|Are you people STUPID? Piercing guns are a huge NO!!! Piercing guns are NOT suitable for cartilage! It's called research... do it! There's a wealth of information out there. My advice? Don't ask other 11-year-olds for advice about piercings! A great source: www.bmezine.com will teach you anything you ever need to know about piercing/body modification.
After 2 failed cartilage piercings done with a gun, I am living proof of why piercing guns suck. At first, I thought the piercings were. The actual piercing didn't hurt at all, and they didn't swell or anything. Well over 6 months after I got them done, they still weren't healed. They began to get swollen, and the earring backs constricted them even further.
This brings me to point #1. Piercing earrings are of an unsuitable length for cartilage piercing. Their posts are far too short to accommodate the swelling that occurs with cartilage piercings, or any other body piercing. Yes, body piercing. In many states, piercings other than lobes are considered body piercings. Anyway, back on topic. Piercing earrings have butterfly backs. Anyone who owns a pair of earrings knows what these look like. These completely cover the back of the piercing and trap bacteria and germs inside!!! So, when inevitable swelling of the piercing occurs, the post is far too short and the earring back will only constrict the swelling, further irritating it! This was the main problem with my piercings. They could never heal because the earring back kept the area irritated.
Point #2. Piercing earrings can cause horrible damage to the cartilage. Piercing earrings aren't all that sharp, as they have to be worn for long periods of time. (You don't want anything constantly stabbing you, do you? No. That's why they aren't so sharp.) Piercing guns force this dull earring through the ear cartilage. The force of this can cause great trauma to the ear, which causes SERIOUS problems further down the road. Such damage to the cartilage can result in extreme deformation. Any scars left over from cartilage piercings are far worse than those done by needles for that reason. I have 1 lump of scar tissue on each ear, resulting from the piercings I had to take out.
Point #3: Piercing guns are dirty!!! So many people on this little, dinky site seem to think that piercing guns are cleaner than needles. WRONG. These people haven't done their research. Piercing guns are just an infection waiting to happen. If you think that they are clean just because the employee wiped it off with a wipe, think again. The proper method for sterilization is by an autoclave. An autoclave, used in medical facilities, is used to sterilize metal. It is a hollow metal vessel and uses very hot steam in combination with high pressure to clean objects. In piercing and tattoo studios, the needles and every other apparatus that comes in contact with human skin/blood/anything else is sterilized by an autoclave. Piercing guns are made of plastic, and cannot be sterilized that way(plastic obviously can't withstand high heat and presure.. it melts and/or collapses). Antiseptic wipes used to "sterilize" these piercing guns do not eliminate blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B or C. Say the gun gets stuck during piercing and the employee must manually fix it (this happens frequently, by the way)... he/she will have to touch the gun and your ear to do so. Any germs that were on the gun and her hands are now in your new piercing. Great.
Do you see the dangers in piercing guns yet? No? Good, because I have more to tell you. Because of the factors discussed above (the short post and constricting earring back that exacerbates irritation... the high risk for spreading bacteria), piercings done with piercing guns are more likely to become infected than those done with needles. Infections can spread in a period as short as one day. Most kids will be reluctant to do anything about it because "it will probably go away tomorrow". Wrong again. Infections spread quickly throughout the cartilage, destroying the tissue. Once the tissue is destroyed, it is dead and it collapses. The docs will have to amputate the infected, collapsed portion of your ear. If caught early, infections can be treated and healed, but the process is difficult. If you ask me, this is way too much of a hassle just for one little hole. Get it done right. Do your research, THINK about this, and go to a piercing studio once you're old enough. Piercing guns are not sanitary, nor are they safe.
*I just wrote a social action paper about the dangers of piercing cartilage with piercing guns (I'm in college), so I'm not just being a smarty-pants trying to prove everyone wrong... everything I know has come from research (and a bit from personal experience). The info is out there. Use it.*