As police chased Raymond “Ready” Martinez through Times Square on Thursday, the street hustler and aspiring rapper fired two shots, holding the gun sideways “like a character out of a rap video.” According to the New York Post, Martinez’s side grip caused the gun to jam, enabling police to shoot and kill the suspect. What’s the point of holding a gun sideways?To look Hollywood, of course. Journalists and gun experts point to the 1993 Hughes brothers film Menace II Society, which depicts the side grip in its opening scene, as the movie that popularized the style. Although the directors claim to have witnessed a side grip robbery in Detroit in 1987, there are few reports of street gangs using the technique until after the movie came out. The Hughes brothers didn’t invent the grip, though. In 1961’s One-Eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando used it, as did Eli Wallach in 1966’s The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Directors may prefer the style because it makes it easier to see both the weapon and the actor’s face in a tight camera shot.
[Read more at Slate]