Have you ever wondered what is going on in G Callen’s mind before and after he draws his gun? Ever wondered how fast his heart is beating or how sweaty his palms are? Maybe not, simply because our Callen is the best of the best (keeps his cool in all situations), but surely you’ve wondered about his training. Especially in how he handles his gun, Hetty’s guns, and guns he gets off of bad guys.
Fear not, because it’s high time to take a look at how guns are safely handled by our hero.
There is so much training that goes into being able to handle a gun safely and effectively; everything from knowing how a gun is put together, to how the mechanisms work in one, to the safety protocols, to laws in different states and countries on guns, to maintenance. The list is more extensive than you might imagine (unless you’re in the military, a police officer, or have your CHL.) Since all of the above is second nature to Callen by now and he barely thinks on any of it and just does it, I will share what small training I’ve had so that us fans can get a glimpse of A FRACTION of the items going through his mind (and his Team’s) when they are drawing their weapon.
Safety protocols for using 9mm semiautomatics (and all guns, really) are taught in a small list, usually looking something like this:
- Finger off the trigger (until forced to fire)
- Keep gun pointed in Position SUL, or down range (obviously, NOT AT ANY PERSON)
- Know what the target is
- Be aware of what is to the sides and behind the target
One of the items my trainer harped on again and again was the seriousness of keeping your finger off the trigger. I didn’t really understand until my first time of shooting 150 rounds. My arm got tired, I got lazy and occasionally would rest my finger on the trigger while waiting for my target to be reset. This is dangerous because if I were startled, by a loud noise or the like, I might accidentally pull the trigger. Hence, why keeping the gun pointed in the SUL Position is so important. If a gun is fired while not aimed at the target, it needs to be pointing to where it can’t hurt anyone. One of the things I LOVE about Callen and his Team: their fingers are NEVER resting on a trigger. They do this even when they’ve been up all night, or chasing suspects for days–when they are dog tired! Their training, like all who have been in military or law enforcement, was thorough and bred good habits.
Two items that both military and law enforcement teaches in training have to do with the nature of bullets. Bullets themselves behave differently, dependent upon size and the type of weapon being shot. But these two things are pretty general when speaking of guns:
- Bullets ricochet bad
- Bullets go through bodies
Bullets have the potential to ricochet off of anything durable, such as metals and stone. When a bad guy is shooting in a warehouse filled with pipes and cement walls? Yeah, bad situation. Take cover. Those bullets will go in multiple directions when they start ricocheting. No one knows this better than the Team.
Then, remember the time Callen was in the nightclub, undercover as Ivan? He came face to face with a hostage situation, and needed to take a shot. What did he do first? Make sure that Deeks wasn’t in his line of fire. (Loved how Deeks handled a similar situation near the end of the case, in that home hallway, too!) Bullets always have the potential to go through the intended target and hit whatever is behind it.
Guns require a higher sense of alertness to use skillfully and properly. This can be seen in how intense Callen and the others get when they draw their weapon. They aren’t just about to shoot at the bad guy. They are figuring out what could move into their line of fire from the sides, what’s behind their target, and how to not let their weapon fall into the bad guy’s possession. It takes a lot of focus! Insert applause for the Team here.
Lastly, keeping the gun clean goes without saying. How many times have we seen Callen taking apart his gun and cleaning it? Basic reason? When a gun isn’t clean or cared for, there is a good chance it will jam and NOT FIRE when it’s most needed. That would make for a very sad moment. Just imagine that happening to Callen in the middle of a shoot-out situation. Ugh. I shudder at the thought. But, hey. Callen would never let that happen.
Why? Because Callen is the best of the best.
P.S. Many deep thanks to NCIS: Los Angeles Consultant Osama Shofani (USMC Ret.) for making sure protocol is followed by the Team. And, for keeping it real in the best ways when the guns come out on-screen. You make this Texan proud.