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The trouble with advice, pink guns, thank you, and other stuff

The trouble with advice

… is that when you ask for it, people give it! I mean, that’s the good thing about advice, too. But it goes both ways. On Tuesday when I asked for tips on what to add to my reconstituted grab-and-go kit (which sounds so much more respectable than a bug-out bag), you were your usual generous and informative selves.

You helped me and potentially helped hundreds or thousands of strangers who might google upon that blog entry one day.

Of course, you also twisted my brain into a pretzel and will probably scare the heck out of some newbie looking for simple ideas for an emergency kit. And that’s the tougher part of getting advice. Everybody has ideas, some of which conflict, some of which are great for thee but not for me (because of circumstances, budget, skills, etc.), and some of which might be just plain nutz.

I think most people here have enough experience and savvy to glom onto the most workable suggestions and filter out those that would work less well for them — and enough savvy to know the most important thing: YOU BEGIN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.

As with every other form of preparedness, it would be easy to become daunted by the project of putting together an absolutely ideal emergency kit. A person could easily spend hundreds — maybe thousands — of dollars and who knows how much time putting together the Super-Duper Killer Guaranteed-Perfect Escape-and-Evasion Tsunami Hurricane Forest Fire Etc. Etc. Kit. A person could just as easily panic at the prospect of not being able to achieve perfection — and end up with no kit at all.

If all you’ve got is your daughter’s Hello Kitty backpack from the first grade, a couple bottles of water, and a box of granola bars … start there.

One of my favorite snippets of advice (among the many)

… came from naturegirl who wrote:

Above all, anyone who has to bug out of their comfort zone: accept that you will be miserable, uncomfortable, and will undoubtedly forget to bring something very important…as soon as you decide not to whine, then have a good cry-scared as hell session & get all that over with, the determination and survival (and sometimes even finding humor) modes can kick in…..The main thing everyone needs in their bug out bag is the right attitude (and knowledge)….

Yeah. Even you guys with the Super-Whiz-Whacker Bug-Out Kits. But naturegirl’s remark was a good reality check for me, too. Made me realize that I’m too focused on providing a level of comfort that isn’t in the cards no matter what I do.

I also appreciated Ellendra’s comment, “And, in the aftermath, remember that there will be those of us hoping and praying for your safety and well-being the entire time!”

Good advice and good hopes and prayers. Couldn’t ask for more. (Except, of course, for a complete lack of disasters. But …)

I know this will offend a certain blog lurker who considers every generality to be an Evil Stereotype, but I couldn’t help but notice that guy advice for a bug-out focuses on gear, while several of the women who spoke up addressed more abstract, emotional aspects of a run-for-the-hills emergency.

Hello Kitty backpacks and female stereotypes brings me to an unrelated topic:

Pink guns

Pink Freaking Guns. Now, I have an acquaintance who has a hot pink rifle, but everybody involved in the project knew it was a joke. And I’ve seen discreetly lavender handguns, which were actually somewhat attractive — though nobody I know would buy one.

But apparently, as more women buy firearms (yay!) there’s really, truly a marketing push for pink guns (boo!).

Well, I say boo, but at the very moment P.T. was sending me the link to that pink guns article, I was online reading another article about a pink gun in the right hands blowing a bad guy to smithereens. Though I feel compelled to add that the pink-gun owning couple appear to be a pair of ostentatious morons, they did rid the world of one criminal nuisance.

Still. I Do. Not. Get. The whole women-and-pink thing — in guns or anything else. I am of the “I am woman, hear me roar” vintage. Tough. Independent. You know, with shoulder pads and Attitude. And while I’m glad to see that feminism has softened and we can all strive for equality without pretending we’re the same, I still remember when women … well, outgrew being all pink and lacy and perpetually babylike. Twenty years or so ago, some tool company got the bright idea of marketing a pink toolkit “just for us girls,” and the product rapidly disappeared in a cloud of insult.

The pink-ribbon breast cancer orgy that recently seems to last half the year (and mark half the products in stores) grosses me out. A friend talked me into going to one of those “pink” events, where I got a pink bag and a pink pen and a pink notepad and blushed pink from the embarrassment of participating in such pink-bubblegum goo. (And I wonder how men would feel if half the world was covered in nursery-blue ribbons for prostate cancer. Hey, equal time, baby.)

Now. Pink FIREARMS. No. I Do. Not. Get. It.

