Saturday, May 7, 2011

Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong?

Well unless something outrageous happens in the next 4 years there will not be many more political posts. Thanks to everyone who stopped by before, during, and after the election.

This post is not political (though some might categorize it as such). It deals with what I think are completely insane people, some of whom happen to turn a bill into law in the United States of America.

I was born and raised a stone's throw from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and I can honestly say that I know of very few people with an unhealthy obsession for firearms. I know plenty of folks with long guns suitable for hunting (deer, moose, etc...). But a hand gun? Not so much. Part of this reason - and I'm going out on a limb to say it's probably an extremely large part - is that they are ILLEGAL. There are cases where you can get one legally (for example, collecting) but chances are if you see someone (that's not in law enforcement) in Canada with a hand gun, then you're probably best to get your butt somewhere else - quickly.

Now for our neighbours to the south there is the infamous second amendment to the constitution. In a nutshell it gives Americans the right to bear arms. There is considerable debate that occurs between the advocates of this constitutional right and those opposed to it, but I don't want to get into that here. What I do want to get is a sense for whether or not anyone else out there thinks the following is completely wrong:

Utah and Arizona have state firearms.

That's right, along with a state motto ("Industry"), bird (California gull), flower (sego lily), nickname ("the beehive state"), tree (blue spruce), gem (topaz), and a whole host of other things, Utah has a state firearm (M1911 pistol).

Source: Wikipedia
Immediately to the south of Utah, in Arizona, they have a motto ("God Enriches"), bird (cactus wren), flower (saguaro cactus blossom), nickname ("the grand canyon state"), tree (palo verde), gem (turquoise), a whole host of other things, and a state firearm (Colt Single Action Army, a.k.a Colt 45).

Source: Wikipedia
In fact, there was a race between the two states to see who would get the "honor" of becoming the first state to pass into law the naming of a state firearm. Utah won, but Arizona still pressed on. Even after 13 people were wounded (including a congresswoman), and 6 people were killed (including a child) in January they passed into law the name of a state firearm with the nickname "peacemaker" - in April. I wonder if the congresswoman thinks about rescinding that law as she rehabilitates.

The whole thing just has me at a loss for words (present post excepted I suppose). I read about the tragedy in Arizona and then I read about a toddler getting his hands on a loaded gun and accidentally killing his brother and then I think about the tens of thousands of people murdered every year (including the 12,632 in 2007 alone) and I can't help but wonder what having a state firearm is saying to the families of all those victims. "God bless America?"

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