I’m betting everyone reading this has, at one point, had to smile and nod at someone’s rifle or handgun to be polite. If you’re a gun guy or gal, someone will eventually want to show you their guns, and most of the time, it will be fine. However, there is a fair chance that you’ve seen the dreaded Punisher logo on someone’s gun. I like the Punisher comics, the video games, and even the movies and TV shows that tend to be entertaining, but Good God has that skull logo become one of the worst things to happen to the gun community. While that’s bad, I fear that the Deadpool fans are quickly taking up the mantle of cringe king.
As I’ve become a crotchety old man, I’ve become a bit sick of the buy-product culture of modern entertainment. A handful of big companies own my favorite properties and seem hell-bent on producing safe cookie-cutter material. The sterilization of art to attract advertisements has left me feeling scorned. I say all this because it shows my bias. It’s also why I think things like the Punisher logo and Deadpool logo on firearms have become so cringy.
The Problem With the Punisher and Deadpool
Maybe the real problem is with the fans of these two characters. They tend to be rather annoying. The Punisher is a vigilante power fantasy that ignores the reality of crime and the effects of vigilantism. It’s fine in a comic, movie, or video game because it’s escapism. When we see it in real life, especially on someone’s guns, it becomes ultra cringy. Are you trying to say you’re equal to special operation commando Frank Castle?
Are you a vigilante? A badass? A tough guy? Or are you a dude who paid way too much money for a bare-bones AR at a gun show, tossed on an ACOG clone and an Olight, and called it good? It reeks of being a try-hard. It’s kind of like how when Modern Warfare 2 came out way back when, and as teenagers, we thought Ghost was cool. Then we grew up and realized how dumb a skull mask is outside a story.
Deadpool isn’t the grim, dark hero that is the Punisher. He tends to be a sarcastic, smart-mouth, mentally ill, violent killer. Depending on the comic, he’s an anti-hero, a hero, or maybe even a villain if it suits him. Being Deadpool is cool if you’re Ryan Reynolds, but homie, you ain’t Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool as a character is fun, but the Deadpool-themed guns I’ve seen are super cringy.
Editor’s Note: I have seen more than one cheap dead pool blaster chilling in crime labs too. Not that this should stop you from doing what you want with your property, but just an observation that there seems to be a correlation (which isn’t causation) between absurd and ‘perhaps ill taste’ property and other poor decisions.
Why is This a Problem?
I’m not one to tell people what to do with their guns and I don’t buy into the argument that things like the Nintendo Zapper-themed guns are dangerous. However, when we slap characters from comics on our guns, we can look like idiots. It becomes an issue of optics, and as gun owners, we are constantly on the defensive. As a gun owner, the last thing you should want is to have to use your weapon anywhere other than the range. Your turbo murder mercenary themed gun on an evidence stand is less than ideal
Putting characters like the Punisher or Deadpool on your firearm makes you seem like you might be the type wishing someone would try you. That plays into the anti-gunner’s view of gun owners as bloodthirsty morons. You also look like a try-hard and someone who might be a little on the dumb side. It comes off as very immature.
There is certainly an argument for the coolness of custom cerakote work, and I’ll agree with you. That takes time and talent to achieve. But tossing on a Glock backplate or a literal magwell sticker on your AR will make you someone other gun owners mock as unserious.