Blue hair don't care. Hair color and tattoos are irrelevant to knowledge and skill.
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We’re taking a slight departure from the world of hunting this week although technically this topic does apply to the hunting side of the industry. It’s simply an issue more prevalent on the tactical side.

My July was a bit crazy. Almost the entire month was comprised of back-to-back business trips in different states all in areas with little to no signal. Totally worth it, but it created a pileup of work and emails. On those trips, all of which fell under the purview of tactical training and work, I noticed a trend I’ve seen before and will undoubtedly see again. This time I decided to rant – I mean write – about it.

Being inked, pierced, or possessing oddly-colored hair are traits frowned upon by many among the older generation of gun owners. Some came from a generation where only sailors and inmates were tattooed; some simply don’t like the look in general and assume everyone around them must agree…right? Guess again.

Here’s the thing about ink. There’s good ink and bad ink – as in, beautifully applied ink versus the kind of ink you paid some guy fifty bucks to slap on after you’ve had a few too many. I’m not talking about gang tats or gore, I’m talking about the average person’s ink.

There’s ink done on a whim and ink chosen because it represents a poignant, deeply-held memory. You can immediately see the difference between truly well-done tattoos and poorly done ones but you cannot tell at a glance whether a tattoo falls under the “whim” category or the “deeply emotional” one. And yet there you stand, judging the wearer of said tattoo because they – gasp! – dared to put ink on their bodies.

Before you ask, no, I don’t have any tattoos. I’m one of those people who has wanted good ink for years and just never gotten around to it. Quite a few of my friends have them, though, and I’ve watched those friends get insulted and have their skills and reputations as firearms instructors called into question based entirely on the existence of their tattoos.

Have tattoos? Well, then…you cannot possibly be a competent shooter let alone a skilled firearms instructor, range master, or lecturer. Same goes for piercings – now those I’ve had quite a few of although I’m currently down to single digits – and brightly colored hair. Yes that would be me over here with my unnatural, inappropriate blue hair.

Sapphire-blue hair? You can’t possibly be a good representative for the firearms world. The horror!

Ink representing a lost loved one? Heavens! So trashy (if you’re with me saying, “wait, what?” you’re getting it). You cannot possibly be a qualified, certified firearms instructor.

The presence of ink, piercings, or blue hair – or the lack thereof – has nothing to do with firearms skills. Full sleeves on one or both arms do not tip your body weight forward and negate your ability to stay on target; piercings do not magnetize the barrel and ruin groups.

It’s reality that my generation – I’m a Gen X-er – and other, younger generations have been much freer with tattoos and piercings (and blue hair). For us these things should not be relegated to sailors and inmates. They’re awesome ways of expressing ourselves and remembering lost loved ones.

A boar tattoo with a backstory. One of many tattoos on a highly skilled shooter working within the industry.

Picture yourself as a new shooter or even as a liberal who has decided to try out guns for the first time (I met one during my trip which was a trip in itself). You find a firearms academy or a public range where lessons are being offered. You sign up for a training course or basic firearm safety course.

The very first day of class you walk in and find yourself facing a bunch of – forgive me here guys, because I have many friends I respect among what some might consider the Good Old Boys Club – a group of older men, fully representative of the earlier era of the industry. Might these men be stellar trainers? Yes. Might they be a bit intimidating? Also yes. Might they disapprove of the newcomer’s tattoos, piercings, or colored hair? Oh, yes.

Now imagine you’ve signed up for a pistol course and walk in to find the lead firearms instructor is a woman – or a man – closer to your own age. They have tattoos. Or piercings. Are you immediately put at least somewhat more at ease? I bet you are.

The new generation of firearm instructors are often inked or pierced and are every bit as competent as their un-inked counterparts (or more). If more academies would bring in talented shooters who just happen to be younger and inked – or whatever – it would open the doors to a younger generation of potential shooters who would be far more comfortable training with people who, well, look like them.

Think what this would do for concealed carry and self-defense alone. It would also welcome more seasoned shooters looking to expand their defensive training horizons who are intimidated by the current, older pool of instructors.

Kris “Tanto” Paronto’s inked Ballistic Magazine cover caused a stir last fall.

Last year someone with prominence in the media slice of the industry took one look at Kris “Tanto” Paronto’s shirtless, tattooed Ballistic Magazine cover and laid out some seriously bad insults on social media (more than once). Tanto was one of the men who battled insurgents in Benghazi and survived (if you’re not familiar with the 2012 Benghazi attack it’s past time to familiarize yourself). His actions make him not just some guy on a magazine cover, but an American hero.

His response to the insult was reasonable:

“Every day since I was on that roof, I promised to do new things that force me to be uncomfortable so that I can grow. We don’t inspire those around us by doing the same thing. Not all scars are visual and my tattoos represent the culmination of my life’s experiences. Many servicemen have tattoos that mean different things to them. Things that they can’t explain. Displaying my tattoos on the cover of Ballistic Magazine means displaying some of the most intimate parts of what makes up my identity. Through that I hope I can encourage others to enrich their lives and the lives of those around them by allowing themselves to be authentic.”

Oddly enough, hair color and tattoos don’t affect hunting skills.

Those who work in the gun world should be judged by their knowledge and shooting skills, not by their appearance. Be clean and put together, yes, but things like tattoos and colored hair have zero to do with someone’s abilities.

