Ya know, I’m going to stick my neck out here and give a personal opinion. I know, I know, you probably won’t like this opinion, but I have to get this off my chest.
I was recently (two days ago) doing some research for a character in my current WIP. I asked my favorite deputy and my favorite bomb squad Staff Sgt a few questions, then got on the internet. Now, I’m thinking that an AR-15 might be the right rifle for my character to carry, so I hit Google and then click images.
Wow. Yeaaahhhh. No, I don’t think so. In fact, I was struck speechless, horrified, and terribly embarrassed. What had me so upset?
A pink Hello Kitty rifle. Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, read it again. A PINK rifle with Hello Kitty and flowers on it. Oh, I see, you doubt me. I had a hard time believing it also. Here’s proof:
Now, I found the man who says he customized this gun for his wife. I even found the comments interesting. And yet, despite my love for Calvin & Hobbes, I would never them put on a weapon. That…that’s like eating jello with onions.
Listen, He customized it, she loves it, it’s all good. But here is why you will never see one in my house.
A gun is a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon might get personalized, even cherished, but to make a gun CUTE?? Really? It can be fun to practice and improve skill with a gun, make them less scary or you more confident. There are plenty of acceptable reasons for wanting to know how to shoot one well and to stay in practice. However, my respect for a weapon’s potential in human hands does not allow me to risk any part of that respect…even by making it more attractive.
A gun is also a weapon with the potential to kill anything it is pointed at. Truly deadly things are often fascinating or beguiling (think tornados and brightly colored frogs), but deadly is not cute. I cannot, in good conscience, allow something as serious as a gun to be cute or pretty lest I lose even a milimeter of the respect it deserves.
Also, if you work hard to be competent in a gun world still ruled by men, are you going to handicap yourself with Hello Kitty? The Easter Bunny might take you seriously. I won’t.
So, just what if you ended up in a “situation,” and you grab your Hello Kitty pink assault rifle to defend yourself or your property. Do you really want your intruder to think you are holding a TOY and have no respect for it as a weapon? Now, true, he might be laughing so hard you can drop him easily, but he might just think that your toy gun is in the way and grab it away from you. If he thinks it is a toy, he will have no fear of it. If you have never been in a real situation, don’t assume you would keep the upper hand and shoot first. You have no idea how you will react. You freeze for the wrong microsecond, Hello Kitty is warming your enemy’s palm and turned on you.
If I am ever in a situation to draw a gun against another human being, he had better be afraid of it, because I won’t do it unless I am prepared to kill. I sure as hell won’t be drawing anything pink if I must defend myself with deadly force. I am sadly out of practice, but I know how to clean, load, aim and fire. I was also raised to believe that pointing that chunk of steel at anything, from a paper target to another human being is serious as a heart attack.
I’m sitting here shaking my head. This is not about gun control or the second ammendment. This is about making something used for hunting, sport or defense look so innocent, sweet, appealing, attractive, benign, and “cute.” To me it is making a gun look less like a gun, not for tactical advantage, but as a preference. Deadly things can be attractive, but I am not comfortable with the idea of deadly things being cute, cuddly, or appealing. These are weapons! I don’t have any other words for it, just a deep heavy feeling that it is wrong, I couldn’t do it, wouldn’t own it, and fear anyone handling a gun because it is cute. If Hello Kitty on the side changes your attitude from “meh” to “omgihavetohavethatgungetitiwilllearntoshoot,” please don’t ever pick up a gun. Ever.
I could write a thousand words to explain why this bothers me so much, but I think the core issue is the most important… Respect your weapon. Respect your skill. The potential to end a life is not cute and it is not pretty.
Hello Kitty indeed.