You know those T-shirts with really witty jokes on them? You read the shirt, you get the joke, you laugh (maybe) and then . . . the joke’s still there. The longer you look at the shirt, the less funny it seems. The best of the T-shirt humor breed have a zen-like quality; the humor lies deep within a philosophical conundrum. OK, I haven’t actually seen a T-shirt like that, but, like the sound of one hand clapping, I’m sure exists. Somewhere. On some level. Meanwhile, what are we to make of the $699 Sig Sauer P238 Liberty with its inlaid gold (yes gold) Liberty Bell? The ad copy gives us a clue . . .
Since its introduction in 2009 the P238 has redefined the role of a .380ACP caliber pistol for personal protection. The “Liberty” edition, available for a short time in limited quantities, pays tribute to our founding fathers’ vision of a society free from tyranny. The “Liberty” features a rendering of the Liberty Bell in 24K selective gold inlay. The text “We The People”, from the Preamble of the Constitution adorns the slide. Own the pistol our founding fathers would have been proud of – the P238 Liberty.
The P238 is a mini-me version of the 1911 pistol, a design created by [arguably] America’s greatest gun maker, John Moses Browning. Quite why you’d want a miniature 1911 cocked and locked in your pocket is a whole ‘nother question. Suffice it to say, the P238 is based on a classic design, not a classic in and of itself. Besides, the Colt Mustang got there first. And neither gun says Revolutionary War to me.
And while I’m kvetching, the Liberty Bell is cracked. As in defective. According to Wikipedia . . .
The following March, the bell was hung from temporary scaffolding in the square outside the State House. To the dismay of onlookers, the bell cracked during testing. Isaac Norris, speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, wrote, “I had the mortification to hear that it was cracked by a stroke of the clapper without any other viollence as it was hung up to try the sound.”
While a replacement from Whitechapel was ordered, the bell was recast by John Dock Pass and John Stow of Philadelphia, whose surnames appear inscribed on the bell. Pass and Stow added copper to the composition of the alloy used to cast the bell, and the tone of the bell proved unsatisfactory. The two recast the bell yet again, restoring the correct balance of metal, and this third bell was hung in the steeple of the State House in June 1753.
Of course, the crack is symbolic: something to do with “recasting” the role of government and human imperfection. I guess. Me, I like perfect bells and even more perfect [sic] guns.
Also, I’m not seeing a direct or artistic connection between the Liberty Bell and the “We the People” intro to the U.S. Constitution, especially in its overly ornate if original script. It’s a bit like peanut butter (an American invention) and Marmite (don’t ask, I won’t tell).
Botom line: gun tats are tacky. Some gun tats are tackier than others. Patriotic gun tats may stir the heart strings, but they run the risk of looking like something that belongs in a full page National Enquirer ad. And they conjure up strange scenarios. “Why did you shoot your wife’s lover with your P238 Liberty?” “In order to make a more perfect union.”
You know what? Screw it. It’s easy to snipe at people trying to celebrate America whilst making a buck or two (which is also an American tradition). I’m going to have a bash at this patriotic gun thing.
I’ve commissioned Lauer Weaponry to paint a [Croatian] Springfield XD-M with an American theme. When they’re done, I’ll have Americans pose with it and post the photos here.
After all, I am a proud American. I recognize that the right to bear arms is the foundation of our freedoms. OK, one of them. Brady Bunch and effete intellectual snobs (i.e. me) be damned. Watch this space.