If, by chance, you’re one of those people who contend our country is in such a mess that it’s driving everyone crazy — or if you simply believe the Apocalypse is upon us — here’s something to boost your argument. Check out Gail Collins’ column in today’s New York Times, about Americans and guns. Collins makes several good points, but what jumps out as proof of (your pick) A. growing national insanity, B. the Apocalypse, or perhaps C. NRA Delusional Syndrome, is this one stark fact: The Utah state legislature is seriously considering a bill to make the Browning M1911 pistol the “official state firearm.” For the moment, forget what this may say about our odd national mindset, and think of this: Within two weeks of a mass slaughter in Arizona that was fostered by another sign of the Apocalypse — i.e., states allowing crazy people to buy dangerous weapons — the wise leaders of Utah want to name an “official state firearm.”
As for the inevitable cry from gun lovers that more gun ownership would lower the crime rate, Collins has an honest, revealing reply: The truth is that no one knows whether that often-repeated, NRA-approved belief is valid. The reason we don't know for sure? “. . . the NRA’s crack lobbyists have managed to stop almost all federal financing for scientific research on gun-related questions.” Hmm, wonder why?