I see and hear a lot of negative comments from people, mostly men about pink guns. “A gun is not a fashinon accessory.” And “You’re supposed to conceal a gun, not show it off.” And “Black conceals, pink does not.” So, here’s my confession: I own, and sometimes carry, a pink gun. Well, technically it’s Raspberry.

So, now, I’ll cover the objections. First, there are many options between black and pink. There’s stainless, blued and desert tan guns that I can think of right off. Then there’s custom grips, many in very nice wood. So, don’t tell me you guys don’t care what your gun looks like or that you never show it off.

I bought the LCP a year ago as a summer carry gun. Especially for a woman, lightweight summer fabrics make it harder to conceal a gun. I’m not a fan of purse carry, so was looking for something to replace the .38 snubby I had been using for summer.

The snubby revolver is a great carry piece, and there’s still some clothes it works better with than a pistol. But the LCP has a slimmer profile and also a lightweight. With good ammo and an extra clip, I feel confident with the .380 ACP for everyday carry in the summer when I might otherwise be tempted to not carry at all.

I had to decide which of the options the LCP is offered in I would buy. Frankly, I thought “fashion colors” for guns was a silly idea. But, then I realized how it could work for me not against me. If, by chance, the gun should be inadvertently exposed, that tiny little pink gun would be extremely unlikely to provoke panic. It doesn’t scream GUN. The color is more likely to blend unobtrusively in with my clothing.

My state law is rather vague on concealed vs open carry. It says to “carry openly or concealed” requires a permit. So, you can’t actually be arrested for open carry. But, and it’s a really big “but”, if you cause other people enough discomfort that they call police, you will likely be arrested. The charge would be “Breach Of Peace” or “Disorderly Conduct”. If you’re really unlucky (or stupid), it may be “Brandishing” or “Threatening”.

Since I’m surrounded by gun-fearing liberals and I just hate wasting time, I do my best to avoid having them call the police. This is best accomplished with a gun that blends well into my clothing and silhouette. For me, this can be accomplished with my LCP in raspberry better than it would in black.

It’s not my favorite carry gun, but it works well when I need it. If I do have to use it to defend myself, it won’t make a bit of difference what color the gun is. All that matters is that I have a gun with me in that moment which is more likely with a gun I can carry and conceal with ease. 

Oh, and raspberry was $20 less than black for some reason.

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On this Memorial Day, I have been more disappointed than usual in the general lack of concern for the history and reasons behind this holiday.

Memorial Day started during and after the American Civil War. Latest estimates put the death toll of the Civil War at approximately 750,000. Virtually everyone was affected by loss of life of family or friends. Decorating graves and paying tribute to the fallen helped many with the overwhelming grief.

The tradition took hold in cities and towns all over the country on different dates. On May 30, 1868, the first national Memorial Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery which had been built on the former estate of Confederate General Lee. President (and former Union General) Grant presided over the ceremy along with General Garfield who would later become president. The celebration in those early days was quite somber, a day of mourning. It was not a “legal” holiday in the sense it is now. However, it was a federal holiday, meaning federal workers, many of whom were Civil War veterans, could take the day off with pay.

State by state, laws were passed making May 30 a Memorial Day to Civil War fallen. The former Confederate states were slow to join in the national holiday. This was because in the early days most of the focus was on the sacrifices of Union soldiers to triumph over their enemy, the Confederacy. As time went on, the old enmity faded and the Confederate dead were also honored.

After World War I, the day was changed to a memorial and remembrance of Americans killed in all wars. The somber, mournful nature continued. Parades, speeches and decoration of graves were the usual way of memorializing the fallen.

As a child in a small town, we had the traditional sort of Memorial Day celebration. A parade was held, winding its way through town to each of the cemeteries. Taps was played and a salute fired in each cemetery. It wasn’t much of a parade by some standards. Veterans marched or were driven in open convertibles. The high school band played. The final ceremony was on a bridge where children of fallen soldiers tossed wreaths and lilac bouquets to be carried out to sea. My siblings and I were part of this ceremony as representatives of our great uncle who was killed in World War I before he had the chance to marry. These traditions held great importance for all of us. I hate seeing such a proud tradition of remembrance displaced by drunken parties.

Probably the worst thing to happen to Memorial Day was its designation as a “Monday holiday” in 1971. The long weekend has become the unofficial start of summer. Many communities still hold parades and ceremonies. But, for many Americans today, it’s all about beaches and barbecues. The fallen heroes are not remembered.

