With the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a handwritten letter, an elderly man with dementia goes in search of the person he believes to be responsible for the death of his family in the death camp to kill him himself.

My wife and I watched this film today with no great expectations. We are both into watching historical movies and this one caught her eye. The acting is ok. I am not one to judge acting. Christopher Plummer does a good job of portraying an elderly man with dementia and Martin Landau does a good job portraying his friend.

But that’s not why it is worth talking about this particular movie.

Everybody in Hollywood just knows that you can walk into any store that is selling firearms and for a few dollars just walk out with a gun, ready to kill. Or if not that, then they go to a “gun show” and buy a gun from somebody at the show and walk away with a gun, ready to kill. Everybody just knows it is easy to buy a gun.

We know that it is not that easy. While most people really do believe it is more difficult to buy cold medicine than to buy a gun the reality of making a gun purchase is almost never shown.

This show didn’t show the protagonist filling out a 4473. “Here fill out this form, I can’t help you. If you make a mistake I’ll shred it and you can start over.” is never explained to the public. Nor the 10 minutes of writing followed by 30 minutes to a few days of waiting before the “instant” background check comes back with a proceed. It isn’t shown in this movie because it is BORING.

Instead they told the story. The FFL asks for the old man’s drivers license and then walks to a computer and starts entering information from the DL. The old man asks what is happening and the FFL then explains that a background check is going to be done and what they are checking for.

He explained it naturally. It was made clear that nobody, not even a harmless looking old man, just hands over money and walks out the door.

The FFL then sold the gun and didn’t proceed until he said the background check had been completed.

The only thing they got wrong in that scene was that I don’t know a single FFL that would have completed that transfer given that the old man was showing signs of dementia in just the few interactions.

Finally, they did a good job of having good people in the movie. I’m so tired of movies filled with nasty characters. In this story the old man was treated with respect and kindness through out. There was no evil corporation doing evil things, there were no evil thugs doing evil things. The son is portrayed as loving and carrying. More concerned about his father being missing than anything.

And it wasn’t that nasty “Dad is just making work for me” it was a loving son taking care of his father.

There are some small things that happen that aren’t all that realistic in terms of firearms and firearm laws but even those are plausible.

Oh, the other scene that got the wife, old man has purchased some clothes at a Walmart type store. As he is leaving the security alarm goes off. Security guy comes out to check. He is polite and well spoken. He explains he has to do this, gets the receipt verifies that they just left a tag on something and then goes to check the other bag the old man is carrying.

He opens that bag and finds the Glock. We all know that bad things are about to happen.

“Is that a Glock?”


Long pause, you can see the security guard about to react.

“It just reminds me of my first gun.” Puts the gun back in the bag. “You have a great day.”

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By awa

6 thoughts on “Remember, a movie”
  1. One movie that comes to mind on this issue is Death Wish with Bruce Willis playing Paul Kersey. The gun store, I believe it was called, Jolly Rodgers or something close to that, conveys the idea that the process of buying a gun is really just a formality which no one fails in being approved. Later in the movie Kersey is seen using a full auto firearm to kill the bad guy, which he bought a day or so before. My biggest obstacle as an instructor is the mindset of potential gun buyers who believe what they ‘learned on T.V.” is the truth. Many of them are personally invested in what TV land said and are reluctant to have their mind changed by the facts.

  2. “The only thing they got wrong in that scene was that I don’t know a single FFL that would have completed that transfer given that the old man was showing signs of dementia in just the few interactions.”

    Yet we have someone showing obvious signs of dementia in charge of the military, the US Marshals, the FBI, and the IRS.

  3. Uh, one can’t purchase a handgun outside your state of residence directly. You can only have it shipped to your FFL in your home state.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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