After watching someone I respect be treated poorly because of ink – ink representative of a dearly-held memory, by the way – I decided it was time to speak out. The industry is changing whether you like it or not. It’s a good thing, people! We’re diversifying, and that diversity opens the floodgates to newcomers we might not otherwise have a chance to teach. Insulting, belittling, or otherwise degrading someone because they’re tattooed does not help the industry. It cripples it.

Here’s a thought: next time you consider saying something sharp and cutting to someone, not because they aren’t skilled but because they dare to have tattoos, hit pause. Consider that your own personal bias is just that – personal – and the majority of people either think nothing of the existence of tattoos or think they’re awesome. We will not thrive until the industry quits tearing itself apart from within.

Knock it off. Knowledge, skill, and a stubborn desire to learn are the things that matter. A tattoo neither cancels out skill nor sucks away someone’s ability to garner respect. Our strength is in our diversity and it is time the industry at large acknowledged that. Now if you’ll excuse me, my blue hair and I have guns to review.

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  1. Kat,

    It’s hot. All of it. You’re hot. Old white guys don’t know anything. Tell them to FOAD.

    • I’m 22 and I find ink and body piercings to be unattractive. Often times I have seen tattoos as indicative of poor life choices. Have several pieces of anecdotal evidence as well as several individuals who noticed the same thing. But you know what: it’s the individual’s choice, so why get so worked up over it?

      But hey, there’s this awesome thing called “preference”. I’m not gonna call you a cancer or a degenerate, but it’s important to understand stigmas and stereotypes associated with getting tattoos. They’re not like birthmarks, you actively choose to get them placed on your body. You’re accepting everything else that comes with them.

      Guess I’ll go FOAD now.

    • Sorry dude, but when some ignorant lovely young girl has a couple of Tony the Tiger looking tats guarding her wonderful boobs, it is idiotic and masochistic. Not to mention that the Chinese are probably putting mercury, toxins and depleted uranium in the ink.

      And how the hell do you pick your nose once you’ve driven an effing nail into it ?

      Without the wealth of the old farts invested in US business, you young pukes wouldn’t have a pot to piss in.

      • Ah, the wealth invested in businesses. And the years invested in making housing and electricity more expensive, forcing us to pay for your healthcare, retirement, and the like, and putting our country further and further into debt. Nice pot you gave us.

        • Those social programs being voted into being by young, ignorant, liberal democrats.

        • Right. Like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, the spiraling cost of college, housing restrictions, power restrictions (for the last two see California). Yes, my generation put all those in place and expanded them. Oh, wait…

          Yes, idiot young socialists want to make it worse, but we’ve been running massive deficits for a long time, and never really tried to stop. That’s on the self-centered baby boomers. They got everything pretty cheap, then slammed the door shut, raised prices, refused to allow the policies that helped them, and now demand their benefits never get cut even though they had decades to fix this. My generation is struggling to figure it how to fix the boomers problems. Some are being stupid about it, but we didn’t make the damn problem.

        • I retired at the age of 46 and will not collect any Social Security until they make me take it when I’m 70. I buy my health insurance, you probably get yours free with Obamacare. I saved my money instead of wasting it on tats, piercings, iPhones dope and the other assorted crap that you selfies buy in great abundance. You knuckleheads have allowed the Chinese to steal your jobs and your future.

        • Ah, yes. The spoiled brat. Except that I actually have worked since I was 14 (earliest my state allowed) took no government loans for my education, have no tattoos, no piercings, no Obomacare, and work as an engineer in a field the DamnCommies haven’t broken in to (and almost certainly won’t as the US is still the best in the world in my field). I just get irritated when people blame millennials for our country’s ills. The millennials and the Gen Xers (some call me one, some another) are still having to deal with the national debt, mess of laws, and other general problems left over from before we could vote and before we could run for office. We didn’t get into or out of Vietnam, we didn’t divorce in record numbers, we haven’t run up the national debt, we didn’t vote for the chuckleheads to banned “assault weapons” in the 90s, and we haven’t had the presidency since the 90s (all Baby Boomers since George H W). So chill out. We’re giving the older generation medical care (your doctors and nurses are mostly younger than 54), better technology, better and cheaper goods and services, and likely the ability to travel wherever they want on driverless cars. And we’ll be paying for the benefits for our parents we know we’ll never see a penny of. Some of us are socialists…did you see or read about the 60s? So were many of them, but we’re not bombing, raping, or tuning in, turning off, and dropping out at near the old numbers. People in the 20s thought flappers were hussies, were scandalized by Bobby Soxers in the 40s, in the 50s by greasers, then hippies, whatever the hell people were thinking in the 70s, and so on. We do our own thing, just let us alone, and don’t blame us for the idiots you made our teachers and politicians.

        • In what world are you supposed to get free health care and retirement? Oh yeah, Libera LALA Land.

      • ^bwahahaha
        You sound like my Uncle Bob!

        “Goddanmit¡! You kids get off my lawn…”

        Kat gets it. Tanto does also.
        That personal belief is a cornerstone of American ideology.
        The same one I hold to as an old man that is ink free.
        “Tattoos for thee, but not for me. Live long and prosper.”

        Although, I’m thinking now that I might get “Bob Jones” tattoo.
        Won’t say where, but hmmmmmm…

      • You mean social security? Fantastic US business we all helped and are continuing to help invest in.

        I don’t care what some old guys did 60 years ago with business, investments, or any other crap you wanted to spew to change the context of the conversation. The point is, just because people look different than you, doesn’t mean they’re dumb, ignorant, or uneducated. I know all of you baby boomers grew up during Jim Crow, and it’s taken a while to get over that, but please, get over it.