But then, I like things to look like what they are, and guns are machines. The more they look like machines, the better.

If women are looking for the right guns for their needs, I’d rather they took advice from that tough cookie Miss Fitz rather than Cosmopolitan

Thank you

Finally, thank you to the Mystery Somebody who arranged for a copy of Larken Rose’s book The Most Dangerous Superstition to show up in my mailbox yesterday. Larken Rose is a good writer, an incisive and insightful thinker, and a man with guts. I’ve just started the book and will probably have more to say about it later.

You can read more about The Most Dangerous Superstition or buy the book via my Amazon link or the author’s website. (Actually, Rose also sells the book via Amazon, so if you use the Amazon link then choose him as your seller, you do us both a good deed. But the price is lower on his site.)

I like one Amazon customer’s headline for his/her review: “‘Government’ is a secular faith-based religious belief based upon fraud, misrepresentation and concealment.” Pretty much describes Rose’s thesis right there.


  1. WolfSong
    WolfSong March 24, 2011 6:04 am

    Pink is just a color I like. Some of the pink guns out there I like too. In the first link I like the look of the Sig Sauer…but that’s me. I like pink. I also like it functional, so the jewels and crystals and crap, is over the top. I like subtle pink stuff. *shrugs*

  2. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2011 6:54 am

    WolfSong, I may have over-ranted on pinkness. Actually, I just painted most of one room in two tones of pink. It’s not the color I object to. As you say, it’s “just a color.”

    What I object to is pushing pink and pink merchandise at women because it’s “cute” or “feminine” or whatever. I think that’s demeaning — especially when it gets into the territory of pink guns, pink tools, and pink health promotions. In the case of firearms, especially so. And if guns are made cute, I suspect more idiots or ill-trained children will unthinkingly think of them as toys.

  3. Matt
    Matt March 24, 2011 7:51 am

    I don’t like pink being pushed either. I do like the color though and have been thinking about buying one of the pink Charter Arms revolvers. For me, not the wife. I also have a raging sense of humor and see the humor side to a “helpless” young lady shooting a violent, mysanthropic attacker with a Pink gun.

    It could also be a novel way to introduce some ladies to firearms and gun handling. What is freindlier than a pink firearm? It’s cute so lets shoot it…

  4. Joel
    Joel March 24, 2011 8:30 am

    Hey, there’s nothing soft and fluffy about a lady with a pink battle rifle. Funny-looking, maybe…

  5. Scott
    Scott March 24, 2011 9:15 am

    I guess I’m just ignernt,but I thought “pink guns” was code for any small caliber pistol marketed for women..I didn’t think it actually meant pink guns. A quick search settled that. I like Matt’s thoughts-an attacker shot with a Mary Kay pistol. Just pink? What about day-glo green? Or Warner Bros. characters on it? A Ren & Stimpy version. Why just one color?..Pimp Your Pistol!

  6. Pat
    Pat March 24, 2011 9:57 am

    Hey, you guys aren’t taking this seriously. How many men out there — excepting Matt, who’s considering one; there has to be one exception to the rule — would buy a pink gun for themselves?

    When I see a pink gun, I think it’s for effect, for show-off. Yes, I know they work (and kudos to the woman in FL who showed how well it works), but what is their purpose? It’s only the “little woman” they’re being manufactured for, and I’d wager most of them are buying for concealed carry. So what’s to conceal? Even a tiny bit of pink shines out like the sun, waves it’s arms and says, Hey look at me!
    So you’ve lost the purpose of *concealing.*

    Guns are not “cute” or “friendly”, nor are they supposed to be. They’re supposed to be taken seriously. If the fellow in FL had a chance to SEE that pink gun before he was shot, I doubt he would have taken it seriously. ANY gun in a woman’s hand is rarely taken seriously by a criminal (we’re not supposed to have the balls to pull the trigger) — but pink? Day-glo green? Warner Bros characters? This is the stuff of water pistols. Think about this, please.

    And gun manufacturers should know better that to promote this kind of sexist crap for a serious product.

  7. EN
    EN March 24, 2011 10:10 am

    I probably over posted on BOBs, but it seemed timely. I tried to keep from making too many equipment recommedations, but like everyone else I have strong opinions on the subject. Not so oddly I was participating in two other discussions on BOBs while the one here was going so I was struck with an almost religious ferver which may have led to me getting a little carried away. It was a highly useful discussion as we’re all certain at this time that BOBs are not academic.

