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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.

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  1. That is a wonderfully benevolent way to describe the Texas War for Independence.

    That being said, its tasty stuff.

    • Nick so when are we going to get a TTAG Texas Rye?
      Oh and make sure when you send me a bottle for my birthday it is signature only delivery.. 🙂

  2. Will do, y’all. Hopefully Sunday I can do some shooting and some drinking to celebrate as well. Local pub has a bunch of texas craft beers I can celebrate with.

  3. I think that, for the most part, the citizens of Northern Mexico would have remained loyal Mexican citizens if the Mexican Government would have honored the constitution of 1824. Surely, no other government would be foolish enough to violate its own constitution and risk the wrath of its citizens, would they?

  4. Wasn’t born here, but got here as fast as I could!

    “Texas is a women, she used to say, a big wild beautiful women. You get a kid raised up to where he’s got some size and there’s Texas whispering in his ear smiling saying..come out with me and have some fun. Hard enough to raise children any place, when ya gotta fight Texas a mother hasn’t a chance.”

    Four sons of Katie Elder 1965
    With John Wayne

  5. Yeah, it’s a great state.

    Just don’t jaywalk.

    Or open carry.

    Or stage a gun show.

    And what’s up with those enormous hats? Y’all look like extras from a Lash Larue movie, but your’re driving Mercedes automobiles instead of cattle.

    • Obviously, you do not understand that the sun in Texas is, for a large portion of the year, downright painful. Make fun of the hats all you like, it only takes one week here in August before new transplants find themselves hurriedly shopping for a hat JUST this side of a sombrero.

      • I know. I get it. Big sun, big hat. But there is a legal requirement that the hats must look ridiculous?

        It’s been said that cowboy hats and hemorrhoids have a lot in common.

      • I don’t know, sun gets bad here in Arizona too, but we have relatively few large hats.
        Though people working outside in construction do have some sort of hard hat/wide brimmed pith helmet hyrbid. Those often have a cloth neck shade in the back as well. If folks think a “cowboy hat” is odd looking, they have no idea.

    • I’m going to go stare at a very legal pile of 30 round magazines and contemplate your question Ralph. Then I’ll probably put a 19 rounder in my XD(m) and go walk around outside for a bit utilizing my shall issue license. I’ll get back to you with my thoughts while I wear shorts in February.

      • Just don’t let anyone see that XD, or Art Acevedo will have you doing the perp walk faster than you can say “What the Sam Houston!?”

        And though you wear shorts in February, you wear a bucket of sweat in August. People in Texas go to Hell just to get away from the heat.

        • Believe me when I say that Austin could do FAR worse, Chief of Police-wise, than Art Acevedo.

          He’s slicker’n eel sh*t, though, that one.

        • He has nothing to hide, just a normal guy, not my favorite; However, not my enemy.

          I LOLed, he was on Alex Jones the other day to talk about the “J-walking incident”, which it really wasn’t even Jwalking, but failure to obey posted signs (crossing on a red), then failure to identify…

    • It’s a liberal hellhole, I tell ya. You should avoid it at all costs. (fondles unregistered rifles of all calibers, dives into scrooge mcduck style mountain of high capacity magazines)

      • I said that the big hat looks stupid on a guy who drives a Meredes Benz. And I didn’t make up those links.

        • I have family in Lynn, I’ve been to Mass…

          And, I’ll keep my no jay walking, no open carrying, one county in the second largest state in the country without a gun show, big hat wearing ass right here.

          But, next time I’m oh-vah in Mass, we can hit the bah. It’ll be wicked owesome.

        • ROHC, when anybody attempts to prove the glorious wonderfulness of TX by comparing it to MA, they’ve already lost the argument.

  6. If you’re in Austin you should head down to Craft Pride on Rainey street. All the Taps are TEXAS taps. I grew up in NYC so your story is like mine. This will be my 1st Texas independance day!

  7. Also Sam Houston’s , proud son of Lexington, VA’s birthday. And mine! And the late Doc Watson’s. And the late Lou Reed. I could go on and on….

    Okay… that apostrophe after “VA” IS awkward; I didn’t feel like rephrasing it, and it would have suffered for it….

    Also: Rye Whiskey. BEWARE!

  8. I’ll be sure to drink a toast Sunday night. But I only have a bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve…..guess it’ll have to do.

  9. I’m pretty sure that the Texans forming their nation actually had a lot more to do with their desire to not give up their slaves than their guns.

  10. I will be celebrating with Balcones Texas Single Malt whisky. Texas is fast becoming a powerhouse in the whisky business.

  11. Gratz to Texas on becoming a state, I guess. The amount of ‘Texas f*x yea!’ in this article is mind boggling, especially given how many of you are f*cking yankee transplants to begin with. The texas government is only slightly less oppressive than most New England states, but you people wave the flag like it’s the last bastion of liberty on the planet. Get real, and eat less, every time I’m Texas I’m stunned by the number of grotesquely fat people you house.

    • I heart Texas – most of my family came out of Texas and some still live there, even if one of them is the crazy aunt from Hell. So, you wanna tell us how you REALLY feel now?

      Nick, thought you’d been in Texas longer than 2 years?


    • So, is there a reason a transplant shouldn’t be proud of their new home? Everyone comes from somewhere else. Unless, of course, you never moved out of your mom’s basement….

  12. And this is why C is not the guy who comes up with state mottoes. “F*** you, make us!” would most certainly be on a flag.

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