    • You’re judged by the way you look, like it or not. Remember long sideburns? Afro’s? Leisure suits? They were cool once. Unless you’re at the top of your profession, forget it.

  2. “Those who work in the gun world should be judged by their knowledge and shooting skills, not by their appearance.” Yet, just a few paragraphs back…
    “…the Good Old Boys Club – a group of older men, fully representative of the earlier era of the industry. Might these men be stellartrainers? Yes. Might they be a bit intimidating? Also yes.”
    So, you don’t want anyone to have any preconcieved opinions toward you while you obviously don’t extend the same courtesy to others. Nice. I have two sleeves and only notice the most elderly of people thinking this way now. I see cops on duty with full sleeves, firemen, lawyers. This sounds like some reverse snowflaking going on here.
    I thought this was a firearm website.

    • Agreed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of perceived judgement in the shooting world. Internet forums? All the time. I’ve been to tons of ranges, gun shows, gun stores, and shooting events, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone heckled for having tattoos, or being gay, or black, or a woman. I think people just assume this will happen because there’s so many conservatives in the gun world. On the contrary, I find conservatives to be far more accepting and open minded these days then liberals.

      • Yep, two of my best customers were a gay couple. They came in for months before I figured out they wern’t just two good buddies hitting the gun shop together. Then, when I DID figure it out, I could care less. They didn’t act like flamboyant girlie men talking with fake lisps. Even if they did, if they were buying guns with green money they were more than welcome. I ended up going shooting a few times with them and really, there sexual preference made no difference. They were smart, nice pro 2A guys with some very cool firearms.
        These kids nowadays are INSANE. I saw somewhere else in the interwebs where a vegan wished a know meat eater a happy birthday. Holy hell, the backlash that ensued was outragous. “How can you wish him a happy birthday? Hes a MEAT EATER!”
        Then, when you present them with some hard facts, like how many small animal deaths occur during the mechanical harvest of a hectacre of grain vs. how long I can feed my family off of one humane kill, you become a Nazi Trump supporter. Its scary and sad at the same time and this article is just another example of that.

    • As someone who falls, at least age wise, in the OFWG/GOBC I have seen the same thing happen numerous times. The most recent was when a group from work got together at a local range to let some newbies try out some firearms. They were all under 25 and 4 of the 5 had one (or more) of offending body mods.

      While I personally think tats, piercings, and extreme hair colors are silly, as long as no one requires me to participate others can do as they please. As long as they recognize the overall superiority of 9mm as a concealed carry round……….

    • And don’t forget this gem

      Being inked, pierced, or possessing oddly-colored hair are traits frowned upon by many among the older generation of gun owners. Some came from a generation where only sailors and inmates were tattooed; some simply don’t like the look in general and assume everyone around them must agree…right?

      I had to look twice to see if I was really on TTAGs

      Since Kate didn’t mind being an immature ageist, I will be a bit sexist.
      Ask yourself if a guy would have written a whiny article about their feelings?
      Or whine that he was a victim because of the way he dressed or his tats?
      No one cared about your hair or your tats until you cried poor me.

      If you want to be a victim, write an article on Huff Po.

      • “Ask yourself if a guy would have written a whiny article about their feelings?”

        Umm, have you spent any time on the internet? However, I’m not sure bottling it up and burying it is any more helpful.

        I try to espouse the true meaning of having a liberal outlook. Not leftist/statist, as the term was stolen and redefined to mean… I’m for the most freedom for the most people. Live and let live/die as long as you’re not messing with me. Be courteous and expect that in return.

  3. I am not ashamed to admit I judge people when they have unnatural hair colors. To be clear, the judgement is not because of the color, it is the quality of the color. Faded or washed out colors like you aren’t keeping up with it are a sign, to me at least, that you aren’t committed to doing things well/correct/thoroughly. If you want blue hair that requires a commitment that you have to work to make it, and then keep it, blue. If you just did it because ‘meh why not and then let it just kinda fade out then I have to wonder what level of commitment you have towards the subject you are teaching. How do I know you didn’t become an instructor because ‘meh why not?

    That’s just me. With my lack of hair and lack of ink. My only standout is the bright red socks I wear on my hearing aids.

    • ^LoL
      Oh, son of gun I laughed at that!
      I use Dr. Suess socks as concealed carry IWB holsters for my revolvers.

  4. Very well said. Too many people end up taking pot shots at those who are nearby, simply based on reflex and what’s in easy punching reach, without assessing that the nearby may be friend, or potential/ future friend, or that foe is further away or not yet even known. Our 2A clan is not unique in that phenomenon but we do have some folks severely prone to that, who can at times also be the biggest loudmouths. My view is never needlessly alienate an ally, or potential ally, until you know whether they might be an ally. We need to attract and retain every ally that we can, especially the up-and-coming, and most especially those from backgrounds who may not have been exposed to/ been encouraged to be comfortable with, firearms. If you are pro gun or potentially pro-gun, I don’t care what color your hair is, what art you wear, or what parts of yourself you chose to perforate.

  5. That’s all touchy-feely nice, but the fact is that tattoos are trashy, and I don’t care what theory you care to assert to justify them. Stupid people always seem to want to let you know that they are stupid…often its by getting tattoos, sometimes its walking around sucking on a vaping stick, but they always want to advertise their tacky, trashy, low-class mentality. Fine by me too, I know who to avoid.

