Utah Adds Official Firearm to List of State Symbols

guns_utah.jpg
Utah has officially become the first state in the U.S. to add a gun to its list of state symbols (state tree: blue spruce! state cooking pot: Dutch oven!). The new state gun is the M1911 pistol designed by John M. Browning, who was the son of Utah pioneers and Utah this, Utah that, etc. I don't know. The timing on this is about as bad as it could get, two months after Gabrielle Giffords' shooting and the debate that provoked about gun control.

Not trying to say that this will spur people to violence, but it's an alarmingly casual way to look at guns. It's almost like people in this country have just forgotten what guns do, as if they're simply fun little playthings and not in fact instruments of death. The Utah governor's spokeswoman said that the bill to make the M1911 the state gun "isn't so much about a weapon as it is about honoring John Moses Browning, who was a Utah inventor and entrepreneur, and he repeatedly gave back to the state." But it kind of seems like it's about a weapon!

Maybe I just don't understand because I'm from Massachusetts, where the state tree is the elm, the state beverage is cranberry juice, and the state firearm is Mark Wahlberg's fist.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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8 comments
Heriberto
Heriberto

I wonder how the people in Utah feel about that. Is there any Pros and Cons?!

Jmerckx
Jmerckx

Yes, I liked Wahlberg in "Shooter". You should stick to what you know. By the way: More Cranberries come from New Jersey.

Imas
Imas

Utah Adds Official Firearm to List of State Symbols...

Do you ready think Utah or any one else in this counrty care what you+ the village voice think??? Your a small village, guy

Bandofotters
Bandofotters

I realize that gun laws in Massachusetts are draconian, but when one of its citizens think that a fist is a firearm, it speaks of an educational deficiency that pales the lack of appreciation for the M1911. How is this even related to the Tucson shooting?

Lary9
Lary9

Jeez Louise! You can't tell the difference between satrical license and literal equivalence?

Max
Max

OK, so as a far lefty gun owner from Oakland, CA, maybe I can explain this without coming off as a dismissive jerk:

The m1911 is one of the most famous and widely recognized firearms in the world. Note it's name: it turned 100 years old this year. It's such a good design that it was carried by US forces in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, before being replaced in the 1990s. Even after being replaced as a standard pistol, elite forces, to this day, insist on carrying the m1911.

In short, it's being honored because it's a remarkable piece of technology, and it makes sense that Utah is saying that it's also intended as honoring John Browning.

I can think of one other invention that's around 100 years old and still used in it's original form today: The lightbulb.

As for whether or not it's appropriate to make a weapon an official state symbol, that's obviously debatable. But if you choose the side of the debate that thinks it is appropriate, the m1911 is pretty much the best choice you could have made to fill the role.

Also, shooting them it fun. Go to a range and try it sometime.

CJ
CJ

Yeah, you don't understand and, yes, it's probably because you're from Massachussetts. Guns are many things, from weapons designed to make criminals think twice about coming into my house to fun little play things. As a matter of fact, I absolutely LOVE taking my toys in the back yard and shooting targets of various size and distances. Guess what, no one has been killed doing so.

I applaud Utah for honoring both the man and the magnificent thing of beauty he created-the M1911.

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