+
upworthy
More

There are 7 states with official guns. But only one scares the hell out of me.

Let's be honest: the entire concept of "Official State Things" is kind of weird and arbitrary.

Don't get me wrong; it's great for bringing publicity to state exports and recognizing cultural contributions, so that's all good and well. Things like state tree and state bird are all pretty commonplace across the 50. 

But then there are a handful of states that have Official Crustaceans, for example. And of the 28 states with an Official State Beverage, 21 of them chose milk. Vermont is the only state with an Official State Flavor (maple, obviously). And in Arkansas, the ripe vine tomato is both the Official State Fruit and Vegetable.


FOR THE LAST TIME, THEY'RE FREAKING FRUITS, OK?! Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

There are also U.S. states with ​Official State Firearms.

On February 24, 2016, Tennessee became the latest state to join this gun-happy tradition, following in the illustrious tradition established by Utah, Arizona, Indiana, West Virginia, Alaska, and Pennsylvania before them.

But there's something about Tennessee's Official State Gun doesn't quite fit in with the rest of them...

Let's take a look, and see if you can figure out the difference.

Photo by Karen Bleier/Getty Images.

1. Utah

Utah was the first state to declare an Official Gun, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Browning M1911 pistol, which was originally designed by John Browning of Ogden, Utah — where the gun is still manufactured to this day.

100 years old? Local pride? Probably a little bit of economic stimulation? That's not so different than any other Official State Something. 

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

2. Arizona

Arizona joined the Official Gun party one month later in April 2011 with the Colt Single Action Army Revolver. Also known as the Colt .45 or "the gun that won the west," it was favored by frontier heroes like Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wild Bill Hickok — which also makes it kind of insensitive to the local Native American population. 

But hey, it's been around since 1873 (even though it was invented in New England), so it gets a reluctant pass.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

3. Indiana

Indiana followed one year later in March 2012 with the Grouseland rifle, which dates back to sometime between 1803 and 1812. This gun was invented by John Small, who was the first sheriff of Knox County, Indiana, as well as the designer the official Indiana state seal. Also, there are only six known Grouseland rifles still in existence. (That means no photos, sorry!)

4. West Virginia

The Hall Model 1819 flintlock rifle was named the Official Gun of West Virginia in April 2013. Again, it was invented in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, and had nearly 200 years of pedigree and a lengthy stint in the U.S. Army before it earned Official State Gun status.

Photo from Antique Military Rifles/Flickr.

5. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania made the Pennsylvania long rifle their Official Gun in June 2014, even though it's also known as the Kentucky long rifle, which is a tad confusing. This muzzleloading gun was invented in the 1700s, and was pretty much the first new gun developed in colonial America, which means that when the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, this is probably the gun they were thinking of. 

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

6. Alaska

Alaska named the pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 bolt-action sporting rifle as its Official State Gun in July 2014, to commemorate its role in helping Americans "establish a firm foothold" in the Alaskan frontier. Not quite as historic as some of the other Official State Guns on this last, but I'm willing to give it a pass because it's Alaska. (and also because the leftover scrap pieces from the Winchester factory were an integral part of my own childhood, which I swear is less concerning than it sounds.)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons. (Technically this is the post-1964 version, but you get the idea.)

7. And then there's Tennessee...which designated this monstrosity as its Official State Firearm.

"Haha, look at that pathetic woman struggling to handle that massive piece of non-phallic manly artillery, haha." — Those guys, probably. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The Barrett M82 is a .50 caliber semiautomatic sniper rifle that weighs about 30 pounds and can accurately deliver a bullet to a target more than a mile away. (although its maximum effective range is more like four miles. FOUR. MILES.)

It was invented by Tennessee resident (and NRA board member) Ronnie Barrett way way back in 1984, which I guess gives it some state-level relevance but are you serious with that thing?!

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

There is literally no reason for a citizen to own a five-and-a-half-foot-long armor-piercing deathcannon like the Barrett M82 that can shoot a golfball-sized bullet through a tank from 50 football fields away.

No reason at all.

Are you really gonna pretend you need that thing to hunt a beaver or a bullfrog? Yeah OK.

Mexican Special Forces marching with M82s. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

That a weapon like this could not only be legal, but also celebrated by elected officials, speaks volumes about our nation's gun problem.

Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images.

The Barrett M82 been used in an average of two major U.S. crimes each year for the past 25 years — and yet remains completely unregulated at the federal level. (although there are some states where it is banned under other existing laws, such as barrel length.) 

So while 85% of the country already supports a ban on civilian sales of the Barrett M82, Tennessee just gave it a big publicity boost with its Official State Gunhood.

I realize that gun enthusiasts and gun control advocates often end up speaking past each other, using different words for the same thing and furthering frustrations on both sides. So while the invention of the Barrett M82 might sound like a victory for the 2nd Amendment, I hope we can all agree that Tennessee's announcement is a massive defeat for common sense.


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


Keep ReadingShow less
"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

Keep ReadingShow less

Jack Black does impression of The Rock.

I don't know what it is about impersonations that are so fascinating to people but they're often hilarious, and Jack Black impersonating The Rock does not disappoint. From the 2018 clip you can't tell what prompted the impersonation but "Screen Junkies" interviewer looks to Black and asks him about his workout routine as if he's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

The comedian adjusts himself in his seat and doesn't break character the entire time and somehow the interviewer is able to maintain a serious face throughout the process. Kevin Hart and the actual Dwayne Johnson cannot keep it together while Black does his impression of his co-star.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Man lists 8 not fun, but very important things you need to start doing as an adult.

"Welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."

@johnfluenzer/TikTok

8 things you should be doing as an adult. Spoiler alert—none of them are fun.

Who among us hasn’t come into full adulthood wishing they had known certain things that could have made life so so so much easier in the long run? Choices that, if made, ultimately would have been much better for our well-being…not to mention our wallets.

But then again that is all part of growing older and (hopefully) wiser. However there is something to be said about getting advice from those who’ve been there, rather than learning the hard way every single time.

Thankfully, a man who goes by @johnfluenzer on TikTok has a great list of things young people should start doing once they become adults. Are any of his suggestions fun, cool or trendy? Not at all. But they are most definitely accurate. Just ask any 30+-year-olds who wished they had done at least four of these things.
Keep ReadingShow less

A woman was offered $200,000 for her dog.

For most dog owners, their pooch is a member of the family, best friend, confidante, and loyal protector. They would never dream of giving their dog away to anyone, let alone selling their pet. However, what if the offer was $200,000?

A TikTokker named Alexis Elliott says she received a “legit” offer of $200,000 for her Doberman pinscher puppy, but refused because she wouldn’t dream of selling her dog.

“Someone offered us $200K for our puppy, and I told my husband ‘absolutely f*cking not,’” the TikToker said. “Would you guys sell your dogs for $200k?” she asks later in the video. “Like, that is my baby! That is my baby. I birthed her. That is my child. Like there is no money, I would not sell her. But it just got me thinking, like, I wonder if people would have taken that 200K?"

Keep ReadingShow less