Pinkwashing Turns on Itself with Breast Cancer Awareness Gun

Smith & Wesson Breast Cancer Awareness PistolOctober was Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the group Breast Cancer Action seized on the opportunity to promote its Think Before you Pink campaign to raise awareness of how companies are increasingly exploiting breast cancer as a marketing device to sell products -- some of which are actually harmful to women's health. Pink ribbon campaigns are offering up some bizarre, albeit benign products like a breast cancer awareness toaster and a breast cancer awareness floating Beer Pong table. But the most bizarre item yet to have a pink ribbon slapped on it must be Smith & Wesson's Pink Breast Cancer Awareness 9 mm Pistol, promoted by a woman named Julie Goloski, Smith and Wesson's Consumer Program Manager and a sharpshooter herself. Goloski is promoting S&W's breast cancer awareness pistol on her Facebook page, saying "October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness M&P’s are shipping to dealers. I am thrilled to have my name associated with such a worthy cause and one of my favorite firearms." According to a 2008 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, firearms are the second most common cause of violent deaths of women, accounting for 29.2% of all violent deaths among females in the U.S. in 2008.


So why do you want to give guns to irresponsible people?

That's what's so irrational about this argument you've taken to be yours. Yes---we know guns don't fire themselves. We know irresponsible people do. But why do you want to give them guns?

What the conversation is really about isn't whether guns are used for harm or benefit. They are used for both.

It's about companies misusing the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to promote sales.

I mean, come on guys, do they need to manufacture a pink handled gun, and advertise that they support Breast Cancer Awareness? Aren't thousands of entities already promoting awareness of this disease?

No one is saying that company owners of all varieties of products shouldn't support and donate to good causes, they're questioning the ethics of trying to boost company sales by ear marking products with the tell-tale pink color, and by making mention of it in their PR campaigns.

THAT is the true nature of this argument. The debate about firearms will go on for eternity.


You are the one that misses the point. The Smith & Wesson pistol is not a "device that is one of the leading causes of death in women." Rather, it is a weapon used to defend women hundreds of times daily.

As a police officer, I see the reality of death daily. I don't just sit back and talk about it, or read about it, or even -gasp- blog about it. Firearms are used to defend people FAR more than they are used illegally.

Stop repeating what you have been told, but do not know.


The leading causes of death for women are heart disease, cancer and then stroke. Not guns. In fact, guns are not a "cause" of death in women at all. Homicide is a CAUSE of death.

Did you mean to say that guns are used in the majority of homicides of which women are the victim? Ok then, that's true. But why stop with gun manufacturers? Since in the overwhelming majority of homicides in which women are the victim, the perpetrator is a man, you should probably just reject any donations or support by men for the breast cancer cause as cynical nonsense. After all, men are the leading killers of women—regardless of method—so how could they possibly have an interest in supporting breast cancer research and treatment? That is literally how silly your "point" is.

And men are the majority of homicide victims, not women, and most of those men are killed with guns. If a gun maker donated money to testicular or prostate cancer research, nobody would be making the same ridiculous criticism you're making here. They would appreciate the donation.

"This is ... roughly the equivalent of a cigarette maker selling a special pink cigarette for women, and then donating a tiny percentage of the profits from it to a women's lung cancer fund."

No, it's not even remotely equivalent. That analogy would only make sense if guns caused breast cancer.

The point is, the product the company manufactures is not responsible for a single death (man or women) in this or any other country. The person responsible for the deaths when a firearm is used as a tool is the person pulling the trigger. This is the same as choosing to smoke. The person responsible for the repercussions of smoking is the person who, knowing the possible consequences, lights up. Smith and Wesson is a great company that makes a great product, that is used for good every day. Many women (and men) have used their products to fend off attackers, and to preserve their life and the lives of their loved ones. Many law enforcement officers use their products to preserve the peace and protect the good people of this country. It is strange, you only see the product being used to hurt women, but where are your percentages describing the number of women who are going out and purchasing (and using when necessary) their product to defend their right to life and liberty? I say, by giving women the ability (with proper training) to defend themselves from any attacker, and to choose not to be a victim, the products Smith and Wesson provides actually empowers women. I (might) feel bad for anybody who decides to accost Julie in a dark ally (or anywhere else). I commend S&W and Julie for donating their hard earned money to a cause as worthy as the fight against breast cancer. So should you.

The gun store owner is a responsible business man and community leader. He is a member of the NRA and noted advocate of gun safety - keeping all his personal firearms locked in a biometric safe. He has applied to the local little league to sponsor a team. The league committee has voted on the application and I shall reveal their decision once a best answer is chosen here.

