Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Official State Stereotype of Texas

In what has to be the Texiest Texas move ever, State Senator Don Huffines' bill to make the cannon the official gun of Texas has passed through committee and may soon be law. How come? Because Texas really, really loves cannons.
Pictured: The University of Texas at Austin's football team, the Texas Longhorns,
firing Smokey the Cannon, a replica Civil War-era cannon. I would have thought that using
 a cannon at a football game would be cheating, but then I don't know much about sports.
A statue commemorating Eberly skipping
the petition step and moving right on to setting
off a Howitzer to make your voice heard.
So yeah, an official gun of Texas. In a totally valid use of legislative time, the Democratic lawmaker drafted-yeah, I'm kidding, he's a Republican. Had you going for a minute there, didn't I? Anyway, Huffines drafted the resolution back in January and in it cites the cannon's role in Texas history from the Texas Revolution to the Alamo to that time an elderly innkeeper named Angelina Eberly fired one off to protest the transfer of the Texas National Archives from Austin to Houston during Texas' brief existence as Republic. It was all part of the Archive War, which I think might be the only armed conflict ever fought over goddamn filing.

Oh, and if Don Huffines' name sounds familiar to you, it might be because he was kind of a dick a few months back when he laid into a kid over school vouchers. The student suggested that vouchers, which Huffines supports, would just subsidize rich kids going to private schools, but would do jack shit to help low-income students. Huffines' responded with "You want to give them a full tuition? That is the most selfish thing I've ever heard." Which, wait, he knows what selfish, means, right?
"My tone may have been regrettable, but if poor kids attend exclusive schools
and break the cycle of poverty, who will fill the menial, tedious jobs of the future?"
-Don Huffines,
man of the people
Above: that time in Texas's long, colorful
history when they seceded and fought
for the pro-slavery Confederacy...
Anyway, back to making the cannon the official state gun. You might be asking yourself, why? Well, according to Huffiness' resolution:

"Whereas throughout the long and colorful history of Texas the cannon has been an important weapon in the states fight for liberty and independence as well as a symbol of the defiance and determination of its people..."

-Don Huffines, on how cannons
are totally neat and stuff

Huh, you know, I've only driven through
Nebraska, but yeah, I can see that... 
So cannons are an important symbol of Texan history and defiance and whatever. But do they really need a whole law about it? Yes, apparently. You see, States have all kinds of meaningless symbols, recognized by law. Like, did you know that the California Consolidated Drum Band is the Official State Drum and Fife Corps? Or that the Official State Beverage of Nebraska is milk? Does that mean you can't have a glass of water or enjoy the fifing and drumming of California's other fine drum and fife corps, like Mountain Fife and Drums or The Young Patriots, whom I totally looked up?

Above: raising a Bowie Knife monument
in Bowie, Texas. No, I wish I was kidding.
No, of course it doesn't. These official state whatevers are pointless wastes of lawmaker's time, especially considering they have bigger issues to tackle, like say, oh, I don't know, educational accessibility for low-income students? But I think the bigger question on everybody's mind here, is if the cannon is Texas' Official State Gun, what about other weapons like the Colt Walker pistol or the bowie knife? Well, don't worry, there're laws in the works recognizing those as the official handgun and knife respectively. Yes, Texas may soon have an official state knife, because to stab someone with anything else would just be un-Texan.

"This really is a proud day, for all of us."
-Some cannon
Alright look, if it sounds like I'm picking on Texas for living up to some negative stereotype of it being a state-full of cowboy hat-wearing conservatives who care more about heaping honors and recognition upon inanimate siege weapons of the 19th century than they do about providing decent educations for underprivileged children, uh...well, I am, but I'm also picking on any state that's expending money and time on meaningless resolutions when our entire democracy seems to be crashing down around us.

That said, Pennsylvania is considering making the chocolate chip cookie the official cookie of Pennsylvania despite the existence of and objective superiority of oatmeal cookies. So if you live in the Keystone State, please, please write your representatives. It'll help make up for the way you guys voted in the '16 election. Note I said: 'help.'
Come on Pennsylvania, don't let us down again.

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