The formula for success in the Indiana General Assembly seems to be to set the bar low. With them, it's not so much reaching for the bar as not tripping over it.
The Republican-controlled Senate passed, and the equally Republican House is expected to agree, a resolution whose sponsor, Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Eat Leadville, hopes will make Indiana "the Silicon Valley of the firearms industry." The state's reputation for brain drain is well-earned.
Tomes' resolution describes the state's business and gun-loving nature (new state license plate motto "Your gun-a love it") and encourages companies that make or deal in small firearms to "Come on down" because the price is right. Not that it needed it, but the resolution got the Indiana Manufacturers Association endorsement.
IMA representative Ed Roberts told the Senate Rules Committee, which voted unanimously for the measure, that Hoosiers have more skill and experience in manufacturing than other states, and Indiana already produces much of the steel used in guns. It's what some might call the highest and best use for steel.
Roberts might also have mentioned how the state is a top source for guns obtained illegally for assorted mayhem not involved in the noble pursuit of blasting bunnies and orphaning Bambis. I'm not a hunter, but I can't criticize because my diet demands the deaths of several animals a week.
Guns don't kill animals. Being delicious kills animals.
Among the many other maniacal measures introduced in the session, the legislators have pushed for: a constitutional amendment against a nonexistent conspiracy, requiring the Lord's prayer in school, and preventing school shootings like Newtown, Conn., by arming everyone in the school, including the first-grade class's pet gerbil.
Why can't Indiana be the Silicon Valley of sports equipment, health services, social media, bathroom fixtures, or cheese doodles. Something other than WMDs. Indiana's reputation as one of the worst places to live, for humans as well as four-legged creatures (not including legislators), can't afford any more negative imputations.
The Legislature seems to be setting records for its diligence in moving issues that are either of no value to anyone or are detrimental to large numbers of people — the "people" being mostly the poorer members of Hoosier society. You know. Mitt Romney's 47 percent of the population who live only for the government's handouts.
Instead of filling the state with more guns, it would seem wiser and safer for legislators to concentrate its efforts on issues that actually help people. Like background checks before gerbils can buy an assault rifle.