I was particularly offended this year by Chris Hayes of MSNBC who said he was uncomfortable with calling all fallen soldiers “heroes”. This was completely outrageous and disrespectful. My already low expectations of the media have taken a nosedive. I was also deeply disturbed by many comments I saw online which were focused on the “elitists”, politicians and profiteers who create agenda driven wars rather than those who have died in service to our country. While, I do believe hope and prayer for peace in our future is appropriate, I also believe that editorializing about political agendas is disrespectful. This is a day to remember and respect those who gave their lives not to judge politicians. And, while I believe that all service members and veterans should have our gratitude every day, this is not the holiday for celebrating them. This day is for those who went and never returned.

For those who think that brave men dying for the foolishness of those in authority over them is a modern phenomenon:

           The Charge Of The Light Brigade
               by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

For anyone who may have just returned from Antarctica, a 17 year old by the name of Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by 28 year old George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman claimed the shooting was self-defense. Police apparently accepted this at face value based on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Thanks to a media savvy family attorney, this case has exploded with nationwide exposure. There are many people with various agendas involved at this point. We have politicians, media, anti-gun people, pro-gun people, activists, Zimmerman supporters and Martin supporters all vying to get all the mileage they can out of this. The ratings race has cost one NBC producer his job for creative editing of the 911 recording to make Zimmerman sound racist.

I’ve watched as both parties have been demonized by “the other side”. Both have been on trial by the public and the prejudices that have been exposed are not pretty. Stand Your Ground laws and gun ownership itself have been hotly debated. I would like to offer my insight on this situation. First, on the incident and second on the gun issue.

What happened that February night may never be fully know. The distortions, exaggerations and outright lies have so muddied the waters, that if Zimmerman is charged, his chance at a fair trial is slim. I believe that the most basic problem in this case lies with the failure of the Sanford Police to conduct a thorough investigation and to communicate with the family of Trayvon Martin on it’s progress. I’ve seen multiple posts online citing crimes against whites by blacks followed by “where’s the outrage?”. The outrage in the Martin case is as much over the fact that police did not treat his killing as a crime as it was over the killing itself.

Evidence that has been released such as 911 recordings and video of Zimmerman after the shooting seem to cast doubt on what is known of his version of events. Supposed witness statements are conflicting. The fact that the media is running down anyone who will make a comment on air is adding to the problem. Statements made by Zimmerman’s family don’t even match what is in the police reports about Zimmerman’s own account.

A grand jury is scheduled to convene this week. A special prosecutor has been appointed. A DOJ team in investigating whether civil rights violations occurred. It is time for everyone to let these people do their jobs. Speculation needs to stop. It is well known now that the photos of both parties originally released are out of date. A better photo of Zimmerman is now circulating. Photos of Trayvon that are circulating have not been authenticated. There is great discrepency in descriptions of the two young men’s height, weight, build. All of this information is available to investigators and will be to the grand jury. They will see an important piece of evidence not yet released, the autopsy report. They will also have available the reports on the treatment Zimmerman received for EMT’s at the scene which will detail his injuries. The wild speculation should stop until these details are known. Whether Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense or not, he is entitled to a grand jury determination of probable cause and if that exists, a fair trial with representation. If either Zimmerman or the authorities violated Trayvon’s civil rights, that needs to be exposed after reviewing evidence the public doesn’t have.
I will offer more detail on the issue of Stand Your Ground laws overall in another post. The point I would like to make here is that, depending upon which point of view you approach from, either of the parties may have acted within the law. If you believe Zimmerman’s story, he was attacked as he walked away and defended himself. If he were the agressor, which some circumstances imply, then it should no longer be covered under the statute.

What I haven’t seen anyone mention is Trayvon’s rights under this same statute. You see, despite what the anti-gun lobby would have you believe, the Stand Your Ground law applies to everyone not just gun owners. The law gives a person who fears they are in danger of great bodily harm or death to confront the other party with force including lethal force.

Since Trayvon was being followed by someone he didn’t know, he did the smart thing and quickened his pace until he was running. The unknown person following him also started running, chasing him down the darkened street. At what point does Trayvon begin to be in fear of bodily harm or death? If Trayvon confronted the man following him, even hitting him as Zimmerman claimed, wasn’t he within HIS right to do so under the law?

Other accounts have Zimmerman confronting Martin in a hostile and agressive manner. If this is true then, certainly Martin was within his rights to defend himself with force. If Zimmerman’s account is true, at what point does a stalker become a victim? How far can one man chase another before the one being pursued can decide to stop running and confront the threat? These are questions jurors will need to consider.

