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Firearms & fashion — how chic!

Updated: June 5, 2014 6:48AM



Ladies, we have a self-defense problem.

How do we carry our guns in our garter belts without an unsightly bulge?

Or tuck a derringer in the small of our backs without detracting from our derrieres?

I’ll tell you how.

Sign up for the 2014 Firearms & Fashion Show set for May 10 at Chicago’s Firewater Saloon.

If the past is any guide, leggy models in skimpy apparel will strut down the runway with lacy holsters and plastic handguns.

Two women sponsor this. One is former CPD officer Karen Bartuch of AlphaGirls, a website for “ass-kicking, gunslinging, f-the-status-quo chicks who dominate — LIKE A BOSS!” The other is Marilyn U. Smolenski of Nickel and Lace, which makes a “conceal carry holster . . . that doubles as shapewear with detachable garters.”

In a city that can’t shake its shooting reputation, here we have a firearms/fashion show billed as a way to “empower women.” And it comes just days after a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed by another 14-year-old girl who will never grow up to be a woman.

Hey, no worries.

This firearms/fashion show donates to a worthy cause. I mean, if in addition to paying the $50 admission price you buy a $10 raffle ticket. That ticket — not the admission charge — will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. It is advertised on the memorial website just below an emblem of the star worn by fallen officers whose families the foundation supports. Along with the motto, “Never forget.”

Former Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline heads the foundation. I called him to ask if there isn’t an odd disconnect between the bloody reality of this city and a police fundraiser where guns are accessorized with spandex.

Cline didn’t call back but his press person did, saying, “Many attendees are supporters of the foundation’s mission and also members of law enforcement” who defend and protect the use of guns legally and responsibly. Unlike the lawless shooting up our streets.

I emailed the Chicago Police Department to ask what Supt. Garry McCarthy thought.

CPD’s press office responded, “Supt. McCarthy fully supports the Second Amendment” and takes issue with the flow of illegal guns, not legal, law-abiding gun owners.

The key word here is “legal.” Not “gun.”

I asked current and former ATF agents Tom Ahern and Mike Casali to view a YouTube video of last year’s firearms/fashion event to help me identify the weapons on the gun company display tables that, amid the open bars and babes, dotted the room. They saw what appeared to be a .50-caliber Barrett assault rifle and a Glock semi-automatic pistol.

“We had four agents fired on in Waco, Texas, with a .50-caliber rifle like that. It blew out the engine block of their truck,” Casali said.

“There’s no place in urban society for a weapon like that,” Ahern said.

But there is in a fashion and firearms show.

And it’s legal.

Just like the handgun used to kill that 14-year-old girl once was.

Legal.

Email: cmarin@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CarolMarin



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