To understand America's gun culture, come to Texas
courtesy newsweek.com and Daniel Goncalves

“Living in a state where ‘vaqueros,’ cowboys, do not stand out in a crowd, and guns are just another dangerous tool that must be handled with care, it’s easy to have disdain for those ‘gun grabbers’ who don’t know the difference between semi-automatic and full automatic weapons. I don’t have bad feelings about those who advocate new gun laws with limited information, but I understand the friction when urbanites are brought to Texas by their jobs and find themselves living next door to somebody who owns enough firepower to turn back the siege of the Alamo singlehandedly.” – Steve Russell in America and Guns: To Understand That Deadly Obsession, Come to Texas [via newsweek.com]

102 COMMENTS

  1. “….somebody who owns enough firepower to turn back the siege of the Alamo singlehandedly.”

    This sounds like a fun intellectual exercise. What number of modern small arms would you need to turn back Santie Annie’s army at the Alamo, at a minimum?

        • *Platoon strength.
          FIFY

          A USMC infantry company is over 100 men with quite a bit of organic firepower.

        • One good quality .50 bmg rifle and a steady supply of ammo. It would outrange anything in the Mexican arsenal of the period, including artillery. Aim for officers and gun crews. The mexicans would have to back their lines so far out of range that they could not besiege the Alamo.

          Under cover of the .50 bmg the Texans could raid out and chop the Mexican units up piecemeal.

          One weapon. Maybe a week. And the war would be over.

        • 1 troop of Rhodesian Light Infantry plus a couple of New Zealanders to keep them laughing.

      • “43 Marines…” sounds like overkill to me. I think a Marine Rifle Platoon should get the job done. As for individuals, at a minimum, they should have: 1 handgun for each member of the family, 2 tactical 12G shotguns, 1 AR style (or comparable) for every member of family, 1 LR scoped rifle in 308 or higher, 2 breakdown rifles in 22LR and 5,000rds of ammo for every gun except the AR’s and 22’s where you should have 10,000rds for every rifle.

        • Texheim says: “1 A10 Warthog ala the movie “Final Countdown””

          There’s no A10 in “Final Countdown.” That movie is about an aircraft carrier thrown back in time to December 6, 1941.

          I’ve seen several Youtube videos featuring A10s, and one of them would have been impressive.

        • Big Bill; I’m aware there are no warthogs in Final Countdown hence the use of “ala” or “a la” which means in the style of. The style of a Worthog magically being transported back in time to defend the Alamo vis a vie the carrier being transported back in time to Pearl Harbor.

      • Does that include drones to do all of the work while the 43 marines jerk each other off (I guess one has to jerk two guys off at a time) about how they’re so brave for having overwhelming force against a couple of people with no training and outdated weapons?

    • “…living next door to somebody who owns enough firepower to turn back the siege of the Alamo singlehandedly.”

      A complement of the highest order! We should all aspire to this lofty goal.

        • “What happened to the Texas brag:

          One riot, one Ranger…”

          Curious – Did the Mounties and their “One riot, one Mountie” steal that from the Texas Rangers, or was it the other way ’round?

        • The origin of the Phrase ‘one riot, one Ranger’ reportedly dates back to 1909.

          How old is the Mountie phrase? If I google ‘one riot, one Mountie’ I get a bunch of references to the Texas Rangers….

    • Well, I’m not sure how many it would take, but I do know how many I would use. I like to think I would make Davy and the boys proud.

    • There’s an obscure sf novel on just this subject: “Remember the Alamo!” by Kevin Randle and Robert Cornett. A squad of modern mercenaries time travels to 1836 to change history.

    • Depends how leery you are of casualties on your side. Don’t forget, even their muzzle loaders are still a way to shoot back and they do have cannons.

      If you want to hold with the minimum force, a platoon and a few medium machine guns will do it.
      If you want to smash the army a company with light armor support will do splendidly.
      A battalion level force or a full MEU will get in its own way as there’s just not enough room to deploy inside the available structure.

      Don’t forget, these are basically Napoleonic era units you’re up against. At 1800 men, that’s a very small force for the period and would have very few maneuver elements comparing to a modern force of comparable size. (Squad level, and to some extent company level, tactics are still a good century away with Von Moltke the elder.)

      • Von Moltke the Elder was born in 1800, and the Franco-Prussian war was in 1870. The siege of the Alamo was in 1836. Hardly a century away. And remember, the Franco-Prussian wasn’t Von Moltke’s first rodeo. You, dear Serge have a habit of talking out your ass, but this may be a new low- at least as far as I have seen.

