Manufactured Drama


Ft Collins, CO –-( Persistent Gun Myths:

“… an eternal ‘song-‘ waves within which reason has drowned.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

With the aid of left-leaning Hollywood dramatists, who have scant regard for the truth, an entire generation of Americans and Western Europeans have grown-up, believing preposterous myths they’ve seen depicted on the screen more times than anyone can count!

Indeed, I feel sorry for young people, who for the first time behold amorous friends of the opposite sex, who are unclad. When their naively false expectations, gleaned from years of looking at glamorous models depicted in skin magazines, are thus shattered asunder, I suspect many are never quite the same afterward.

Similarly, when viewers look in wonderment at Hollywood’s phony rendition of “violence,” they are set-up for an extremely unpleasant, and dangerous, surprise when they encounter genuine violence.

As legitimate educators on this serious subject, my fellow instructors and I are routinely presented with the formidable task of helping our students know and understand the real truth, and thus be unburdened from a host of grievously unrealistic expectations.


1) The “Sramatic Seath Sequence”

When a person is struck with a bullet (particularly a handgun bullet, even several), all kinds of behavioral changes can happen, and everything you can imagine probably has, at one time or another.

However, outcomes such as:

  • A) The person instantly exploding in a shower of sparks
  • B) The person hurled into the air (usually with a triple-gainer or two), or
  • C) The person clutching his chest and then dramatically, agonizingly lecturing the shooter on the true meaning of life for at least twenty minutes, are all pretty unlikely, although shooting incidents are portrayed thusly, with nauseating frequency, in movies!

In reality, of all behavioral changes on the part of the shootee, that you as the shooter may notice, the one most likely to occur is that the shootee will run away. That outcome happens more, by far, than any other.

Actually, after being struck with a bullet(s), the shootee is unlikely to “do” anything, for at least a second or two. As the shooter, you’ll thus have no way of knowing if you were successful or not, as you’re unlikely to be able to see entry-wounds, nor blood.

When he does run away (a “good outcome,” by the way), he’ll likely display no discernible discomfort in the short term. Of course, none of that is particularly “dramatic,” so it is shunned by TV dramatists. You won’t sell corn flakes, nor acne medicine, by portraying people as they run away, now will you?

When trying to promote a particular caliber or brand of ammunition, you’ll hear misguided people say things like, “A hit in his hand will tear his whole arm off” Utter fantasy. Those people need to spend more time at the range, and less in front of the TV.

2) Military Snipers and Headshots.

In domestic law enforcement, we often train our police snipers to shoot violent criminals in the braincase, because ranges are commonly short, and circumstances are usually such that we want to achieve “instant deanimation” of the felon. Not so with military sniping.

The job of the military sniper is to “manufacture casualties,” lots of them, preferably among the “most essential” of enemy combatants. Accordingly with military sniping, ranges are longer, but targets are bigger than is the case with police sniping.

A significant “hit” nearly anywhere on an enemy combatant’s body will produce a “casualty.” The person is no longer “effective,” and several other enemy combatants will have to stop what they’re otherwise doing in order to attend to him, and his wound(s). That’s what military snipers do. They manufacture casualties. Instant death is not the goal.

However in movies, military snipers are constantly portrayed making unerring head-shots, always at ridiculous ranges, and their victims always die instantly. Nothing could be further from the truth.

3) Riders Getting Shot Off Their Horses

Our ancestors, when fighting horse-mounted Indians, enemy cavalrymen, or assorted other horse-mounted bad guys, almost never attempted to shoot the rider off his horse, as is falsely depicted in countless “westerns”

When defending against horse-mounted attackers, you shoot the horse. The horse is a much bigger target than the rider, and when hit, the horse will probably fall, severely injuring the rider anyway. In many cases, the rider is trapped under his fallen horse. With both horse and rider thus immobilized, follow-up shots are far more likely to be effective than when both horse and rider are moving.

But, Hollywood directors are frightened to death of being accused of injuring animals during filming, so they invariably show the stunt-man rider flying off his horse upon being shot, and the uninjured horse happily galloping away. Again, utter nonsense.

The foregoing are examples of maliciou warping of reality, commonly committed by dramatists, that annoy me most. Know and understand that nothing you see in dramatic presentations on TV, in movies, nor on the internet, while perhaps entertaining, has the slightest connection with reality, nor truth.

Expect it. Don’t become a victim of it.


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 24 thoughts on “Manufactured Drama

    1. I like this article, but I think it’s only scratching the surface. For example, guns are loud. Super loud. In movies people are shooting rifles and handguns indoors and somehow having casual conversations. Your ears would be screaming at you and probably have permanent hearing loss. Then there are stupid things like someone holding up a person with a 1911 style pistol and the hammer is down. Ugh. Anyway, Hollywood literally doesn’t know anything about guns.

    2. Hollywood can’t even grasp how bullets kill. Dirty Harry shoots a guy anywhere in the torso, and his life is snuffed out instantly. OK, maybe he has enough time for a Wilhelm scream, but he’s dead before he hits the floor. People watch that and think, “Why would anyone need more than six rounds for self defense? Are you going to get attacked by that many people? Why would a mean old real cop ever have to put 17 rounds into one guy?” On the other end of the spectrum, Bryan Mills shoots a lady in the shoulder, and, “It’s just a flesh wound!” Yeah, no need to pack it or anything. Just make sure you get her to a doctor in a day or two so you can get that bullet out. ‘Cause that’s what really matters. Blood loss is no big deal, but lead poisoning…. People watch that and wonder, “Why don’t the cops just shoot people in the leg or something? It would stop them without any risk of death! A hit to the femoral artery will clot just like a paper cut, won’t it?”