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 24, 2011 10:28 am

    My carry gun is a big, black .45 – or a nice stainless .357M revolver with a black grip… no pink for me, thanks. But each to his/her own.

    I read where one lady deliberately bought pink tools. Her family men had a bad habit of borrowing her tools and not bringing them back. Once all her tools were pink, she didn’t lose any more of them.

    We each cope in our own way… 🙂

  9. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2011 12:03 pm

    Goodness no, EN! You didn’t over post. (Is over-posting even possible when you’re offering such useful information?) Sometimes the overall impact of a whole lot of comments or forum posts gets overwhelming (especially for newbies who are hoping for simple answers). And yeah, some folks are very definite in their opinions. But that’s part of what makes it all so good. Your posting has been valuable and you shouldn’t think otherwise.

  10. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2011 12:08 pm

    MamaLiberty, I’m with you on the big black or shiny steel guns. But I got a LOL from your tool story.

    Pat, you said it. Guys, the question isn’t what color people’s guns ought to be. We’re talking about demeaning marketing methods — ones that talk down to the buyer. “Oh, here’s a cute pink .38” is no different in spirit than the old, “You couldn’t handle anything bigger than a .25, little lady; trust me.”

    Firearms are, as Pat says, too serious to be marketed this way. And you can bet that one of these days soon the anti-gunners will present us with the tragic story of some untrained little girl who shot herself or her best friend because she wanted to play dress-up with Mommy’s cute pink gun and Mommy didn’t have the brains or sense of responsibility to prevent it.

  11. winston
    winston March 24, 2011 12:09 pm

    Pink guns…eh. I may be a bit of a mysogynist but I will say that any woman I know who would own a pink gun but not a normal colored one is probably better off without either. Women who have that compulsive need to make everything cutesy to that degree creep me the hell out…emotional time bombs, all of them…

    I am a big fan of the goth ladies. They’re generally more down to earth and fun, plus it’s beyond easy to get them interested in normal colored firearms. Most of them will even write you some poetry about it…it’s so sweet…

  12. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2011 12:10 pm

    Right on, winston. The more you post, the more I wish I’d known a guy like you when I was 18.

  13. Matt
    Matt March 24, 2011 12:53 pm

    I know, guns are serious business and should not be marketed towards a particular group, and we should not find them humorous. Mentally I put the pink guns into the same category as engraving, gold or silver plating, full camouflage (although useful, camo is often for personal appeal), mother-of-pearl grips etc. It is embellishment of a tool that often is rather plain and dull to look at. Truth be told, embellishment of weapons has been with us since warriors first carved or tied feathers to their favorite war clubs. Making things look nice, is something mankind does.

    I’ll probably skip the Hello, Kitty AK47 though.

  14. A.G.
    A.G. March 24, 2011 1:34 pm

    Thanks for the link back to Miss Fitz. Good stuff.

    +1 on everything Matt said. For my entire life, people in general and women in particular have been subjected to well funded anti-gun propaganda. If pink guns (or needlessly shiny ones with stag grips for the men) get more folks started in the practical freedom game I’m all for it. Goodness knows the opposition will play any angle they can to browbeat support.
    When complete, The Dove’s .223 Krink will be a subdued red. ;D

  15. EN
    EN March 24, 2011 1:36 pm

    A friend of mine has the coolest and most awesome XDM with red, orange and yellow flames streaming back form the barrel. I don’t want a pink weapon but my son’s girl friend has one and shoots it very well. Good enough for me. The pink gun you have on you is always better than then the black one in your gun safe.

  16. Scott
    Scott March 24, 2011 1:53 pm

    Again, I agree with Matt-it’s customizing a gun, no different that customizing a car. I personally don’t care for pink,but then,I have seen custom jobs I thought were cool. There could be as many different types(styles?) of custom guns as there are cars. Guns and cars lumped together? Well, they are both machines not to be taken lightly when in use-dangerous in the hands of an idiot(I know people I wouldn’t trust with a Nerf ball). There are working guns,and custom guns, same as cars-many custom cars aren’t daily drivers. I’ve seen some absolutely stunning engraved guns and knives. It’s just a way of saying “This is uniquely mine”.
    Though I don’t always agree with it,many products are marketed for very specific groups,everything from soap to trucks. On the subject of pink,there’s also a brand of pink Swiss Army style knives called Diva.
    Yeah, no Hello Kitty AK-47 for me,either(unless I can refinish it).

