Dual-wielding is awesome nonsense

As a result of my need to feed my massive HALO addiction, I've been replaying the games from HALO WARS all the way through to HALO 4 once again. It's something I do every 3-6 months, partly to remind myself of just how amazing that game series still is, and partly because... well, it's just really good fun. Playing HALO 2, in particular, is always an interesting experience. Aside from being arguably the "worst" of the FPS games in the series- which is a strictly relative term, since it's still one of the greatest games ever made- HALO 2 also introduced the concept of "dual wielding", whereby the protagonist can use two short- or medium-range weapons, one in each hand, and still somehow hit stuff. They continued this particular brand of nonsense into HALO 3, but fortunately nixed it in HALO 3: ODST and HALO 4. I rather hope 343 Industries also keeps it out of HALO 5...

One of the consequences of learning how to shoot things- preferably right in the beak- is that Hollywood special effects tropes no longer make the slightest bit of sense to you. These days it is endlessly amusing for me to watch "actors" firing weapons on the big screen without bothering at all with sight picture and sight alignment, and yet still miraculously hitting their targets- while running or jumping off walls. And have you noticed how they never, ever seem to need to reload?

(Yes, I know, this is not exactly news to anyone who actually SHOOTS STUFF FOR FUN. I can almost hear Tam laughing her ass off at the fact that I'm even writing this. You must remember though, I live in the Northeast USA- Rabbit Hutch Central- where shooting furry little woodland critters, skinning them, gutting them, and mounting their heads on your den wall is considered to be a sign of extremely vulgar taste. And yet they have the audacity to call golf an acceptable pastime around here...)

The guiltiest offenders out of the bunch are movies like Hot Fuzz (which is hysterically funny) and the entire Underworld series.

(As far as I'm concerned, a highly effective "gay test" is to show him a picture of Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight leather and spandex and ask him, "WYB?". If he says no, he's either gay or severely mentally ill. Possibly both.)

Now, Lord only knows, I'm a huge fan of the latter. I enjoy all of the films and I think that, as rip-offs of other movies go, they are really rather well done. But one thing that I cannot get over are those nonsensical scenes where the main characters dual-wield fully automatic machine pistols and yet somehow still manage to hit stuff.

The reality is that humans don't have independent eyesight, our vision operates the same way that binoculars do- which is why we invented the damn things like that. When you learn how to shoot, you're going to learn really damn fast just how difficult it is to obtain sight picture and sight alignment on just one weapon. Never mind trying to do the same with two, you basically can't do it, your brain isn't built for it.

Then there's the fact that each weapon has a different recoil and a different "feel" to it. Ever tried firing off a gun on full auto? (Not likely, since such weapons are largely illegal outside of the military.) Now imagine trying to figure two fully automatic SMGs at a moving target, like Commander Miranda Keyes does in HALO 2. Yeah... not gonna happen.

Personally, I recommend that any man put learning how to shoot and learning how to beat the crap out of other people at the very top of his self-improvement to-do list. But don't for one moment fool yourself about what you're getting into. If you learn how to shoot, learn from a properly certified NRA instructor about how to handle a weapon as safely and as thoroughly as possible, and take the time to practice as much and as often as you can. If you learn martial arts, learn from an instructor who will flatly refuse to let you progress until and unless you prove that you understand the fundamentals of the art perfectly- and never forget that your purpose in learning the art is to learn how to hurt other people.

Don't be dumb enough to think that if you learn how to shoot, you can one day dual-wield heavy pistols on full auto with any kind of accuracy, or that if you start learning Krav Maga you can learn how to defend against knives and guns without learning how to punch or kick correctly. If you fool yourself into thinking either of these things, you've completely missed the point of what you're trying to learn, and you might as well start over from the very beginning.


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