Honoring America’s guns

It makes me swell with pride to see how much this country has grown since the Tucson rampage earlier this month that left 6 dead and  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords badly wounded.

Why Tuesday night, at the State of the Union address, the once snarling adversaries of the Republican and Democratic parties sat side-by-side, practically hand in hand, to hear Barack Obama’s words.  One pairing had Democrat Sen. John Kerry and Republican Sen. John McCain chatting about how they were cheated out of the White House. Quite moving, really, to see the old war horses together.

And then on Wednesday, the state legislature of Utah  showed its thoughtfulness in finding new ways to teach citizens about weapons. Its House voted by a 51-19 margin to enshrine the Browning .45-caliber, semi-automatic pistol,  named after native son John Moses Browning, as the state gun.  The state Senate is expected to follow suit, making the state a leader of sorts.

Because, let’s face it folks: Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.  In Utah, a state that, according to NPR, last year issued 51,000 concealed weapons permits to people who don’t even live in the state, one at first glance might think a whole lot of people can fill that role.  But that is most certainly not the legislature’s goal.  No, it wants to honor the state’s history and, quite probably, at a time of year when cabin fever starts to chafe, give state residents more options (and thus, more freedom).

Those residents, for example, may be sick of the Sego Lily, Utah’s prissy little state flower. Or they may be depressed because the Colorado Blue Spruce is the Utah state tree. Or they could be flat-out disgusted that the state bird is another out-of-stater, the California Gull.

Well, now they can do something about it, and in a way that shows America’s growing sense of maturity. They can pull out the state gun and wipe out a flock of state birds, and all they’ll have done is kill a few foreigners, which some consider patriotic.

Yes, we’ve come a long way in this month of mourning in America.

I was thinking.  I’ve discovered that the Patriot Missile was in a way born in my hometown of Lexington, Mass., birthplace of the revolution. The missile is manufactured by Raytheon Corp., which is headquartered here in Lexington.  So I think I’ll call my state legislator tomorrow to suggest Massachusetts be the first state to recognize a state bomb.

Because as you’ve probably figured out, my friends. Bombs don’t kill people; people kill people. And we could certainly use a little more patriotic fervor in these weary winter days, anyway.

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About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at www.jerrylanson.com. My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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