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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Real cowboys need phallic reassurance

Arizona is becoming more and more like an attention-seeking reality TV star. The initial fame from its wacky hijinks is beginning to wear off, and since obscure normalcy is the seventh ring of hell, Arizona had to once again come up with some controversial nonsense to fuel its reputation.

Fearing that Arizona would fall from this coveted spotlight of “”stories you wouldn’t want attached to your state,”” heroic Sen. Ron Gould took a bold step and created another debacle out of thin air. This brave man, immediately following our personal time of strife and controversy from the Giffords attack, decided that it would be a great idea to declare a state gun. To use a common staple of opinion column writing: Are you kidding me? (Bonus staple: You have to be joking.)

We have just emerged from a media firestorm and fierce debate about gun control laws and political rhetoric. A national tragedy has launched Arizona, and more specifically Tucson, onto the global stage. Why? Because a maniac was able to easily secure access to an advanced military-grade firearm, and used it to go on a shooting spree. Surely the last thing we need, in the realm of common sense and respect, would be the declaration of a state firearm at this moment in time. The level of insensitivity and superfluous nature is mind-blowing, leading me to believe that Gould and the 42 politicians supporting the bill have just emerged from some sort of weird manly-overcompensation rock. It’s the only sound explanation why they feel the need to declare such a polarizing and incendiary symbol of our state.

If passed, it would find itself situated among the company of the other amazing emblems of our state: The state bird, the state flower, the state mammal and the state fossil. Five of you reading this knew what those were (hope that’s a low percentage of my readership). For the rest of you clueless Arizona residents: the Cactus Wren, the Saguaro Cactus Blossom, the Ringtail and petrified wood. As seen by these icons (especially with the last one), the “”state arbitrary object”” distinctions have almost no worth. Even if they did have value, they are timeless by their random nature, and there is no need to rush a new one in, especially given the incredibly poor post-tragedy timing.

It seems Gould is having an internal overcompensation crisis of sorts. Like most men who feel inadequate by their own persona and various bodily attachments, he needs to be reassured by external imagery and possessions. It takes a true man to confidently drive a scooter; it takes an insecure one to command a Hummer (outside of military missions, of course). Gould takes it one step further, needing to secure his state some phallic imagery. I can imagine his conversation with a Vermont senator now: “”Well, yes, your wife is very pretty, and your state budget is impeccable … but, uh, how big is your state gun? Oh … you don’t have one? (snicker) No, no, it’s not a big deal.”” At this point he probably dons his giant cowboy hat and bolo tie (state neckwear: can this get any more pointless?) and saunters arrogantly over to his red sports car. He might then fire his state-representing Colt single action Army revolver into the air to hammer home his point, or to kill any left-leaning birds hiding in nearby trees.

This bill is just another in a long line of random and increasingly senseless gun laws emerging from Arizona’s political finest. These people of power are chasing their dream of a Wild West theme park where Arizona used to be, pursuing it with the passion of “”Avatar”” fans trying to make Pandora on Earth. Unfortunately for us, these gung-ho cowboys actually have governmental authority behind them, whereas the “”Avatar”” nuts are largely confined to their basements.

The mission isn’t even a secret, as seen in a quote by Gould: “”I think Arizona has a tradition of being a Wild West state … The Colt single action Army revolver epitomizes the Wild West heritage of Arizona.”” Between this and the law allowing concealed firearms in bars, the agenda seems quite clear.

With any luck we’ll complete this degeneration in a decade or so, immediately following the bill that requires every bar to install bat-wing doors, and for every pair of boots to come with mandatory spurs. At the very least, when I am gunned down in a bar over a poker game gone bad, I’ll have the honor of knowing that it was by the Colt single action Army revolver, my dear state gun. Yippie-Kay-Ay.

— Johnny McKay is the multimedia editor for the Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at

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