As for reports that Trayvon Martin was a thug, a gang member, etc – there is no evidence of that. No arrest record. No discipline for any kind of violence at school. If he had tattoos, his clothing hid them, so they weren’t a factor in Zimmerman’s threat assessment. All acounts indicate he was dressed in normal teen apparel. He was alone. He had no weapons on him. Not even a knife, something all thugs seem to have. However, even if all that horrible stuff is true, IT IS IRRELEVANT. At the time of the incident, Martin wasn’t hanging out with a gang. He was alone. He was not doing anything criminal. He was just a lone teenager walking down the street, talking on the phone. Regardless of any prior history, these are not actions that warranted being followed or chased. If Zimmerman was so fearful, he could have stayed in his vehicle watching from a safe distance until police arrived. I tend to believe that a man who gets out of his SUV and chases someone down the street is not afraid and not blameless for whatever happens next. But, I’m not privy to all the information. I reserve judgement until all the facts are known.

Although female gun owners are increasing in number, statistics still show that women are more likely to object to firearms in the home. Women with children are more likely than those without children to fear having them. The anti-gun groups have worked hard to instill this fear in the public. They heavily publicize the tragic accidents caused by children playing with firearms to prey on the worst fears a parent has.

Guns are obviously dangerous by design. So are automobiles, the leading cause of accidental death for children in the U.S. Also highly dangerous are lawnmowers, chainsaws, kitchen knives and numerous other tools found around the house and yard. Kids are abused by adults, bitten by dogs, strangled by pet snakes. Children die or are injured by all of these.

A firearm is a tool, nothing more. In and of itself, it will not jump up and kill someone. Parents, in my opinion, have two duties when it comes to guns. First, and foremost, adults must be certain that a firearm never ever comes into the hand of an unsupervised child. Even if you are not a parent, guns must be secured so that no child, including visitors, can ever get their little hands on them. Carrying your weapon on your person while it is not locked away will accomplish this.

The second responsibility is one that the anti-gun people should also heed. It is that all parents must educate children about firearm safety. In the simplest form, it is that if a child sees a gun unattended by an adult, they must inform an adult immediately and NOT TOUCH IT! Whether you are for or against guns, you must teach your child what to do when they are away from you and see a gun, whether found outside or in a playmate’s home.

If you own firearms, teach your child safety at age appropriate levels. I was raised in a home with guns. I don’t recall ever not knowing the adage that all guns are essentially loaded all the time. This is vital for parents to follow and impress upon their children. When they reach the age to use toy guns, teach them the difference between a real gun and a water gun, nerf gun, paintball gun, etc. As a child we treated BB guns, pellet guns and air guns as real weapons as they can cause serious injuries or occasionally, death.

If all parents educated their children about guns, even if they don’t think the children will encounter one, so much tragedy could be avoided. Just as we teach our kids to stay out of traffic, not play with knives and not pet strange dogs, we have a duty to teach them about firearms. Education is how tragedies are avoided.

The decision to own a gun in a home with children is a very personal one. It is a decision that must be made by every family for themselves based upon their own circumstances. Having a gun is not necessarily the right decision for everyone. For some, a long gun may be preferable to a handgun. Whatever your choice, it is yours alone to make.

In my childhood, we had guns. We went hunting and target shooting. None of us or our playmates was ever injured because our parents practiced and taught good safety. The good safety habits I learned as a child have stayed with me for life. Having been introduced as a child, I respect, but do not fear guns.

For my own family, there was a point where I could not, in good conscience, keep a weapon of any kind in my home. My youngest child had severe early onset bipolar disorder. I chose to keep her at home and do the best I could. However, she had no regard for her own safety at all. She would use anything as a weapon. She could break into practically anything in a flash. I just could not be sure that I could secure a gun from her and have it in any way accessible to me if needed. I also got rid of everything that could be used as a weapon, even kitchen knives. I had one knife I kept well hidden and she still got it a few times. I lived in a rural, low crime area and, at that point in life, a gun would have been more of a risk than a benefit. I also hired a lawn service and kept the car key on me all the time. Everything posed a danger during that time.

So, I fully support a family’s right to choose what is best for their circumstances. I just hope to see more people make their choice because they are educated about firearms and have weighed the risks and benefits for themselves. What I don’t like to see is the fear and ignorance that cause people to not only refuse to have guns, but, to fail to even teach their children how to be safe around one. The best advice I can give is to educate yourself first, then educate your children from a position of strength and knowledge.

Also published on Radicalsurvivalism.com

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