise has been pushing me away from this idea, and the closer I get to having kids the more I’m inclined to agree with her.
This Cracked Article really shocked me; if it was this easy for a grown man to nearly kill himself by blowing off his own leg, how much easier would it be for a child to shoot themselves?
But if we do end up getting a gun, I want to balance keeping it safely away from our children while allowing it to be used for its purpose: defense. Keeping the gun and ammunition locked up in separate safes would obviously be the best way to protect our kids, but it wouldn’t be conducive to quickly arming myself and stopping an intruder.
I think the best thing to do would be to get a pistol and keep it locked up in a bedside table. The gun would be unloaded but the magazine would be beside it. That way all I have to do is unlock the drawer and quickly load the gun. But our child would have to take my keys, unlock the drawer, load the rifle, rack the slide, turn off the safety, and pull the trigger. That’s an enormous amount of stuff for a small child to unwittingly do, and I would teach an older child to never touch the weapon.
So does that sound reasonable to you gun owners out there? What do you think is the best way to store a weapon and keep it out of your kids’ hands?
Like I said, I’d love to hear feedback from gun owners and people who have more experience with guns than I do. Not only would it help my writing and possibly make my house a safer place if I do get a gun one day, but it will satiate my long-held curiosity.