Finger gun

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Gesture thumb up then down forefinger out like gun.jpg

The finger gun is a hand gesture in which a person uses their hand to mimic a handgun, raising their thumb above their fist to act as a hammer, and one finger extended perpendicular to it acting as a barrel. The middle finger can also act as the trigger finger or part of the barrel itself. Also, an optional clicking of the fingers can be included when forming the "gun" as to emphasise the gesture.

It may be used after a situation in which its user has successfully completed the "too slow" variation of a high five.

It is also sometimes used by placing the “gun” to the side of one's own head in, in one's mouth, or under the chin, as if committing suicide, to indicate a strong desire to be put out of one's misery, either from boredom or exasperation, or to express one's dislike for a situation. It can be used as an insulting gesture, as to suggest your brain should be blown out of the back of your head. Nonetheless, it can also be used in a positive sense, as a way to say “hey” or “what’s up” to friends or acquaintances.

Children, teenagers and teacher's assistants have occasionally been punished or removed from school for making the gesture. In some cases, this was because authority figures interpreted it as a signal for threatening real violence, while in others they interpreted it as unacceptably supportive of gun violence in general.[1][2][3] These have often been labeled as “ridiculous” by some commentators.[4]

In 2006, Fahim Ahmad allegedly made the gesture when speaking about the possibility of Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents coming to his apartment, which was used as evidence of his conspiracy to commit terrorism by a police informant.[5]


  1. ^ Hoy, Wayne K. (2005). Educational Leadership and Reform. p. 311. ISBN 1-59311-321-8.
  2. ^ "School gives hands-on lesson after kids pull finger-guns". Boston Herald. March 28, 2000.
  3. ^ "Boys Get In Trouble For Playing With Finger Guns". May 14, 2002. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Stahl, Michael J. (2004). Ethical Perspectives. p. 2. ISBN 0-7817-5541-7.
  5. ^ "Canada: The Cell Next Door". Frontline. PBS. January 30, 2007.