  17. Victor Milan
    Victor Milan March 24, 2011 2:24 pm

    If I may presume to address something other than the most burning survival issue of the day (pink guns: yea or nay) let me praise your wise advice in emphasizing “YOU BEGIN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE.”

    Far too often I see advice to beginners – in any number of endeavors from self-defense to birdwatching – that amounts to bulldozing forth huge mounds of utterly essential stuff that only a complete dilettante idiot would conceivably try to start without.

    Naturally when confronted with this nonsense I, like many, once went into complete brain-freeze at the prospect of the thousands of dollars I didn’t have (to say nothing of tens if not hundreds of hours) I’d have to invest amassing all this crap to make the veriest beginning. Until, of course, I learned to recognize such advice as the nonsense it is.

    Also, while last I checked I’m a guy – well, let me put it this way: the most important piece of gear your can have IS the proper attitude. Without the right mindset – and emotional state – nothing else matters. If you give up, you’re a dead thing looking for a place to lie down. If you are unaware, you’re low-hanging fruit. And so on.

    Only proper mental and emotional preparation can even give the skills and toys time to come into play. And if you’re resolute, ready, and flexible – you can improvise enough to survive any situation that’s in fact survivable, in spite of the inevitable logistics shortfalls. Resourcefulness is your most powerful survival tool.

  18. A.G.
    A.G. March 24, 2011 3:30 pm

    An informative youtube “show” about defensive handguns from a soccer mom perspective. I have only watched two of her vids, but she is intelligent and things seem well thought out.

  19. naturegirl
    naturegirl March 24, 2011 4:35 pm

    *am blushing* and not pink, either, more like bright red…..LOL

    I always read (with great concentration) what people have to say about their bug out/in/etc bags……And I try not to respond cynically, cuz I hate to derail everyone’s good intentions (which they should have, that’s a good thing)……but reality is so much different, and I know that from experiencing it…..I usually sit and read and think that maybe people should be trying to pack based on impending homelessness (which is an entirely different and nearly impossible thing to pack for) and start from that point in packing up a bag…Because it’s quite possible that will be a result of something hitting the fan, even if it is short term…..

    I know that time to react during a sudden disaster is a lot shorter than most people credit it to be….I know that certain disasters also may just wipe out every bag you have packed and stored in multiple places, as well…..I have to chuckle at how much people try to bring with them, when it could turn out that the most important thing that you are faced with is just making sure you get out alive and not hurt badly…..going for stuff may just be those seconds you need to accomplish that….

    I don’t want to bum anyone out, really…..I hope everyone has the best outcome and things run as close to their planning and prepping as possible…But only a few impending disasters ever give you advance warning, most usually happen in seconds or minutes……

    As for pink weapons ~ if I am pulling out a weapon I expect to be taken seriously…..anything pink is likely to make the bad guy start laughing, assuming they have time to……

  20. WolfSong
    WolfSong March 24, 2011 5:59 pm


    I understand where you are coming from on the over selling of pink stuff. It’s gotten so a girl can’t like something in pink without it being given a whole meaning other than being a color.

    I gotta say though…after getting a pink .22 as a Yule present from Hubby, my Kid was far more interested in learning about gun safety…after the safety lesson, she knew she’d get to shoot Mama’s pink gun. Tickled her…well, pink. LOL!

    Frankly, I’d love to have me a pink Desert Eagle…pink, because like MamaLiberty’s story about the lady with the tools, it’ll mean the Hubby won’t touch-him having the “eew pink gun!” thoughts and all. Of course, being in Canada, a Desert Eagle is nothing but a dream for me…*sigh*

  21. EN
    EN March 24, 2011 6:35 pm

    “But only a few impending disasters ever give you advance warning, most usually happen in seconds or minutes……”

    Not true, most give you ample warning. Even earthquakes don’t affect many people directly. What caused damage in Japan was a tidal wave which hit about thirty minutes later. Not everyone can flee, but the number who cannot is infinitesimal. The real culprit is human nature. I hate using terms like “sheep”, but let’s just say that most people are herd animals and love to wait and see what happens. I’m not waiting.