        • The standard infantry weapon of the Mexican army during the Texas war was the Brown Bess musket. Surplus from the British government and many had been at Waterloo. A few Baker rifles, but mostly smoothbore muskets.

          The Mexican army was very much into European style linear tactics from the century before.

        • Yes, I’m sure the squad and company level tactics as opposed to Napoleonic era centralized command that Von Moltke started the tread towards were totally being implemented in 1836… The reality is that they did not become common practice world wide until well into WWI and even then, only in some circumstances. That’s where the “century” came from. But please, tell me more about how Santa Anna was not using Napoleonic era command and control schemes to run his battles. (Which was my main point.)

          Have you been to the Alamo? Do you think there was room to deploy a battalion sized force within the available fortifications?

          You’ve refuted nothing I wrote while making an ass out of yourself. Congratulations.

      • I never denied that Santa Anna used Napoleonic era tactics. I was correcting your statement that Von Moltke the Elder, and his contributions to military tactics were a century away.

        • The effect of his contributions wouldn’t be fully felt until WWII, WWI at the earliest with German storm troop tactics. The point that Santa Ana’s Army would have battalion sized maneuver units, company at best, stands. Quit nitpicking and look at the overall context. You’re continuing to make an ass out of yourself.

          We can debate military history all day and talk about the Austro-Prussian and Franko-Prussian Wars until our fingers bleed, the point that Santa Ana’s tactical flexibility would be a joke by modern standards will still stand.

      • Oh it’s pwrserge, let’s let the guy who was in the service for six months inform us of military matters…
        I regard you as a freaking troll and so do many others.

        • Yeah… many stalker commie vermin who have no idea what my DD-214 looks like. Good for you. It’s adorable that you think enlisted service qualifies you to have a discussion on the history of small unit tactics. Rather than say… a minor in military history. Go fuck yourself with a chainsaw.

    • Hmmm…. A couple of ICE agents in a white paddy wagon with a big green stripe on the side ought to do the trick. They’ll scatter like quail. Problem is, they’ll just be back tomorrow

    • Hmmm…. A couple of ICE agents in a white paddy wagon with a big green stripe on the side ought to do the trick. They’ll scatter like quail. Problem is, they’ll just be back tomorrow.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if one belt fed machine gun of any caliber would have broken the government forces. At the time, Texas hadn’t declared independence, so both sides were Mexicans. The Alamo was flying the Mexican flag with the date of the Mexican Constitution sown into it.

      Santa Anna repealed the Mexican Constitution. The Wikipedia page for the 1824 Constitution lists the four “most important” resulting rebellions.

    • Sounds pretty spot on. It’s just another emotional argument from the gun grabbers.

      Why should I have sympathy for someone that chose to move into a state with a strong gun culture and be surprised when they live next to someone that owns guns? What did you expect was going to happen?

      • I know, right? It’s like going into the taco joint and complaining that all they have is Mexican food. (Which I have witnessed, as well.) SMH

      • Every state has a pretty strong gun culture when you get out into the countryside. I live in upstate New York. There’s a housing development not far away, it’s almost exclusively filled with transplants from the nearby city. In the local police blotter, someone there called the police claiming they heard shots fired. The blotter stated it was a couple of people target shooting, which has been going on for decades. The problem here is ignorant urbanites trying to impose their will on people. Sadly, it’s an affliction effecting the entire country. Some states are obviously getting it worse than others.

      • “Why should I have sympathy for someone that chose to move into a state with a strong gun culture and be surprised when they live next to someone that owns guns? What did you expect was going to happen?”

        Remember – They learned that tactic from the people that moved into neighborhoods that had an existing small (or even large, for that matter) airport that had been there since the dawn of civil aviation and proceeded to complain that they could hear airplanes.

        That kind of ‘community organizing’ has managed to close *hundreds* of airports across the nation…

    • More like “poor gun grabbers, they don’t know what they’re talking about our even why they’re afraid, so let’s take them to Texas and explain using small words,” I’d hope.

      • That assumes both that they’re willing to listen and learn, and that they’d be willing to adopt a live-and-let-live attitude.

    • You know, we joke about this stuff and these people and its all forever amusing. However, when you see it in real life, it’s just trippy.

      For example, earlier this week I had a business meeting with a man, a provider of professional services. This man is middle aged, trained and worked as a lawyer back in his Scandinavian homeland. He has lived in the U.S. off and on in four to five year stretches over the past twenty years, but always up in New England. He’s brand new to Texas. Here we go…..

      In our meeting, he incidentally made mention of a local gun shop, which is also a new client of his. (He had no knowledge of my involvement in the firearms industry or community.) He recounted how when he had visited the shop that week, he had seen the two employees open carrying. This. Terrified. Him.