    • I blame Donald Trump for your stupidity. At some point in the last two or so years, people on the political right have, for some reason, completely lost the ability to comprehend the meaning of the word ‘fact’. The fact is that you’re only expressing your OPINION. But hey, at least I know to avoid morons like you.

      • The Trump corollary to Godwin’s Law, states that any thread, on any subject, will produce a post that blames Trump.

      • Actually it’s the complete opposite. You liberals infected with Trump derangement syndrome have lost all ability to think or reason. Like just now, you discriminated against maddcapp by assuming he’s a Trump supporter. Do you know this to be Fact? No, you just assumed, like now, you’re probably assuming my gender.

    • Funny, I had a customer when I had my shop who was worth tens of millions of dollars and was covered neck to toes in tattoos…and I’m sure he didn’t care that you didn’t have any. Now, back inside your metal roof single-wide trailer, no more 3g for you today, shitbag.

      • People with lots of money are honey badgers — they don’t give a f**k. You probably aren’t that guy so he isn’t a good example.

    • Yeah all those trashy young men who fought on the front lines of the nations last two wars. Trailer park dirtbags I tell ya’ hwhat’.

      Your thesis that trashy people out themselves isn’t wrong, but so do dumb SOB’s

    • Maddcapp you’re simply a troll. In real life you’re too much of a coward to say this to someone’s face, so you express it here. Feel like a big man now?

    • “….but the fact is that tattoos are trashy, and I don’t care what theory you care to assert to justify them….

      That is one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever read. I’m nearly 60 and have no tattoos.

      It’s just stupid from a stupid person.

      WTF is wrong with you?

    • Shrug. The best technician I know, has a full color tattoo covering his back and vapes. He also has one of the top ten work ethics I’ve ever encountered, and I’m really hoping to convince him to go for a PhD in electrical engineering. Oh. And he’s also polite. Holds doors, even.

      But I guess none of that matters … Vaping and tats, you know.

    • I’d like to see you say that to my decidedly *not* trashy, definitely not stupid, tattooed, pink haired wife’s face. Something tells me it wouldn’t be pretty. (She is though)

    • holeeee shit the comments on this article…yup, I’m done with TTAG. Can’t deal with the FOWG’s with their repeated bullshit of “millennials, and back in my day…” So much opinion espoused as fact here…

      Boy, the next 20 years is gonna be fucking awesome for my generation, because all the FOWG’s will die / become too senile to remember how to post on the internet.

  6. There is good ink and bad ink when you are 25. When you are 65 it’s going to be all bad ink.

    Two examples:.

    (1). I worked for this guy who got a tattoo on his butt when it he was a young sailor. Now he was in his 70s and it looked crappy as he walked around the PAC (Pentagon gym) locker room. He said it seemed like a good idea at the time

    (2) Old lady walks into a restaurant in a summer dress. Woman ahead of her times. She was all inked up except the ink had faded and her body shape was different. Boobs aren’t the only thing that sags. Looked awful.

    Bottom line. You aren’t always going to be 25 forever.

    • And THAT is why young’uns who are not old enough to buy a handgun shouldn’t get inked.
      No. I never said “make it illegal”, I said they shouldn’t. I waited until I was well into my thirties to get needled for the first time… Why? To make damn sure the tat I wanted was REALLY what I knew I would want to be buried with. And whenever a philosophical debate about the relative mentality and decision-making skills of young people comes up – I like to Google the terabytes of “bad tattoos” you can amuse yourself with on the internet.

      • Look up the Red vs. Blue PSA on Tattoos. Pretty much exactly what you’re talking about… :). But heck, I take people as they come. They want a tattoo, go ahead, if you’re 18 or older. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, so long as you conduct yourself well. But there’s a reason my Dad wanted to invest in having a cousin with a tattoo parlor open a tattoo removal side as well…

    • My Uncle Sunny was wounded in action getting his shipmates to safety at Pearl Harbor and was partially disabled as a result. He had a couple of tats aquired there, the one on his weak arm didn’t smear as much as the on his strong arm but both of them did.

      Remember the tat that is awesome now may not be so great in twenty years and may be awful twenty years after that!

      Do what you want, but we all have to live with our choices.

    • I knew a young lady, that was very overweight, that had ink.
      Her ink was very personal. On one knee she had the Chicago fire, on the other knee she had a tattoo of the devil.
      When she crossed her legs it looked like hell.

      This (admittedly old) joke was brought to you in honor of Ralph.
      (Whom I’m sure has an worse older joke to share.)

  7. I love the Jeff Foxworthy joke about tattoos. A young woman gets an eagle on her shoulder and forty years later, the kids are asking, “Why does Grandma have a buzzard on her back?” It’s hard to deny that human skin is a lousy canvas. It doesn’t hold up over time, and even the best tattoos will eventually look like crap.

    I generally don’t care about tattoos but if you decide to get inked up anywhere above your shirt collar, I and many others will question your intelligence.

  8. I’ve never had anyone question my tattoos in relation to shooting or anything else of a serious nature.

    What I have had is dumbass kids (like 5-10 years younger than me) ask if the Latin on my forearm is a “Game of Thrones” tattoo. I don’t get mad about it. It’s just a display of their ignorance and how piss poor our school system has become.

    Whether or not visible tattoos are acceptable is a function of where you live in the US these days and not much else. People who are judgemental enough to see ink and think “trashy, stay away” aren’t the type of person I want to talk to in the first place. [First in the pew on Sunday types are usually assholes anyway.]

