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Friday, January 20, 2012

Just Shoot Me

Firearms and Other Mistakes in Books
or Why Watching Movies Is Not Research

Number 1
Revolvers don’t have safeties.

Number 2
And neither do the latest Glock semi-automatics.

Number 3
Revolvers cannot be silenced.

Number 4
A silenced gun still makes a sound.

Number 5
Revolvers don’t use clips.

Number 6
Clips and magazines are not interchangeable.

Number 7
Law enforcement officers do not actually rack the slide before going after a perp. If they have to rack the slide, that means the chamber is empty and they should be replaced with someone who knows how to be prepared.

Number 8
Shooting locks off of doors is a bad idea. One word: ricochet.

Number 9
Dead bodies don’t bleed.

Number 10
Chloroform does not knock people out, and especially not instantly and quietly. It’s more likely to cause brain damage or cardiac arrest before the victim loses consciousness.

Number 11
Chalk outlines are a thing of the past…and Hollywood.

Number 12
Police detectives do not investigate crimes where the victim is related to them. (You’d think this one would be obvious.)

Number 13
Law enforcement agencies do not allow private citizens to direct an investigation. (I really did come across a book where the CIA and FBI allowed a twenty-four-year-old artist to tell them how to run a criminal investigation. Naturally, it was a best-seller.)


Anne Marie Becker said...

LOL - enjoyed the post, Ann. I don't think I'm guilty of any of these, but only because my brother was a police officer and I can ask him to proofread my manuscripts. It pays to "know" people. ;)

Cathy Perkins said...

I laughed all the way through your post - I think I've seen most of these.

Here's another one - Lieutenants don't drive patrol

Marcelle Dubé said...

Aww c'mon, Ann -- where's your willing suspension of disbelief? :-) Funny post. Thanks for sharing. Now excuse me while I go check my stories for any of these mistakes...

JB Lynn said...

Thanks for the chuckles, Ann. I particularly enjoyed 7.

Maureen A. Miller said...

I am convinced that my editor carries a Glock around in her purse. She was adamant about many of these points. :)

Rita said...

Anne this is great! I'm with JB loved #7. The unsettling thing is these things do occur in the movies and books. A friend had an editor ask her to alter a correct detail to something not possible because that’s the way it’s done in the movies. She didn’t!

Dee J. said...


Great post! Very informational. And it made me go, "Uh-oh. Have I messed up somewhere?"

Jean Harrington said...

Excellent list of police procedural tips. I appreciate your sharing. Very timely, too, Off to hear a forensic expert speak to my local RWA chapter. I'll compare notes. Jean

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