Here at NRA Women we enjoy poking occasional fun at Hollywood, but the truth is that we love movies just as much as anyone else. We’ve noticed something, though: The writers and directors of some of our favorite movies don’t seem to be aware that almost every state in the Union allows some form of concealed carry, nor that many women have taken advantage of this. What if they were, though? What would happen if the heroines of our favorite action, adventure or horror movies had a CCW permit and a firearm? How many of those plots would last longer than five minutes? We’re not sure, really, but here are three movies that would end in three minutes flat if the heroine had three seconds to clip her gun to her belt.
Wrong Turn, 2003
Wrong Turn is a classic horror movie demonstrating Hollywood’s absolute terror of people who live in the country. One part Texas Chainsaw Massacre and one part Deliverance, the film details a group of city folks’ desperate attempts to escape a family of inbred cannibal hillbillies. In the opening sequence, a man and a woman who are rock-climbing are ambushed by said inbred cannibal hillbillies. They take the man by surprise while the woman is hanging from her safety line. She bravely tries to escape, but her ultimate fate is Soylent Green Stew.
But what if, on her way out the door, poor Halley remembered to strap on a revolver?
Well, it’s unlikely that she would have been able to save her boyfriend. She didn’t see what happened to him, and her hands weren’t free at that point. However, she had almost made it to her car by the time she was grabbed by the inbred cannibal hillbillies. A well-made holster would have kept her pistol secure during her fall and subsequent pursuit; there’s no reason she wouldn’t have been able to draw, aim and fire in time to save her own life. Additionally, although we here at NRA Women have yet to encounter an inbred hillbilly cannibal (despite all our backwoods roaming), we’re pretty sure that the same caliber you would use against a regular cannibal would work just fine.
The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Just in case there is one person who hasn’t ever seen or heard of this iconic chiller, The Silence of the Lambs details an FBI trainee’s partnership with an incarcerated evil-genius serial killer to end the murder spree of a second one, known as “Buffalo Bill.” You may be wondering why we’d include this film in our listing, given that the movie’s heroine, Clarice Starling, does indeed have a firearm and is quite capable of using it. But what about Catherine Martin? She’s the woman whom Buffalo Bill kidnaps early in the film, but she’s no simple damsel in distress. She’s a heroine in her own right, executing a brave and brilliant escape plot from the bottom of the hole Bill put her in.
So what happens if, as Catherine parks her car and turns off “American Girl,” she also adjusts the pistol secured inside her waistband?
Well, sadly, Catherine isn’t in Condition Yellow at the time Buffalo Bill—feigning injury, just as the real-life serial killer Ted Bundy frequently did—lures her into his van. By the time she figures out something’s wrong, she’s cornered in his van with a couch between herself and Bill. That’s only about 6 feet, but because there’s solid furniture in the way she absolutely would have had time at that point to draw her firearm and shoot for the center of mass. “Goodbye Horses,” indeed!
The central storyline of P2 isn’t terribly original; it’s about a crazed stalker (Thomas) who finally traps the object of his delusions—a woman (Angela) on her way home from an office Christmas party—in the parking garage of the building where they both work. What makes P2 speak to so many women is that it’s a fictional confluence of two very real circumstances that we all face far too often: being alone after dark in a space that’s both isolated and public; and being relentlessly pursued by a man who won’t take “no” for an answer.
As the movie’s plot unfolds, the viewer sees that Angela has really been taken by surprise via blitz attack (drugging) from someone she knows and trusts. When she awakes, she’s already bound and has been stripped down to her undergarments. So this is a toughie … but what if Angela had a micropistol in a Flashbang holster?
The Flashbang essentially turns your brassiere into a holster, and since Thomas left Angela’s brassiere alone, he wouldn’t have found the gun. Once she finds an opportunity to run from him, she immediately jumps through her handcuffed hands.
Certainly, the draw would be awkward. Absolutely, the grip would not be ideal with her hands still cuffed. Perhaps, she’d have to shoot one-handed. But a little Ruger LCP in .380 would absolutely level the playing field.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, nor is it definitive. To be fair, it’s the job of an action- or horror-movie writer to put their characters in danger … the movie wouldn’t be any fun to watch without that pressure. However, sometimes we just can’t resist giving a Hollywood blockbuster the NRA Women treatment to see what would change—and how we can apply those hypothetical lessons to our real lives. As much as we love horror movies, with the right gun, gear and training, that horror will stay up on the screen where it belongs.