Got your Colorado "heritage" gun yet?

Posted on June 18, 2008

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I’m not a gun guy. But I appreciate watching people being made to eat crow nearly every time. And today, one of my favorite Denver Post commentators, Ed Quillen, dishes out a steaming hot plate of Corvus regarding Colorado heritage guns.

It turns out that a Fort Collins company (probably American Legacy Firearms, although Quillen doesn’t identify them as the supplier) is offering up a Ruger ’44 with 24 karat gold inset. Unfortunately for the manufacturer, Quillen points out that there’s not much heritage in the Ruger ’44, given the fact that the ’44 cartridge is only 52 years old (created in 1956). And his pointing out the unfortunately common confusion of our National Anthem (“The Star Spangled Banner”) with another patriotic American song, “America the Beautiful”. Oops.

If you’re going to try to play on people’s patriotism, nationalism, or jingoism, at least get your facts right. It could be worse, though – at least the company didn’t try to move Alaska’s Mt McKinley to Colorado for political gain….

But what really grabs you is his three examples of true Colorado heritage weapons – the Model 1841 12-pound Mountain Howitzer, the Sharps .45-90, and the Colt-Browning M1895 gas-operated machine gun. The Sharps .45-90 was responsible for the wholesale slaughter and near extinction of the American bison by railroads and the Army as part of a concerted effort to commit genocide on Native Americans.

If you’re interested in the similarly checkered history of the other two weapons, I suggest you give Quillen’s actual commentary a read.

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