- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The compleat gun owner just got a little more complete.

Smith & Wesson now sells an 8-ounce martini glass, swirled with aqua and copper colors of “the desert sunset.”

But that’s not all. The maker of the .357 Magnum announced a new line of home decorating items, furniture, apparel and gifts yesterday — with nary a sidearm in the bunch.

It is a noteworthy cultural moment: Blankets, pillows, lamps, champagne flutes, tables and jewelry are among the fare intended for a genuine target audience.

“Everything reflects a lifestyle rooted in freedom and independence,” said Smith & Wesson spokeswoman Amy Armstrong. “It’s become very clear: People are returning to their patriotic, American roots, and to focus on home and family.”

The line is heavy on Western themes, earth tones and substantial materials like pewter, wool, woven cotton, copper, leather and enamel. Aside from one ball cap and a belt buckle, there are no Smith & Wesson logos to be found — and no pistol-patterned textiles or rifle-shaped Christmas tree ornaments.

“This sounds very much like a comfortable, Western-lodge style or Americana,” said Michelle Snyder of the American Society of Interior Designers yesterday. “And after 9/11, people have really come to crave that style. They want to be home, cocooning.”

But she was surprised it was coming from a gun manufacturer.

“Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and other clothing designers who also offer items for the home are fairly common. For Smith & Wesson to go into a home line might be more unusual,” she said.

The collection includes embroidered cowgirl pillows, bedding based on saddle blankets, a boot-shaped lamp, a cross made of railroad spikes and a generous supply of Western-themed wearables.

“This sounds like it’s got potential. And not everyone could pull it off. I don’t think Barcalounger could start offering their own line of guns,” said Joe Tartaro, editor of Women and Guns magazine and president of the Washington-state based Second Amendment Foundation.

“People think Smith & Wesson, they think safety and security. Turning to a line of household items is not a bad idea for them to try,” Mr. Tartaro said.

But their are some aesthetics to consider, he said.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of material we see on home stuff meant for gun owners, and most of it has a camouflage pattern on it. Who would want that in their living room?” Mr. Tartaro asked.

The company already has trademarked its idea, calling it “Crossings by Smith & Wesson.”

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