Hollywood rarely gets guns right, which makes The Walking Dead’s departure from the status quo that much more impressive. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to congratulate a show for getting the basics right, but when procedurals regularly show cops running up stairwells with their fingers on their triggers, it’s worth highlighting this rare reprieve from reckless technique.
The scene in question shows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) teaching Ron Anderson (Austin Abrams) how to shoot. Whether or not this is a good idea given Ron’s grudges against Rick and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) remains to be seen, but at least Rick gets the lesson right. Watch for yourself.
Rick: Handguns will be a little better for your first go. Magazine release. Slide release. Thumb safety.
Carl: That stuff's easy, right, Dad?
Rick: Empty magazine. Empty chamber. See it?
Rick: Someone's in front of you. They have a gun.
Carl: You're gonna be scared. You will be.
Rick: Your body's gonna tense, you won't have time to think. You're just gonna want to pull the trigger when you get it in front of you. But you'll miss and you'll be dead. You have to get it up to your eye.
Carl: You've got to be strong enough to wait for your moment.
Ron: Can I, uh...?
Rick: Hey, your finger doesn't touch the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Keep that one with you. Get a feel of what it's like to carry one around.
Muzzle pointed in a safe direction, clearing the gun to show that it’s unloaded as he starts the lesson, reminding Ron to keep his finger off the trigger until he’s ready to shoot, there’s a lot this scene gets right that’s so often neglected in movies and television. I only have two gripes.
First, Rick breaks his own rule, and has his finger on the trigger during his demonstration. At least he’s teaching Ron correctly, even if he’s slipped into a bad habit himself. Second, the firearm he’s using to demonstrate appears to be a Glock. Glock doesn’t manufacture any models with a thumb safety (however, there are some aftermarket kits to add one).
These minor issues aside, The Walking Dead still managed to give its viewers one of the best examples of proper gun safety I’ve seen on television in a long, long time.