Making a classic false comparison between cigarettes (an inherently unhealthy and dangerous product where there is no possible way that it might be used safely) and firearms (a generally health neutral product which only causes injury when it is misused in a criminal manner or operated in a negligent fashion) is classic straw man argument technique and a common error in logic. There is no possible way to safely use tobacco. Firearms are used safely literally millions of times per day in this country. Interesting that one would make a moral judgment and look down on a company trying to help and do the right thing from atop a mountain of arrogance and self-righteousness. Merely because one does not personally "like" firearms or that firearms are sometimes misused by criminals doesn't devalue the contribution of one who likes them and uses them properly. They are completely unrelated. The hubris and condescention of such an attitude is astounding and its apparent that one would rather allow cancer run rampant than take a heartfelt contribution from someone who engages in an activity (which is legal, as well as morally and ethically neutral) that some disapprove of. I suggest that someone with this attitude expand their horizons a little and become more inclusive. Literally millions of Americans, all law abiding, honest and hardworking use firearms. Is it really in the interests of those fighting cancer to eschew their contributions to the fight?

In addition, I question the factual basis of the point concerning 29% of violent deaths of women being attributable to firearms. Where did this figure come from and how was it arrived at? Even if for the purposes of argument you accept the figure as accurate, the logic in using it is unsound. It fails to distinguish between the criminal and patently illegal use of an otherwise legal product and the non-criminal use of the same product, while making a invalid comparison between the non-criminal and safe use of one product, (firearms), and the use of another (tobacco) which is inherently unsafe and unhealthy and can in no way be made safe. No firearm was ever responsible for the violent death of a single woman, rather it was the person operating it in an unlawful manner.

Julie (Goloski) Golub is more than a mere "sharpshooter" and the director of marketing for a firearms company. She is a well known competitive shooter, arguably the best female pistol shooter in America, perhaps the world, one of a small group of "Annie Oakleys" of the day. A military veteran she has never operated a firearm in such a manner. Her company, Smith and Wesson, is one of the oldest firearms manufacturing companies in America, founded in 1852. Neither Julie nor Smith and Wesson endorse anything but the lawful, safe and responsible use of firearms. Merely because some individuals criminally misuse an otherwise safe and lawful product does not make an illogical comparison any more logical or factually sound.

A correct analogy to the position taken by a previous commentator would be to turn down donations to the fight against cancer by automobile manufacturers merely because one of the leading causes of death in America are automobile crashes due to DUI as well as negligent operation of vehicles. I would bet next month's mortgage payment that the number of women killed either by criminal misuse of vehicles, such as DUI, as well as negligent operation of vehicles, far outnumber those killed violently with firearms, yet I don't see anyone advocating against the acceptance of donations in the fight against cancer by Ford, Chrysler or General Motors because they get some kind of good PR publicity. That would be generally regarded as ridiculous. Similarly, turning one's nose up against a donation from a person (and her employer) who has long been involved in the fight against cancer (I recall reading that Julie donated much of her long hair several years back to "Locks for Love") merely because one doens't happen to "like" their profession or industry is an example of cutting one's nose off to spite their face, political correctness run amuck and contrary to common sense, and equally absurd.

Ironically, here's another tragic display of how guns are used to slaughter innocent people in the U.S.:

Gunman kills 11 in shooting rampage at Fort Hood army base
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Anne Landman

I will take your percieved irony and raise you 2x irony. The terrorist's assault was stopped by someone with a firearm.

Unfortunately for the victims of this terrorist attack on a military base, they are flatly prohibited from carrying personal firearms aboard a government installation to protect themselves from such an attack. It's the same "soft target" for a mind-set criminal as a public school. Nobody is carrying a firearm but the terrorist, therefore, his likelihood for "success" in his goal for slaughtering multiple targets is greatly increased.

Your irrational fear of guns is understandable given the fact that your conditioning as a "open-minded, rational liberal" has been exceptionally effective. If you ever come to South Texas, my wife and I would love to introduce you and educate you about the safe and proper handling and use of firearms. If you would like, I can also direct you toward someone in your own neighborhood who is a certified (dare I scare you more with a simple acronym?) NRA instructor and who can introduce you to firearms in a safe and productive manner. You have my email attached to this note.

Breast cancer is a threat to women the world over. Terrorists and criminals are too. If you would just open your mind to understand that firearms are much more like chemotherapy than any of your other half-baked analogies (they can both kill or cure, depending upon how they are used), your world might be a better, safer place. People might also take you more seriously and less offensively.

Good evening.

I for one sure am glad this women was armed and trained. She saved many lives with that gun.

This man was determined to kill. He used a handgun. If he didnt have a hand gun because you were able to ban them, he would have used a shotgun. If you got to ban shot guns he would have used a bomb. Those can be made from things you cant ban.

This does not prove your point it proves the contrary. If the good guys were allowed to carry on base, the bad guy would have caused much less damage. You become a bad guy the second you choose to senselesly take a human life.