Sunday, January 30, 2011
A word on Utah's State Gun
I won't go into the details, if you would like them go here, but in essence the Utah State legislature is considering naming the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol as a state symbol. The Browning family – like the Eccles, Needhams, and Farr's – are integral contributors to the Utah heritage and culture and the firearm that bears their name was designed and developed in Ogden – Utah's Armpit – and, from what I understand, is a pretty darn good piece of equipment.
Now, this proposition has gotten a lot of people all worked up in a tissy. They feel that the very idea of a gun as a state symbol sends the wrong idea about who we are as a state – would they prefer a child bride be our symbol? It's not that the have anything against the Browning's, or the M1911, they simply don't feel good about the state of Utah being associated with a gun.
Ok, let's just say this once and get it over with. Utah is an OVERWHELMINGLY pro-gun rights state.
As this debate has gone on, and on, I have become more and more in favor of this idea. At first I thought "huh, that's interesting" then as I read more about the Browning family I thought "Ok, that's kind of cool" and then as the opposition kept on crying about the perceived injustices I couldn't help but convert to a "Please, pass this and while you're at it, make a state holiday."
And yesterday, while I was engaged in a near shouting argument over the phone on the streets of park city the even more glaring realization struck me: You don't like Utah having a gun as a symbol but you're ok with a freaking SEAGULL?
Except for a rogue infestation of crickets, I would prefer a handgun to a seagull in just about EVERY circumstance that my brain can come up with.
So, let's take a look at our state's symbols. Beginning with the (hopeful) new addition.
State Gun: Browning M1911
The standard-issue sidearm for the armed forces from 1911 to 1985 and developed by Utahn John M. Browning. A popular choice for sharpshooting events and concealed carriers. Thumbs Up!
State Cooking Pot: The Dutch Oven
Is there anyone that doesn't like Dutch Oven cooking? If so, they're wrong. Delicious. Thumbs Up!
State Tree: Blue Spruce
A sturdy, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing evergreen. Thumbs Up!
State Animal: Rocky Mountain Elk
A truly majestic creature named for the mountains that it, and we, calls home. Thumbs Up!
State Folk Dance: Square Dance
Waaaaaaaaay better than your average folk dance. This ain't no Polka, the square dance is a high-flying good time for Utahns of all ages. Thumbs Up!
State Bird: California Seagull
A mostly worthless, ugly, trash-eating scavenger named after freaking CALIFORNIA and often characterized for its stupidity (think, Finding Nemo). A flock saved our ancestors from sure starvation ONE TIME, CENTURIES AGO. I'm over it. Thumbs DOWN!
In all seriousness, one of these symbols is not like the others, one of these symbols doesn't belong. And it sure ain't the Browning M1911.