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.


But like I mentioned in my comment above, while guns might be used in 29% of women's violent deaths, there's a much more common factor in women's violent deaths, and that's MEN. Whether they use a firearm, poison, knives, fire or their fists, men are the leading cause of violent death among women.

Is it inappropriate for men to contribute to the breast cancer cause?

This article blames inanimate objects (guns) for the deaths of women instead of the people who use those objects.

It's sad when finding a cure for cancer is less important than someone's anti-gun agenda.

You mention that women are killed by people using guns but you don't mention that women also use guns every day to defend themselves.

Kind of a double standard don't you think?

Anne is not interested in thinking about the fact that guns are not just used to kill people in homicides, but are also used defensively to prevent homicides. I don't think she's responded to ANY of the dozens of people raising your point.

In her book, guns are ONLY bad, and can ONLY be used for evil.

I feel that the point of the article was missed. The article was meant to make everyone take awareness of the exploitation that companies are doing to the Breast Cancer Awareness program. Companies are using consumerism and greed to sell their products; I wonder how many checks and balances are in place to make sure that these companies actually get some of the procedes to breast cancer research......

Anne, respectfully I think you are the one missing the point. S&W isn't "cloaking" itself in anything. The M&P9 JG campaign isn't even mentioned on their home page. The company makes a product. You can like it or dislike it, that's certainly your right. But the company, and the person who pushed this project through (Julie Golob) chose to raise money for a cause that I'm guessing you and I both care about. Julie has also been involved in Locks of Love for years, and has helped raise money for similar charities in the past. Accusing them of acting out of corporate greed is unfair and hurtful.

As a cancer survivor myself, I'm happy to see ANY company join the fight and help put an end to the disease.

Anne doesn't reply to comment like this one.

Smith & Wesson is a classic American company, and it's products are made in America, by Americans. How is this any different from Levis or another major American company from being involved in this campaign to help raise money for breast cancer research. Guns don't cause the problem, bad people doing illegal things cause the problem. If all of the guns in the U.S. were magically removed tomorrow, the same number of people would be killed by knives, clubs and any other weapon that a bad person choosing to do illegal things would use to replace the use of the firearm.

I also agree with ToddG about this being disrespectful to Julie Goloski. As one of the greatest practical shooters of all time, she could have just as easily put her name on the M&P and accepted the money from the use of her name. She deserves respect for what she has accomplished in the sport of practical shooting and for the use of her name in this project.

I challenge the appropriateness of "pinking" a product so closely associated with being used to purposefully wound and kill, and leveraging it supposedly to fight a disease that also wounds and kills.

It's bizarre.

In my opinion, Julie Goloski missed the mark on this one (so to speak).

Anne Landman

Simplistically put, good people do good things with their recourses. Bad people do bad things. Good gun owners protect and serve themselves and others. Bad people cause harm to society. You have to separate those intending to cause harm, from those intending to protect (they may have to cause harm to, but not by choice). The product S&W provides are a benefit to society, a good thing, that criminals are allowed to misuse (through lax prosecution and suspended sentences) to do harm. Julie is a good person, who has chosen to do a good thing with her recourses. Good people do good things.