Pretty-in-pink pistols the latest killing tools
Pink pistols are the range in D.C.
Harry Jaffe, The Examiner
Help me connect the dots: A few weeks ago Teresa Lavenue bid $810 and bought a pink Glock 9 mm pistol at an auction run by the Northern Virginia Friends of NRA. Around the same time, the member of a female gang in Southeast D.C. showed off a pink-handled pistol to a volunteer trying to quell teen violence in Anacostia.
Two women attracted to a Weapon of Human Destruction simply by its color. Pink pistols — cute and deadly — are the latest marketing gimmick by our makers of Saturday night specials and sophisticated semiautomatic weapons.
“They are targeting a female market,” says Ronald “Moe” Moten, co-founder of Peaceoholics. “It’s just like cell phones. These guns are not for hunting.”
Before every gun-toting NRA member paints a red dot on my forehead, let me assure you I have owned rifles since I was a teenager. My first was a Mossberg .22 that I hunted with for years until I traded it for a canoe. I’ve used pump-action shotguns and 30-30s to hunt deer.
But don’t tell me that painting handguns pink is cute. Don’t tell me a pink handle on a pistol isn’t attractive to girls in gangs.
“We’ve had young boys with guns,” says Moten. “Now we have girls with guns.”
Facts are that 12 young girls have been shot in the streets of D.C. in the last three months. Four were shot dead. Two honor students left an awards ceremony at Anacostia High last week and walked back to their neighborhood, where they were both shot. Talk to cops who work the streets after dark, and they will tell you gangs of teenage girls are on the rise.
The girls have the same reasons for joining gangs and crews that their brothers might have. They aren’t getting the attention they need at home, so they look to the streets for support and connections. They have vacant hours, especially after dark. They might come together as an innocent group of friends, but they are prone to walk the road toward pranks and taunts and violence.
And arming themselves. Like the young girl who showed off her pink-handled pistol to Ron Moten’s colleague.
“She thought it was something pretty, like a toy,” he says. “All it takes is someone to piss her off, and it becomes a very dangerous weapon.”
Pink pistols are a great market for gun makers. Gay and lesbian groups across the country have started “Pink Pistol” groups to arm themselves and stand up against gay-bashing. Rich NRA guys buy them for their wives and girlfriends. But they are destined to become the deadly weapon of choice for girl gangs.
Of course the first line of defense against gunplay in the streets is for parents to exercise guidance and control. But the NRA and the gun makers bear some responsibility if they encourage lines between toys and guns to be blurred with cute weapons.
The handles may be pink; the blood is still red.
Harry Jaffe has been covering the Washington area since 1985. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org