  22. Woody
    Woody March 24, 2011 6:56 pm

    I don’t have a pink gun but I do carry a pink Spyderco Delica. I have a bad habit of losing my pocket knives. A pink one is much easier to find. Also, I like the scandalized looks I get from people who think it is ridiculous for someone as big and male as I am to carry such a sissy knife. If I didn’t already have more guns than is good for me I would get a kick out of owning a pink one. I doubt my wife would would be interested in owning one for most of the same reasons you don’t like them.

    I think I get your objections to the marketing angle. But, on the other hand, I think that anything that gets more guns into private hands is a good thing. There is apparently a market for them and bad taste isn’t a crime, yet.

  23. EN
    EN March 24, 2011 7:34 pm

    Just checked to be sure. The first waves in Japan reached shore 20 minutes after the quake but didn’t do much. The major (10 meter) Tsunami hit an hour after the quake, Since they had wave walls at all the coastal areas no one bothered to run. Very little damage was actually attributable to the quake itself.

  24. Ellendra
    Ellendra March 24, 2011 8:55 pm

    As I recall, some localities have rules about giving warning before shooting an intruder. It seems that a pink or cartoonish gun could get a person into legal trouble there, because the warning wouldn’t be taken seriously. Better than not shooting the bad guy, but still.

    I can’t stand the color pink, it was pushed on me too much as a child, and like with anything that gets pushed at me, I rejected it. A nice evergreen gun, though, or maybe a sapphire blue . . .

    MamaLiberty, I’ve thought about doing something like that with my tools, too. Most of mine were bought used or were given to me as prizes, so I’m not sure how to change the color. You can’t just take a bucket of paint and dunk your power drill in it. Assuming I ever find out where my dad hid my power drill, GRRRRR!

  25. naturegirl
    naturegirl March 24, 2011 11:45 pm

    EN, you realize you just pointed out an important fact in that most disasters are never singular? One event can start the “dominoes falling”, one can get tangled up in the initial or the subsequent crisis’….

    Anything that is nature related is unique. What happened in Chile is different than Japan, 2011 compared to 2006 and all will be different from the next event….Who it happens to is just as unpredictable, and includes even those who are prepared for it…..”Not everyone can flee, but the number who cannot is infinitesimal.” – seems to miss those lost in the process of fleeing (if I read that correctly-?)…..

    I think ultimately Japan’s worst part of these disasters will be the radiation, in spite of the tens of thousands already lost in the Tsunami, losses will continue to grow….maybe for years….I’m not sure that any damage resulting from the earthquake wasn’t possibly mixed up with/buried under all the reporting of the tsunami damage…I’m not even going to begin on what a perfect example this is of government lying/misinforming people, that’s obvious……I’m not familiar with Japan enough to know how far people can get when outrunning impending doom ~ if it’s possible in 20 or 30 minutes or even an hour, if the traffic is ridiculous (from video I’ve seen they had some gridlock issues there – same video showed the wall of water winning that race. Other video showed roads trashed from the earthquake part of it)….I really hesitate to judge anyone in that position or their thought process at the time….

    Anyway, I stand by my statement about advance warning….I don’t advocate anyone wait and see (if that applies even slightly), especially don’t advocate expecting “authorities” to be able to tell you when-where-how either (weather people especially, though some can get pretty close in predicting; they can cause the “little boy who cried wolf” syndrome)….Trust your gut about what to do and err on the side of “better safe than sorry” – assuming you have the chance to think about it as it’s unfolding…..If you don’t then you’ll still have your best tools (attitude and knowledge) with you automatically……

  26. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 25, 2011 7:27 am

    Ellendra, you certainly can paint your tools pink or any other color. It doesn’t have to be dipped in the paint, of course, just a significant part of the outer case or handle will do nicely. Just be sure to use the appropriate paint, as what works on wood may not bond to metal. If the tool gets hot, find a heat resistant paint. You can get that in an automotive shop or parts house anywhere.

    I actually discovered a whole new way to get my tools returned… My sons love to eat, especially the bread I make. After the “no tool return, no bread” rule went into effect, we had no more problems. LOL

  27. Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams March 26, 2011 7:06 pm

    Don’t take the Mail so bloody seriously, folks. It’s a British tabloid, meaning its a source of news even less reliable than the White House Press Office. They can’t even spell Peggy Tartaro’s name correctly, for Murphy’s sake!

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