Guns Don’t Kill People, Women Do

I just learned that Smith & Wesson is now marketing firearms to the ladies via that shopworn and scantily clad marketing tool known as “pink-washing.”

Pink-washing refers to the ubiquitous pink that shows up on everything from beer pong tables to breast cancer awareness toasters, and now, the indispensable Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol geared for women.

I like to mess around with guns as much as the next girl. My father let my brother and our cousin play with guns, but because I was so much younger, and a girl, I was never allowed to. Then, several years ago, that same cousin called me up and suggested that I come over so we could have cocktails and shoot up some garden gnomes. Thanks to his generosity, I now know what it feels like to have a penis, I mean a pistol.

Blasting garden gnomes over cocktails from a tree house was empowering and hilarious, but it wasn’t enough to get me into a gun store. Then, last summer, I found myself in desperate need of a gun when I had to battle our vicious rooster with a Toyota Corolla while clad in a bikini. The battle was eventually won with the help of a guy friend and his gun, but it was messy, and I started to think that a rifle around the place wouldn’t be a bad idea. Since I couldn’t pull the trigger on actually purchasing a gun, we still do not have one.

If there had been just one little gun that spoke to my nurturing, female side, I might have turned that fleeting desire for firearms into action, thereby saving myself a lot of aggravation with that horrible rooster.

We members of the fairer sex are complicated, but I think Smith & Wesson is up to the job of sorting us out. Their first step will be to  replace the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness 9mm marketing manager with someone from the My Little Pony team.

Smith & Wesson's first iteration of the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness 9 mm.

I realize that for straight men, breasts effect them the way kittens effect us girls—we want to share pictures of them with our friends, stroke, touch, cuddle, and kiss them because they are so adorable. But, might I suggest to Smith & Wesson, that they change the deco on the grip to something more girl friendly? Maybe find a way to incorporate whiskers, and big, limpid eyes somewhere on the barrel?

I worked extensively on My Little Pony back when I had a job, and I learned from the marketing department that girls are attracted to pink, purple and melon hues like flies are to honey. Girls also like sparkles, and lots of long hair that they can braid and style. It’s really that simple. The rest of the battle is figuring out different ways to leverage the product, which is just a fancy way of saying, how many play sets can we design around this one pony?

My experience with My Little Pony also taught me the importance of the mother/daughter legacy that is created when mom, fondly remembering the toy from her childhood, is  able to introduce it to her own daughter. Now, women will be able to purchase and pass down to their daughters, their cherished firearms.

Smith & Wesson has the same challenge as Hasbro did with My Little Pony, but they have a tremendous advantage because unlike plastic ponies, or even real, living ponies, guns are actually useful. Most, if not all women need a gun. They just don’t know it yet.

Like other women, I  didn’t think I needed a gun, but now I realize that I do. This sudden need of a firearm has crept up on me the same way Ugg boots and sweat pants did, and it is getting harder and harder to resist.

When I worked in Research and Development at the toy company I frequently participated in high level brainstorming sessions when we would “go blue sky” as a way to generate new ideas for an existing product that was in need of a “refresh.” That kind of thinking outside the box never really left me, so I am naturally very interested in the R and D being done on firearms for women and girls.

When marketing a pistol to a woman, a responsible gun manufacturer like Smith & Wesson should take into account a woman’s natural cycles, and design accordingly. I’m talking about those natural cycles that follow the phases of the moon and are frequently accompanied by free-floating anxiety, depression, irritation, and homicidal fantasies.

On my iPhone I have an app that tracks my natural cycle, so if I find myself inexplicably sobbing in my car, I can check my phone to see where I am in my natural cycle. Smith & Wesson is rumored to be developing a small caliber firearm that features a soft, cuddly grip embedded with a microchip containing an app similar to the one I have on my iPhone. During those times of the month, the app engages a safety that will disable the gun from discharging.

Smith & Wesson is also reportedly hard at work on a lightweight, easily concealed, small caliber gun for use in the home. The weapon is meant to be used offensively, as a means of persuading recalcitrant family members to pick up some slack around the house. Dubbed “The Merry Maid,” this gun shoots a small  pellet intended to embed itself in the meaty area of the buttock. It comes with a scope and an optional silencer.

For the woman who enjoys the outdoors but is unable to abandon her family for the weekend to go hunting with her friends, Smith & Wesson also has in the works a semi-automatic sporting rifle that can accurately hit  a target over 600 yards away, allowing the user to hunt from the convenience of her own home. “The Mighty Huntress” is finished with polished “Cozy Camo” Melonite™ that seamlessly blends in with upholstery and home decor.

This is the actual Smith & Wesson Pink Breast Cancer Awareness 9 mm Pistol, promoted by Julie Coloski, Smith & Wesson's Consumer Program Manager.

I’m on the fence about what gun I’m going to get. The Merry Maid is tempting and versatile, as it could be used effectively on both teenagers and small predators. On the other hand, I really want that Cozy Camo finish. I don’t have daughters so the decision is entirely a matter of practicality and personal preference.

Many thanks Mario Turchiarolo for the inspiration and for the appalling details.

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