This coming Sunday is Independence Day in Texas, a time to reflect on the Republic that has adopted both Robert and myself. Founded after a rag-tag bunch of settlers refused to voluntarily turn in their arms to the Mexican government, that spirit of “f*** you, make us!” continues to make this state the best place to live. It’s been a bloody history at times, involving some of the greatest firearms ever designed, and as a tribute, the Lone Star State’s only combination distillery and brewery (Ranger Creek) decided to name their lines of whiskey after the calibers of those iconic firearms that helped defend the Texan way of life and keep the peace . . .
It’s about the most Texan thing I can think of; whiskey named after ammunition, made in a distillery that has those iconic firearms actually displayed on its walls, using mesquite-smoked ingredients and located in the heart of San Antonio. Austin has some nice venues, but after this weekend I think Tyler will agree that San Antonio has them beat on this point.
I grew up just outside New York City, a place where it was taken as settled science that guns are evil and no one should own one. That position was never questioned during my childhood, and many of my peers fell victim to that particular programming and continued on into their adult lives never stopping to examine their own beliefs. It’s a culture where anything related to guns is immediately shunned, and the quickest way to failure as a business is associating yourself with firearms in any way, shape or form.
When I moved to Texas, that was the first thing I noticed — firearms were a selling point, not hidden away, out of sight. Gun shows were being advertised on billboards across town with nary a “think of the children!” objection from the local mainstream media. And, of course, firearms-themed products were abundant. It was a completely new experience, and one that made me fall in love with the state immediately.
So as I celebrate my second Independence Day as a Texan, I’ll be sipping a little Rimfire whiskey and enjoying the fact that I live in a state that not only recognizes, but celebrates my constitutional rights. And maybe a cigar too. And I urge y’all to do the same, wherever you may live. Take a little time to enjoy the freedoms we take for granted. It can seem like a never-ending struggle to maintain and extend our right to keep and bear arms, but every so often it’s nice to actually enjoy the freedoms we work so hard to keep. Especially if, in doing so, you’re helping out a 2A-friendly business.