Wednesday 6 February 2013

What's that gun?

If they get caught in an argument about which actor starred in what film, most people go to IMDb, the Internet Movie Database.

But if they get caught in an argument about which gun was used in what movie, where should they go? The answer, as I learned recently, is the Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDb).

The first film I looked up was Jackie Brown, with Samuel L. Jackson playing Ordell Robbie, the gun dealer with the problem of repatriating his $500,000 in cash.

Australians, generally, don't own guns. I've never owned one. Apart from firing a .22 on a farm way back when I was a kid, I only ever handled firearms when I was working as a civilian for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in the late 1990s. Which is part of the appeal of Jackie Brown for me.

Chick Cindy presents a Steyr AUG on video in Jackie Brown,
as Sammy Jackson explains his gun business to Robert De Niro.
The ADF uses a modified version of the Steyr AUG, called the F88 Austeyr. I found it light, easy to use and remarkably accurate (considering I'm blind as a bat without glasses). The built-in telescopic sight helped.

The only other weapon I fired that day was a Browning 9mm handgun, the Mark III, which is the general issue pistol for the ADF. The commercial version of that gun appears in dozens of movies, most notably The Usual Suspects, where almost everyone takes a turn at firing one.

In a memorable moment in The Usual Suspects, Stephen Baldwin fires two Browning Mark IIIs.
I don't want to own a gun, but that day at the RAAF firing range at Edinburgh Air Force Base, I discovered they can be fun. Many Australians crticise Americans for their failure to ban guns, as Australia did after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, but Australia has never had a gun culture. Our equivalent problem is alcohol. Just watch those same people squirm if someone tries to extend the system of prohibition already in place in the Northern Territory.

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