    3. I think another fun way to avoid getting shot is to hide behind a door or a wall or ever a car…or a turned over table or a pile of pallets…that’s what follywood wants you to believe, and after being shot for the third time, I can get up and run into the next battle with endless bullets and no fear.

    4. My #1 peeve in movie gunplay is actors whispering to one another after a firefight, often in an enclosed place like a cave, tunnel, or small apartment. The only movie I can recall offhand in which the actors referred to hearing impairment after a firefight was Blackhawk Down.

      Oh, and as for #3 – shooting horses rather than riders – there’s a good reason for that. When someone asked director John Ford why they didn’t just shoot the horses in the film “Stagecoach, ” his reply was “Then we wouldn’t have a movie.”

      1. My #1 peeve isn’t in movies, but in articles like this, written by well meaning but uneducated people with little or no knowledge about the military. Specifically, my #1 peeve is the oft-repeated nonsense about the objective of military shooting being to “manufacture casualties” which is then followed with an explanation of how wounding the enemy is better than killing the enemy because wounding someone supposedly takes him out of the fight AND TWO MORE enemy soldiers who have to take care of the wounded soldier — TOTAL NONSENSE!! 1) The goal of shooting the enemy in combat is exactly the same as the goal of shooting an attacker in a self-defense scenario… it it to stop that person from trying to kill you. Killing them is the most effective way to accomplish that. Wounding them rarely accomplishes much in the time that concerns soldiers (as even this author admits in his other rant about movie shootings). 2) Wounding an enemy soldier rarely takes “two more” soldiers out of the fight – most of our enemies in the last 70+ years have not cared about treating their own wounded during a battle. Even in armies that do treat their wounded, this is generally one soldier for a short time, the notion of two soldiers carrying each wounded man off the battlefield on a stretcher has always been a myth.

        It is true that military snipers are more likely to shoot center chest rather than head shots — but not out of any misguided attempt to “manufacture casualties” but simply because the chest is a more reliable target at the distances common in military sniping, not just because the chest is a bigger target but mostly because the chest is a more stable target while the head is much more likely to move enough to cause a miss. Despite the famous mantra of “One Shot One Kill” military snipers often use a second or even third shot to be sure of a high value target at longer ranges. Under circumstances where head shots are practical, military snipers choose whatever shot they consider most reliable to accomplish the mission.

        Bottom line: the myth that wounding one soldier takes him plus two more off the battlefield is total nonsense.

        1. Being a former infantry officer, I was taught that wounding an enemy soldier was preferable to killing them for the reasons stated.

    5. If you believe anything you see on television, in the movies or hear on the radio or read in the media you are a fool. They are all there to make money (they are for profit businesses), not public service organizations and the truth is too often an inconvenience to be avoided.

      1. It works for them well. If we did not care about right and wrong it would work well for us too. But! we would be arrested.

    6. The 16 inch naval cannon does make one shot stops on humans, ships and forts are designed to stay in the fight.

      The few times that a 16 inch shell hits a person, they do seem to explode.

      1. That is why I always have mine on me, appendix carry. I can’t understand why everyone is always asking if I am happy to see them.

    7. You are so right. During my years of firearms training, one of my favorite training films was a film made by John Wayne in cooperation with the Arizona wildlife people. He, too, pointed out the fallacy of getting struck with a modern high-powered bullet and still doing the things that are depicted in a Hollywood movie. The film was entitled “This Little Bullet.” It has long been out of production, but I used it for many years. It would be good to have an actor like Wayne point out the difference between real life and movies again – Yeh, Right!

      1. Just watched it on Youtube. Pretty good; I’ll be having the grandkids watch it as part of their learning to shoot. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    8. When you talk about firearms and what they are meant to do to man and beast, Sam Walker worked with Sam Colt to develop the .44 caliber Walker Colt, a 4.5 pound hand cannon that could bring down a horse and rider.

    9. My favorite annoyance currently in the movies and shows; Military type, an assassian type, LE type, you name it, all carrying a gun with a specific intent. Then comes the scene where they are really serious and about to do some damage. What do they all do? They chamber a round… right before they start shooting.
      You mean to tell me, you have been chasing that bad guy in the industrial complex, swamp or alien ship for the last 5 minutes and didn’t have a round chambered?
      That one gets me every time!

      1. That has also buged me! Especially when they are using a shotgun some time they do it 2 or 3 times before fireing a shot.

        1. How ’bout scaring the sheeple about how unsafe guns are by showing modern rifles and pistols as going off “on their own” when simply being held without a finger anywhere the trigger of when dropped?? Or a recent “scary” claim that, of all things, “a Glock will fire when its’ trigger IS PULLED.?” I would certainly hope so, or I’d be sending it in for repair!

    10. The Real problem is movies make killing and shooting people appear fun and cool.. The movie makers even adds cliches (and other enhancements) to make it funny.. Most of the time, the murderers and gangsters suffer no punishment, or Consequences ,for their actions.. They are totally desensitizing a generation of people.. Murderers and gangsters usually learn their behavior by mimicking what they have seen on Tv.. Having work in a prison, and on the streets, I’ve seen this Behavior firsthand..

    11. Sort of like when movie makers depict Democrats telling the truth. Never happens in real life, just in the movies.

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