Can You Really Shoot Your Eye Out with a BB Gun?

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At this time of year, if you spend much time around us at Utah Valley Eye, long-time leader in Provo LASIK surgery, you will probably hear a phrase or two from the 1983 classic, “A Christmas Story.” If you’ve not seen it, please run (don’t walk) and get a copy ASAP.

The cultural references in the film make for a light-hearted look at Christmasdom in childhood, dividing viewers into two distinct camps, Team Mom (teacher, and Santa) and Team Ralphie (and Dad). And if you haven’t seen the movie, please be advised that there are spoilers below in this highly scientific and serious discussion about this very issue as well as other points of the film.


OK, kids, don’t triple dog dare anyone to stick their tongue on a flagpole. Shwartz took advantage of Flick, plain and simple. Take it from someone who might have licked a metal ice cream scoop in her childhood. It hurts. If you get triple dog dared to do it, simply respond with a foolproof answer, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say, bounces off me and sticks to you. You do it!”

Mom was right – icicles can kill people

This one is straight up, although unlikely, you can be injured by falling icicles, even killed. Those that are the most dangerous form high on a building, electric wire, skyscraper, etc. When a 3-inch icicle falls from several stories, it can reach up to 90 MPH, according to Accuweather. ( With the unique landscape of Utah County and the number of homes built during the pioneer times, uponst many grow sizeable icicles, with this information, it might be wise to knock some of those down because they really could cause injury.

Could he or couldn’t he?

We know what you want to know – could Ralphie really shoot his eye out with the Red Rider Carbine Action 200 Shot BB Gun like his mom said, right? Being that he didn’t carefully position the gun and it kicked back, he could have injured his eye more significantly than a shiner and broken glasses. Shot it out, no, but caution and more training probably would’ve prevented the ultimate lie about the icicles that are known to kill people. Don’t forget, your eyes are “Frag-IL- AY.”

Notwithstanding the “serious” study of the fine points of a fun Christmas movie, at Utah Valley Eye, we are anxious to help you with any of your eyecare needs and even Provo eyelid surgery. If you weren’t as careful as you should have been with your new BB gun on Christmas morning, we promise we won’t tell your mom.

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