Tennessee selects destructive book, gun as state symbols.


Welcome to my new series, Batshit Crazy Expeditions Through America. Let’s visit Tennessee, and the book that inspired the Inquisition and a thousand pogroms.

Bill to make Bible Tennessee’s official book heads to governor, by Joel Ebert (The Tennessean)

Tennessee is poised to make history as the first state in the nation to recognize the Holy Bible as its official book.

After nearly 30 minutes of debate, the state Senate on Monday approved the measure, sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, with a 19-8 vote, sending the legislation to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk.

Then, a veritable cannon.

Tennessee’s new official state rifle is so powerful it can ‘destroy commercial aircraft’, by Christopher Ingraham (Washington Post)

The Barrett .50 caliber rifle is a powerful gun. Widely used in the military, its rounds can “penetrate light armor, down helicopters, destroy commercial aircraft, and blast through rail cars,” according to a report from the Violence Policy Center, a gun safety group. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence describes .50 caliber rifles like the Barrett as “among the most destructive weapons legally available to civilians in the United States.”

And as of Wednesday, the Barrett .50 caliber is now the official state rifle of Tennessee, joining an illustrious roster of other state symbols including the raccoon (state wild animal), the tomato (state fruit), and Tennessee cave salamander (state amphibian).

Finally, lest we Hoosiers stoop to smugness, remember that Mike Pence is our governor, Ron Grooms shines the guv’s ideological shoes, and we have our own official state firearm.

Replica of Grouseland Rifle, the official state gun, commissioned for bicentennial, by Tim Evans (Indy Star)

Indiana is among six states where lawmakers have designated an official state gun.

In the other five, it is a type of gun — the Colt 45 in Arizona, for instance, or the Browning M1911 automatic pistol in Utah.

In Indiana, however, it is an individual firearm. Just one gun: The Grouseland Rifle.

At least the Grouseland Rifle can’t be used to shoot planes from the sky.

Cape Breton Island sounds better and better with each passing day.