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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 15 December 2017 > In Guns we Trust

In Guns we Trust

To understand America’s obsession with guns, come to proud and DEFIANT TEXAS

Gildardo Rocha

Photographed at an Open Carry Texas demonstration in Irving, Texas. On January 1, 2016, it became legal in Texas to carry a handgun openly or concealed as long as you are licensed. That includes shotguns and semi- automatic rifles, such as the AR-15 and AK-4

“Come and take it!”

TEXAS AS AN AMERICAN STATE, LIKE TEXAS AS A REPIBLIC before that and Texas as a Mexican state before that, survived only because armed civilians did what their government could not do—keep them safe, keep them alive. Without guns, there would be no Texas.

The first Texans had self-defense in their DNA because Mexico back then was a continuing carnival of revolutions and counterrevolutions. The far northern Mexican states, including Texas, contributed little economically to the central government, and their defense was expensive, so the settlers were often left on their own. The most common danger arose because the fight to take Indian land that so greatly inconvenienced General George Armstrong Custer on the Northern Plains was just as deadly on the Southern Plains. The Comanches, like other Texas Indians, quickly adopted the gun culture of the settlers and took up firearms as swiftly as they could trade for or steal them.

The Texas Revolution, like the American Revolution before it, was touched off when troops from the mother country were sent to repossess arms given to a militia for defense against Indians. While the redcoats at Lexington Green came to clean out an entire armory, the Mexican army was sent to Gonzales, Texas, to retrieve just one small cannon lent for warding off Comanches. That cannon is now represented on a flag iconic to the modern militia movement, along with the reply from the citizens of Gonzales: “Come and take it!”

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About Newsweek International

IN GUNS WE TRUST This week, in order to understand America’s obsession with guns, we've come to proud and defiant Texas. Texas is an American state, like Texas as a republic before that and Texas as a Mexican state before that, survived only because armed civilians did what their government could not do — keep them safe, keep them alive. Without guns, there would be no Texas.
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