I should start by admitting that I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Every Sunday night, my wife and I watch it like clockwork.
Having said that, I was disappointed last night when the dialogue revealed that, while the show may be set in Georgia, the new episode writers almost certainly come from either New York or Chicago.
How do I know this? Because on last night’s episode, when Rick was searching his former town for weapons, he makes the comment that some business owners kept guns under the counter. He goes on to note that he knows this because he “signed the permits” himself.
So how does that comment tell me the writers have either a New York or Chicago mentality? Because outside of those two cities, one does not need a permit to simply possess a firearm in one’s own place of business. And that is most certainly true in Georgia!
Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and assume he is talking about a carry permit, which in Georgia is called a ‘Georgia Firearms License’, it still doesn’t make sense because those are signed by a probate judge and not by local law enforcement.
We are only left with the conclusion that they are assuming the gun laws in Georgia are just as draconian as those in New York or Chicago because they cannot conceive of citizens who are actually free to possess guns without a government-issued permission slip.
But the lack of cultural understanding didn’t end there. Rick goes on to say that the guns may still be there because none of the customers knew of their existence.
Now that comment is just plain stupid. In most of America, it is the rare exception for the owner of a small business not to have a firearm in their place of business and the customers know it.
Therefore, even if we assume the business owner was one of the first to turn into a biter, every surviving member of the community would know to check under the counter at their local bar or jewelry store or pawn shop for extra guns and ammo.
In short … none of that dialogue made any sense … unless the writers are disconnected from mainstream American culture where gun rights are concerned.
And since gun owners make up a disproportionate percentage of their fan base, I would highly recommend that they take the time to learn a little bit more.
NOTE: Click here for a better understanding of just how unheard-of registration is.
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I thought that was a bit odd myself.
Right? It stood out to me like the sound of zombie fingernails on sheet metal. 🙂
While I too found it odd, especially for a small town in Georgia (I lived in Kennesaw for almost two years), I didn’t let it diminish my enjoyment of the episode. I feel, that while unrealistic, it was simply used to explain why he knew of the guns existence in the places he was proposing to look. I’m pretty sure that while everyone in the South thought “WTF?! Permits to keep a firearm in your place of business?”, everyone not blessed to live here just took it for what it was…a plot device.
I think you are reading way to much into it. That line could even have been ad libbed by the actor, who hales from England, and might have just assumed sheriff’s everywhere in the states issue gun permits. I don’t think anyone was trying to perpetuate anything in this instance. Personally, I just assumed that they meant a carry permit, and he knew the particulars of where they were kept because it was a small town and he knew everyone. In any event, I don’t think that this could be anymore of a non-issue. It is a fictional TV show about zombies. If you need to dig that deep to write about something so trivial, when so much else is happening in reality, why not choose to go after the real myth perpetuators, like Stallone and Schwarzenegger. Those guys hate us having guns, come out against us having guns, yet use magic guns that shoot 1000 rounds before needing to reload and the bullets go through 2 foot thick concrete, and kill indiscriminately in every one of their movies.
Jeff & Joseph,
I agree with you that it wasn’t anti-gun per-se and it certainly didn’t prevent me from enjoying the episode. I merely mentioned it because it shows how little an understanding of real American life that many in the entertainment industry have.
I will be right there on the couch watching it again next Sunday of course. 🙂
And as for the other actors that are actually taking a stand against gun rights, I HAVE written about them. See the following articles:
I’m with you on that. I’m sure, to them, being from someplace other than the South, it simply didn’t “sound” right when they were writing it. The funny thing is that, where they are likely from, law enforcement would have even less “accurate” information about “who” has “what” since firearm ownership is such a stigma. However, in a small/medium sized town in Georgia, the sheriff would likely know just because he knows everyone…mostly because he likely shoots at the same range they do.
For the most part, I think they do a good job of presenting the “reality” that the characters face.
Enjoy the blog, btw, and maybe one day, open carry will be a reality even here in FL.
You want accuracy in your entertainment? Maybe there is a position available as an expert consultant to review the content before airing it.
It was bad enough when as kids we watched while cowboys fired upteen times w/o reloading their sixguns and bad guys got blown all the way across the room when shot. Now we are subjected to officers clearing an area, hearing a sound, then racking their handgun to chamber a round – so professional and well trained.
Can’t remember when I last saw a movie or entertainment program that got it right. Have even wondered if the “errors” were not deliberate, to further the mythology/misinformation. That would not surprise me.
Plot device. Simply places there to explain how he knew they were there. My last roommate was a screenwriter. He would likely agree with me that it was poor writing. U don’t care about the assumption the writer had of gun laws, but I think most people watch didn’t need it explained to them how a small town deputy knows about guns at a liquor store. I actually thought to myself how’s many stores I knew of that had guns when I was a cop simply because the owners wanted to use them as a conversation piece.
Same reason the detectives on other cop shows explain procedure to one another that real detectives would not. It’s for the presumably ignorant audience. I could write a whole blog myself on tactival errors made in the show or poor writing in general, but it is a show about zombies. Plus, production on these shows pick writers out of a hat. Oy specific episodes are deemed important to be written by Kirkman.
I’ve been in TV/film production the last few years now. Trust me when I tell you production will cut corners anywhere they can, especially in writing, let alone firearms knowledge.
you cannot say that there is an inaccuracy since rick is a sheriff in the fictitious kings county georga and there could have been a city ordinance that restricted the use of firearms in a place of business without a permit…
Actually, in quite a few states the Sheriff’s Office signs off on and issues CCWs. It’s that way here in Colorado. Back in TN it is the Highway Patrol that issues them. Most of the writers for the show, IIRC, are from California where, you guessed it, the Sheriff’s department signs off.
This doesn’t bother me much. I just assume everyone in Hollywood (right down the street from me) is pretty close to a drooling idiot.
LOL! Same thing on the show Burn Notice! Mike said Fi was driving around with a trunk of unregistered firearms. Its Florida! Things like this bug me, do some research!