    That said, face and neck tats are, IMHO, not a good idea if you ever want a career. Generally it’s best if your ink can be covered by a dress shirt.

    • My church once had a pastor whose arms were both inked up from wrist to shoulder. She was possibly the most beloved pastor we ever had. Even the first in the pew types loved her.

    • Facial tattoos are a pretty reliable sign that somebody just isn’t right in the head.

      Could be a fairly harmless kind of “ain’t right,” like one of my favorite metal musicians who is a very strange duck and also a super nice guy, but it’s one of those things that instantly sets me on guard.

    • “People who are judgemental enough to see ink and think “trashy, stay away” aren’t the type of person I want to talk to in the first place.”


      Personally I want one/some. I’m not sure what though, and it’ll be there a loooong time. Also, quality work is expensive. I’ve seen some really funny and clever tattoos as well as truly amazing body art, but the canvas is often just as important to the overall effect.

  9. Managing how people perceive you is part of being professional. Asking people to not judge you buy how you dress and otherwise decorate yourself is foolish. Want to get a job? Show up to your interview neatly dressed and groomed.

  10. Since the sale of TTAG I’ve definitely noticed that the tone of many posts has moved to lecturing gun owners. Why is that?

    • Yeah it’s really starting to get old. They assume because many of us are conservative that we hate gays, blacks, women, and anyone under the age of 40. None of those things are inherent in conservatism, and I personally have found that northern liberals are by far the most racist, judgemental people on the planet. Far more bigoted then let’s say the good people of Savannah GA. Yes I’m quoting Clarence Thomas. You want to see real bigotry, look what liberals have to say about black/women conservatives.

    • It’s either click bait, the power that be don’t understand their audience, or the powers that be think they can indoctrinate us with stupidity and change us.

      • Or maybe it’s because the comments have gotten worse over the years. Three, four years ago the TTAG comment section was a pretty good community. Today there’s all sorts of fighting, attacks on each other and outright stupid comments yet we’re all supposed to be on the same side.

      • Starting a conversation about another point of view? It’s damn heresy I tell you. Can’t have any of that.

    • I agree. Since the sale the # of reviews has dropped.
      And the use of the moniker “TTAG Contributer” has appeared exponentially.
      It’s disconcerting at best.
      The lack of actual firearms related reviews that is.
      The use of “… Contributer” is something that I have come to expect from any site that extols confrontation of opinion as a virtue.

  11. No gal you’re WRONG. Only thing is says is stupid, irresponsible, immature. What idiot at age 20 blows $100/$500/whatever on such crap in order to demonstrate their are a “rebel” by doing a totally conforming (for their demographic) action. If you GROW UP by age 40 it will be obvious to all you were a moron even if vanity will not allow you to admit it.

    Take the $ and buy something useful. Perhaps ballistic related.

  12. I’ll be 60 in a couple of months.
    I don’t care what color a persons hair is, what kind of ink they have or don’t have.
    It’s only going to take a couple of minutes of conversation for me to decide if I want to know this person better or ignore them.
    Chris Paronto’s tatts look awesome.

    • But you don’t understand. It’s not enough to simply let them be. You have to explicitly approve of their choices and even advocate for their choices to others or you’re an intolerant bigot.

      • That’s the left. Admittedly, that includes much of the high school and college age crowd. Yes that’s a tremendous generalization.

    • Thanks, Tom. I feel the same way. Prefer to draw my own conclusions based on experience and watching rather than assumptions.

    • Tom, I give you permission to speak for me at every future gathering of Physically Older But Extremely Intelligent Guys Association.
      You rock.
      See ya there!

  13. I don’t like tattoos on anybody. Yeah, now and then something artistic is seen but generally it just does damage to a beautiful woman. While I get why some of my fellow men got their tats, doesn’t mean I think their reasoning was sound or that it should have ended as it did.

    Even so I don’t judge people by their “skin art”. I’m well aware of how appearances can deceive. Been living that reality all my years, being pre-judged for the body I was born into.

    An exception, facial tattoos. Solid proof there is something deeply wrong in a person.

    Hair color? Could care less. For me male pattern baldness made an early appearance. So I figure if you have the hair up there, that’s good enough and anything beyond that is a plus. Have your fun and hell to anybody throws scorn for it.

    None of the above has anything to do with shooting skills. Cannot imagine why anyone would want to link it all together.

  14. Gee and here I was thinking the bible calls tattoos a sin…yeah lecturing us old white men again. I’ve done an awful lot in my life both good and bad. But I knew what good and evil were even when I was young and hunky. I don’t care who you marry, what you deface your skin with or if you carve EFF Trump in your forehead-don’t expect my approval(or millions of others). I don’t seek approval after 30 years with my chocolate bunny!

    • Sin? Oh, so you believe in the tooth fairy and santa clause too? Read a book that was written in this century. Preferably science related.

      • I think FWW’s first sentence was sarcastic while your whole comment was an clearly an insult.

        • Don’t assume anything about my comments. Truth is truth whether 2000 or 2 years old. TTAG appears to be taking a highly questionable tilt toward who knows what. Whether it’s by design or just trying for more readers I haven’t a clue. Robert Farago rarely preached. I got he was an agnostic non-religious Jew. Will the left tilt bring more eyes? I doubt it. Is Liberte Austin gone for HER beliefs?!?

