Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Before I transformed myself into librarian extraordinaire, I was an artist. I graduated with a degree in fine art from a small Catholic women's college. I had my senior show - an installation of large ceramic and mixed media sculpture. But as much as I enjoyed clay and building things out of it, my first love was, and always will be, color.

Painting classes were a joy. Like a musician with perfect pitch, I could mix colors on my palette easily and with great skill. There has never been any amount of hesitation for me, no "hmm...a little more blue maybe? or is that green?" The color already existed in my head. I could remember colors and duplicate them days later...and when my colors were in close proximity on the canvas, I could physically feel their rightness when everything was harmonizing beautifully together.

My color-love has revealed itself in unusual ways, post art school. In my large collection of art supplies I have a box of Sharpie markers, every color ever made. I have many unworn eyeshadows and nail polishes that I bought just because I want to look at their color. My mother calls me when she wants a new color for the bathroom walls, Mike quickly learned that no, a teal shirt does not go with olive pants even though they are both green (thank goodness I woke up early that day and caught him before he left for work), and now that I shoot - I like colored guns.

(♥ cuteness! ♥)
New to the world of firearms, I've been having trouble understanding why some people have issues with guns that are any other color than black or silver. I liken this to how my husband insists that his blue jeans be Levi's - it's a sort of traditional purism, a Zen-like desire for simplicity, and an adherence to function over form. I acknowledge the beauty of firearms for what they are - tidy little marvels of design and engineering - but I can also appreciate the desire for a more decorative gun.

Customized guns should be applauded since they are a sure sign that more people are becoming interested in shooting and gun ownership. A person willing to spend the amount of money it takes to paint their gun Hello Kitty pink, have it engraved, or even give it a neon orange flame-job is a person who wants to tell the world, "This gun is mine." - and people will protect what belongs to them.

Thanks to technology and a greater diversity of gun owners, the 2nd Amendment will now be protected in technicolor.


West, By God said...

"This gun is mine." Precisely. Thanks for the great post! I've always had an interest in well-decorated firearms. I keep telling myself I'm gonna learn to duracoat one of my own guns, but I've never been particularly artistic.

Nicki said...

The little blond girl on the left is actually the daughter of a friend of mine. He brought that pink monstrosity over to my house two years ago for Thanksgiving! Gawd, the horror!! I laughed at him incessantly. But really, for a little girl, that's just too cute. It just doesn't look right when wielded by a 6-foot something dude with a mustache.

Matt G said...

I've been trying to decide how best to incorporate my wife's love of art (she's a sculptor, and we're looking for the right house to put up a studio with ceramics, bead, and glass kilns) with my hobby of guns.

We haven't yet gotten pink guns for the kids, but I'm thinking of doing some work on their first .22s.

kaveman said...

Matt, I got an idea for ya.

Have you wife make ceramic candle stick holders in the form of revolvers, on a stand pointing straight up. But leave the barrel off!

When you place a candle into it, that's the barrel!

Start out with .44 magnum and finish off with a snubby.

After you make millions selling these, you can cut me a check.

Lydia said...

in the event you feel a need to put color to canvas, I have empty walls in my office that could use some decorating. And a Breda original is something I have yet to own.

Tam said...

The Surgeon General has determined that looking at that picture too long can actually cause hyperglycemia in susceptible people.

mdmnm said...

I think some of the resistance to colored guns stems from the fact that "flashy" guns have a pretty negative connotation to a lot of us. Nickel-plating is ok for corrosion resistance, but you run the risk of looking like you're trying to be a hot shot. Besides, even in very traditional circles there is quite a bit of color shown. Look at the marbling in some the walnut stocks on fine shotguns, especially the English guns from before 1900 (a few are here: http://www.hillrodandgun.com/invent.php) , or for that matter, the case colors on any number of guns.
Too, I recall when fiberglass stocks were getting big for target guns back in the 70s that a lot of guys were sporting some pretty bright colors on their silhouette rifle stocks.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

but Parkerized is a color!

phlegmfatale said...


But my philosophy is that with the right attitude, I can convince all and sundry that any two colors match.

DoubleTapper said...

We don't want them to look too much like toys, do we?


Do you think the anti-gunners would feel less threatened?


Tam said...

There are, I should note, certain colors that firearms MUST NOT be painted.

Safety Orange, which is designated for "Less Lethal" weapons, such as beanbag shotguns and the like, and Light Blue, which is designated for training weapons, such as inert guns or ones converted to fire Simunitions.

staghounds said...

Where did the large Catholic women go to college?

(I'm color blind, co on the pretty gun thing I have nothing. Except that I agree with your point. Scoffing at pink guns is like scoffing at shooters who wear pink shirts- a bad idea in every way.)

Anonymous said...

"I've been having trouble understanding why dome people have issues with guns that are any other color than black or silver."

I can't speak for dome people -- I live in a conventional house -- but if you want a pink gun, that is OK too.

Breda said...

typo fixed - thank you.

Nicki said...

Just spoke to the little blonde's dad. His son wants a red one. I told him that was fine - not Larry Craig in a public restroom gay at all.