*Scroll for an Update*

It appears that Utah may be the first state to declare they have an official state gun, that being the Browning M1911 pistol. Born in Utah, John Browning invented this historic weapon that has been the mainstay of weapons for military and law enforcement for decades.

But, because it involves guns, there are some who aren’t too pleased with the idea, some of those exploiting our school children by saying they will have to be subjected to learning about something that kills people when researching the Beehive State’s official symbols.

Those opposed think it is quite insensitive to propose this coming so close on the heels of the Tuscon, Arizona killings. Utah state Rep. Carol Moss says, “It seems insensitive at this time when people are mourning the death of six people in Tucson and the serious wounding of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords – a friend of mine.” Would Rep. Moss approve of this symbol say a month or two from now?

Sometimes history isn’t a very pleasant thing to learn about, but learn about it we must. When one considers the achievements of John Browning and the Browning company, it’s easy to see the M1911 had a world wide influence on history – mostly for the good. If we are to present history in a sterilized manner what good is it to teach it at all? Certainly the idea of honoring Browning isn’t to promote or condone this obscene slaughter of innocent life. Consider the thousand of lives that perhaps John Browning and his invention was able to save.

But is that what’s really behind opposition to this recognition or is it just an overall objection to guns? If somebody wanted to, they could look down through the list of Utah’s official state symbols and come up with some reason many of these shouldn’t be recognized.

State Animal – Rocky Mountain Elk – Perhaps we should shield our children from the fact that hunters take elk for food and that imported gray wolves are slaughtering these elk in many places. A frightful idea to present to any child.

State Flower – Sego Lily – A lily is a flower that often is symbolic of Easter, a time in history recognized by Christians of when Jesus was crucified and three days later arose from the dead. With a separation of Church and State, as many love to invoke, and the recent historic claims of offending non Christians, surely an argument could be made against lilies.

State Insect – Honey Bee – Those opposed to guns say they kill people. Guns really don’t kill people, sick people kill people but in this case many people are killed each year from bee stings. Surely, we cannot subject our school children to such factual violence.

State Mineral – Copper – Now surely, this just cannot be anyone’s official mineral. After all, for a gun to be used to kill someone, there must be a bullet. Copper has been used to make the jackets to hold the powder and seat the lead bullet into. And speaking of lead, many of the same people who would like to ban guns want to ban lead. In some cases that lead is being replaced with copper. There’s too close a connection here between guns that “kill innocent people” and material to make the bullet that will “kill innocent people”.

State Rock – Coal – A nasty choice for an official rock. Coal, while it has a long history of providing jobs and the creation of energy, serious thought should be given to the number of people who have died as a direct result of coal mines. And think of the pollution that shortens the lives of people. I doubt that people should be letting their kids go to schools that teach coal as being a recognized symbol of Utah.

Is all of this silly? Absolutely, it’s quite ridiculous. If anybody wanted to, they could find something disturbing in any object considered for state recognition.

Utah will lead the way for other states to make similar recognitions to those who have contributed to the state history and heritage of their home states.

Congratulations to John Browning and family.

*Update* – January 28, 2011

Since I posted this article yesterday, I was contacted by Newsy.com and asked if I would watch one of their video reports on this issue. I have followed Newsy almost from the time of their inception and find them to be a pretty good source of unbiased reporting utilizing multiple sources. For this particular report, I not sure Newsy did an adequate job in presenting the reasons behind the consideration of John Browning’s M1911 as a state gun.

In viewing this video, pay attention to the part about the blogger for the Salt Lake Tribune, who attempts to discredit and demonize the notion of giving Browning and the gun recognition, calling it idolatry. This fully supports my assumption that what’s really behind the opposition of the M1911 recognition is simply anti-gun agendas from anti-gun people and organizations who fail to see beyond the end of their motives.

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Tom Remington

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