        • “So you reject modern cosmology?” Completely! Because it is based on false premises. I used to believe it but then I read some books that explained the Biblical cosmology and changed my mind. “Starlight and Time” is a great place to start. It’s written by Dr. Russell Humphreys a physicist and is very compelling. It’s a short read and is understandable to the layman. I think it’s even available online as a pdf. It takes about an hour to get the main pts. Hope you enjoy it!

        • Tex:

          Modern Cosomology supports biblical cosmology. Thr Big Bang generated lots of light. Modern cosmology is inconsistent with modern Atheism. Modern Atheists exclude the possibility of a creator but the Big Bang doesn’t. They need an alternative cosmology for a perpetual universe. Only theists and agnostics can accept the Big Bang.

        • To me, the Big Bang sounds a lot like “Let there be light.” It’s kind of funny how science and religion sometimes circle around to the same place.

        • If I had a dime for every time I heard that from someone who thought it was a new and devastating argument for their religion, I’d have a lot of dimes. Modern cosmology in no way attributes the big bang to a deity and certainly doesn’t support any particular religion. I am not an atheist because there is no and can be no conclusive evidence that no deity exists. So, one has to rely on “feelz” (aka “faith”) to be confident in that proposition as well. I’d rather you and FWW were right though. Maybe if I took some DMA…

        • If it was true, it wouldn’t be called faith. No proof one way or another. Atheism has its own ingrained dogma and therefore qualifies as its own religion.

        • Heah Sparky, the Big Bang doesn’t prove the existence of God. What it disproves is Atheism. Why do you thing I said believers and agnostics? Atheits is as faith based as any fundamentalist. An Agnostic weighs the evidence and says I don’t believe but does not exclude the possibility. An Atheist must reject the Big Bang because it is incompatible with creation. It is a logical necessity for you to believe that the Universe is perpetual. I am sorry if that upsets you.

        • Well, Vic, I’m actually an agnostic. I don’t know if there’s any kind of god or not, and I don’t think it’s every going to be possible to actually know. Which is where faith comes in — but I don’t have any.

          I just think it’s interesting that the Big Bang posits a single, indescribably infinite point that exploded into…well, everything…and as far as I’m aware nobody has any real grasp of WHY the universe began to happen in the first place. Why couldn’t it have been God that set it off? Until science can prove otherwise, that’s as good as any other answer.

          I don’t reject modern cosmology. I reject the notion that it has the answers we need to make meaning out of life.

    • It also says don’t cut your hair or beard, and don’t eat pork or shellfish or meat and cheese together, and only drink wine that’s been approved by a rabbi. You can eat locusts though.

      • Just so you know that the ancient Jews didn’t run around eating giant grasshoppers, a biblical ‘locust’ is ALSO an edible seed-pod that vaguely resembles a ‘locust’–thus the name.


        a large and mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. It is usually solitary, but from time to time there is a population explosion, and it migrates in vast swarms that cause extensive damage to crops.
        the large edible pod of some plants of the pea family, in particular the carob bean, which is said to resemble a locust.

        No, no bug-eating Jews back then.

        • “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.”

          Ever seen a flying bean with legs? The old Hebrew names of the locusts were arbeh, sal’am, hargol, and hagav, but what species those denoted were forgotten in the Middle Ages and so Jews had to quit eating any kind of locusts.

  15. Back in the day I’d get judged by other shooters who thought I was some kind of hippie. All they saw was the long hair. Never paid attention to all the black shirts with “Slayer” “Iron Maiden” “Mayhem” “Darkthrone” on them. They quickly changed their tune when they saw that I was invariably better armed than they were. Metal musicians tend to be conservative and support the 2nd amendment. That the NRA only likes country music indicates its an organization for and by fudds.

    • The lead singer of the ‘Eagles of Death Metal’ (which really isn’t death metal, but anyways) is all tatted up, and quite vocal on the subject of armed self-defense, based on what he personally saw, quite up-close and personal in Paris one night…

      • I saw the Eagles of Death Metal open for Mastodon. Those guys kick ass.

        Security at the door for that show was tighter than I’ve ever seen. I used to be able to carry concealed at that venue, but they were wanding everyone, looking into waistbands, and turning people away for nail clippers. I got through with a polymer push-knife anyway, because F that crap. I’m not taking my kids anywhere without some kind of self-defense tool.

        It could’ve been a change of policy at the venue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the EoDM were required to do that by their promoters & insurance people. Kind of ironic that the one band that would know better than any other why the audience might need self-defense is probably required to remove it because its audience did need it once.

    • I never got the impression that metal musicians or the metal scene were 2A-friendly…although, come to think of it, the only place besides gun videos that I’ve ever seen pro-2A comments on Youtube is the occasional metal video.

      But I’ve been out of the music scene for decades and don’t really know any musicians anymore (and back when I was playing I wasn’t all that 2A-friendly myself), so I guess I wouldn’t know. I’d like to think that you’re right.

      I really wish the NRA would expand its “NRA Country” magazine feature to other kinds of music — mostly metal. It’d be a lot more interesting. The sad fact is, though, that metal doesn’t have a very big following country/rap/pop; it’s just not accessible to the average dumbass who only listens to music because other people play it at parties.

      • One hard rock musician would be Joe Perry from Aerosmith. I read many years back he was into shooting and collecting. Possibly Eric Clapton as well. James Hetfield of Metallica is an avid hunter. Using guns and bows I believe. And Terrible Ted of course.

        I’m sure there is more. Just not as well known.

