Utah Adds Official Firearm to List of State Symbols


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.