        • plenty. hound dog taylor shot brewer phillips in the hoo- hah.
          and taildragger shot boston blackie in the fish market.

      • Slayer has been rather vocal about gun rights. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, dude from Metallica. Lots of guys in black metal are pretty into firearms. Suffocation’s song “The Invoking” is all about self-defense.

  16. Nice article. I think it’s OK to lecture gun owners sometimes. Especially us older guys can be pretty judgmental and set in our ways. I guess it’s a natural part of aging, but I think it’s good to maintain contact with younger generations so that you gradually get comfortable with their customs and don’t isolate yourself. If we are going to keep the 2A alive, we must engage with them and pass along our knowledge.

    Remember when we were young and our parents felt the same way about our music, clothes, hair, etc…?

    Maybe it’s easier for me, because I live in a blue state and have reasons to work with young urban folks.

    • Oh heck yes, Dr. Brown. I have a teenage daughter about to drive. I am up to my eyebrows in “you want to wear *what*?!?”.

  17. The main difference between people with and without tattoos is that people with tattoos don’t care if you don’t have any.

    • Wrong. I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t give a rat’s ass if somebody else does. I’ll judge them by the content of their character, which these days is now “old fashioned”.

      • But does Kat actually have fans? Or just readers of this blog that she’s alienating? I’m thinking it’s the latter.

  18. I don’t usually judge people by their tattoos as long as they don’t obscure their face in an ugly way. Neck tats and face tats will always be trashy, but it’s more the attitude of the person wearing them that annoys me. I don’t care if someone looks like they stuck their face in a tacklebox, but gauges are gross, and unnatural hair color tends to signify feminazi leanings, but that’s not always the case. You be you, but brush the chips off your shoulder.

  19. If anyone is going to get any visible ink, piercing, hair dye, etc then they ought to be prepared to deal with people looking at them differently. If you didn’t do it to standout and be different, what did you do it for? I’ll try to reserve any personal judgement until I get to know someone, but I personally don’t want to meet/talk to whiny little ———— that need to harden the ——— up. Seriously, don’t play the victim card if you did it yourself, snowflakes.

    When I go in public wearing certain shoes, certain clothes, driving a certain vehicle, etc, I am fully ready for you to make your assumptions about me right or wrong.

  20. Personally I don’t care too much what someone looks like on the range.

    I look to see their actions, as in are they hitting the target, do I see good fundamentals? Shooting sub-moa @100yds, ect… I observe first.

    I look to see if there is anything I can personally learn from them in regards to the shooting arts, especially if I see they can shoot well.

    I dunno..sigh ..I’m trying to not get old and morph into my father. Some days I want to yell “Get of my effing lawn”

  21. “Here’s a thought: next time you consider saying something sharp and cutting to someone, not because they aren’t skilled but because they dare to have tattoos, hit pause.”

    Here’s another thought … before you get your nose out of joint, consider that it just might be that I don’t care. Lack of discrete approval does not automatically mean disapproval, it can – and from me usually does – mean indifference.

    And don’t ask me to like your tattoo that looks like somebody’s six year old’s first foray with the Crayola box. It’s not my job to make you feel better about a bad inking. I appreciate good art – and good artists – as I find them, not on demand. If you ask what I think of it you’ll get my honest opinion, and if you don’t like it, well, you asked. Dislike of the tattoo does not automatically imply dislike of the person.

  22. Big LOL!

    My first contract with a television network so many years ago specified the number of piercings I could have (I had 3, so they were “grandfathered” in, so to speak) and where they could be if visible (my ears). Also, long sleeves so my tattoos wouldn’t show.

    World has changed big time…my most recent contract doesn’t say a word about such things.Although I think I’m still not allowed to shout profanities on the air.

    Plus, even though I’m older than dirt, I like bright blue hair.

    Michael B

    • Geez Bane RF is gone. I love how you yelled at him. Did he ban you?!? Dropped Outdoor Channel and don’t miss it. ME…

    • Man, Michael, I’m surprised to see you in these particular comments. These are gold. Yes… I’ve had jobs with stipulations myself. I think what people are missing on an enormous level is that this is actually a problem in the industry. Well…I tried.

      I’ve been told to get off someone’s lawn.

      Haven’t stopped laughing yet.

      • It sounds like you’ve got a problem with FUDDs, not real gun owners. We’re not FUDDs. We don’t need your lectures about inclusiveness. The FUDDs do. Unless you think TTAG is FUDD central I can’t imagine what you thought your talking down to us about a non-issue was going to accomplish.

        You really think your readership is sitting around making snide remarks to people with wildly colored hair, tattoos, and piercings at the range? If you do, why would you take a job writing for a site full of such people?

        • You don’t defend yourself against baseless accusations surlycmd? Why don’t you ask George W. Bush how that worked out for him.

        • I must not have read the same article you did. I read no baseless accusations to defend against. It was just an article pointing out some 2A people may harshly judge others who exercise their freedom to choose a different look and there is no reason to make that judgement.

      • Stereodude’s comment above perfectly captures the sentiment behind my “Get off my Lawn” comment. Nuff said.

  23. I do not trust people who alter their appearances solely to seek attention.

    I don’t buy the whole “It’s to commemorate a memory” bullshit. If the event or person is memorable—YOU WILL REMEMBER IT.

    No, most tattoos are done solely for attention—if the tattoo is in an easily visible location.

    And the worst part of tattoos—–they’re not cool or individualistic—BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS THEM.

    Justin Bieber is sleeved. Think about that before you get inked, kids.

    True individuals, true rebels DON’T HAVE TATS OR BODY MODS.

    • “True individuals, true rebels” aren’t really the same thing.

      The former don’t care what the trends are, they choose their appearance based on their own aesthetics.

      The latter, well, in the famous words of The Wild One, “What’ve you got?” Basing one’s sense of identity solely on not being someone else, well…. I’ve always found that a little sad.

    • A well thought out, fact based argument. They can’t betrusted because Bieber done it, it’s dumb.

      Thanks! Best laugh yet!

  24. Kat, Kris Paronto has earned the right to look any way he wants. He could fart or burp in an elevator and I’m not going to expect an “excuse me”. But most Millennial’s today haven’t and here’s the rub. They are getting inked or shoving sharp pieces of steel through various body locations in an effort to call attention to themselves when they haven’t done a thing with their lives to deserve it. Kind of putting the cart before the horse you know. Millennial’s should spend more time conducting themselves in a manner that would someday make them worthy of that attention they seek. If they do, it will find them sure as anything.

    • So… you’re stating millenials have not earned the right to express themselves as they see fit? Not enough life experience or some such? Interesting.

      • I do qualify my opinion with the word “most” preceding Millennials but yes, you have clearly understood my point. It’s their life to live and do as they wish, but there’s no denying it will also affect the opportunities that come their way.

  25. But it is so fun to poke fun and laugh at them – why would anyone want to have identifying marks on their bodies is beyond me….

  26. I really don’t care if someone has tats, but there’s consequences to every action. What happens when you have a change of heart? Oops! Piercings can be troublesome due to the possibility of infection, keep them clean!
    Dyeing your hair a strange colour? Go for it, it can always change back.
    Do as you wish, just don’t stick me with the bill after things go wrong!

  27. there is a reason kids don’t call the drug store and ask if they have prince albert in a can anymore. it’s because the delivery kid who pedals the little front wheel bicycle with the basket and answers the phone just might…

  28. I’m a young dude (early 30s) and I think tats are ugly as hell. If I see a woman with a bunch of them she is immediately out of my dating pool.

    I also am an engineering manager at my company and if anyone comes into my office for a job interview with visible tats or obnoxious colored hair they have to really impress me in order to not go on my “do not hire” list.

  29. Does a bunch of “LOOK AT ME!!!!” shit. Gets triggered when people look at them. Get over yourself. You’re entitled to like whatever personal style you want. Other people are entitled to hold an opinion about you based on that. That’s how the world works. And just to be clear, I have tattoos.

    Is this what TTAG has turned into? 1,400 words, related to firearms in only the most superficial way, reads like someone’s personal blog where they can bitch about how people are meanies because they don’t like her hairdo or made fun of her friends tattoos? Jesus.

  30. Really not sure where to put this article:

    On the one hand I do have to agree that certain tattoos do communicate very helpful (but not always positive) information! For example the guy with “FUCK Y’ALL” tattooed across his knuckles is probably not you want to be trusting to keep his cool. And yes as a general rule I prefer markings that can be covered when in professional environments.

    On the other hand look I’m 38 years old and there has decidedly been a shift in the last 20ish years to making these things more acceptable! At some point we have to be willing to shake our heads and accept that the person one lane over at the range will probably be tattooed/peirced/have a hair color we used asa safety vest… or we can watch the shooting sports die out, now that’s a discussion that needs to take place quickly!

  31. Regardless of the above writers’ opinions, points of view, personal attacks and rantings; I noticed the one thing in short supply was the explanation and listing of any actual facts to support their views. Before you begin to call people ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ you really should learn from history what those terms actually mean.
    Just because I may not agree with you, I am willing to listen to your reasoning about how the facts led to your conclusions. If you cannot or will not do this, you might as well go sit in a corner and bark nonsense at yourself.

  32. I take blue hair as a sign I should avoid the woman wearing it, as it indicates mental illness, or at a minimum, believe in mentally ill beliefs. If you look like a carnie, im not going to take you seriously in life, no matter what job you try to fill. I will probably just avoid you as much as possible as you just scream drama, and poor life choices..

  33. Colored Hair is cool… in middle school… I lied… It’s not cool.. ever. Tattoos are fine. Some of the standard type piercings are acceptable on women. What’s so wrong with being natural like God intended you to be? Find better ways to express yourself and you individualism.

  34. For this article to be relevant… have to actually care about it.

    I you don’t care, then this article is irrelevant….

    Irrelevant…just like most articles that are written, just like the people that write them,
    and just like the people that read them and care about them.

  35. Wanna get a tat to look “hard”? Better develop some intestinal fortitude, there, cupcake. Life ain’t fair or easy, and EVERYONE has an opinion that may just hurt your little feelz. You play, then in some way, shape, or form you will have to pay.

  36. I’ve hung with Bikers and a lot of ex and current serving military, most have tats, I don’t and never will, its not my thing. Being 52 I’m one of those older men you talk about, not white, native, but my problem isn’t with people who have proven themselves with ink, its with people who think they get respect without earning it. Most of the people I see today with ink and blue hair are Millennial’s and women who think having weird colored hair makes them look younger or cooler, it does NEITHER. Most of the ink is also not good, makes no sense and never fits the person, and with it always comes an attitude. These same people are never as good at whatever they are doing be it work or recreation and they always blame others for their failings and that is what I see in this article. I cut ties with about 20 people who I used to call friends and they fit ALL of these categories and I am much better for it.


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