      Even as he spoke, a couple of days after the the fact, there was still an unsteadiness in his demeanor and quiver in his voice. He was actually afraid of what might happen if people, you know, regular rights-bearing people, were allowed to carry self defense sidearms.

      This was a bizarre, even surreal, encounter to see an actual hoplophobe in the wild on the verge of a meltdown. I didn’t have the heart, or didn’t want to risk his heart, to tell him that as I sat across the table from him, I was armed with my EDC and BUG.

      • Last weekend I was at Sydney’s biggest gun shop at Horsely Park to collect my Ruger Scout. Even though I had a Permit Tp Acquire AND a deposit, I still had to wait 20 minutes to get served. The shop was rocking! While waiting I looked at the items on the walls, what people are buying, and struck up some conversation with other customers. I thought it was good to see a busy gun shop. And the anti-gun people would freak out at the sight.

      • I remember the first time I say a non-cop open carrying. I was probably 18-22 years old. It was before I had ever fired a gun. (Which was in law school; I didn’t grow up with guns, unfortunately). I wasn’t in Texas and my only thought was “is that legal.” It was in a city I had gone to at least twice a year every year of my life in a state I frequented more.

    • Agreed. You know you’re a gun guy when you see the photographers name, Goncalves, and you think – Oh, like Goncalo Alves, the wood that used to be used in S&W revolver grips!

  2. Hmmm…. Safe minimum? A National Guard Infantry Platoon could stop Santa Anna dead in his tracks. Once the SAWs open up the fight would pretty much be over and you could cut that even further if you go with a scout platoon with a couple Bradleys and a couple up armor Humvees it gets even better running a tank platoon with 2 Abrams and 1 Bradley. Bare minimum? A good Infantry squad either Army or Marines with full load out could get the job done.

    • and/or a 120mm mortar section.

      For me I prefer a section of ‘four deuce’ over the 120mm.

      Do a couple 100 or 200 meter zone missions with fuse set to prox.

      Just need a good FO and some bored 11 Charley’s. It would be over in 10 minutes. Easy Peasey.

      • Was waiting to see if somebody would bring out the mortars. Yep, the 120s would do the job just fine, a good FO, using just direct lay, and he would wipe out the entire command section and all of their cannon support…then just start dropping steel death on the poor infantry

  3. “…I understand the friction when urbanites are brought to Texas by their jobs and find themselves living next door to somebody who owns enough firepower to…”

    Visit / move to a new place and then complain & be surprised that it’s not like the old place. Basically, the stereotypical view of how Americans act abroad; or, for that matter, about Texans in other parts of the US.

    (FWIW, I’ve lived abroad and traveled enough to run into the former (and done my best to not be that guy), and as a NM resident am admittedly guilty of being wary when I see a TX license plate.)

  4. What did Daniel Boone say to Davie Crocket when he looked over the walls and saw 6,000 Mexicans? I didn’t know we were hanging dry wall today…

  5. WAIT!!! I have the cure for all this crap! Okay just follow me here…. How about we all leave everybody else alone? Let them believe whatever they wanna believe, let them buy whatever they want, and let them do them and you do you. Neighbor owns an arsenal (literal arsenal not 6 pistols and 2 rifles)? Cool don’t hang out at his house then if you don’t like it. Guy walkin down the street with an M14 slung on his chest? Awesome long as he ain’t shooting let him be. Gay neighbor? good for him or her let em be. Hate democracy but love socialism? Be as socialist as you want but don’t try to force everyone else to do it too. See how easy that is and how much it cuts down on the stress in your life? Great ain’t it… Anyway when you move to a new place keep in mind YOU are the outsider nobody in that place should have to change their culture to revolve around you! You should work on fitting in with their culture and making your own spot in the hierarchy. Your goal should be to eventually be part of the community not make the community part of you as so many liberals are want to do.

      • I know… Sadly too many fuckers wanna worry about the neighbor next door’s shit. Especially in my neighborhood, my next door neighbor finds it apprpriate to sneak over at night, pick up any paper or trash in my yard and deposit it on my wife’s SUV. Since I don’t have video surveillance or trail cams up she just gets a speech from the county Sheriff when she does it. Then she calls the Sheriff on us for our after dark playtime trying to say I’m assaulting my wife. Yes it sounds like it with all the noises but it is totally consentual and safe. Makes it difficult to engage in our chosen lifestyle when we have to get dressed in normal pajamas to answer the door and tell the sheriff what’s going on every time we get into a rhythm.

        • “More seriously, I would install a sprinkler system.”

          Larry gets it.

          I like the cut of you jib, sir!

          Rig up a motion-sensing outdoor floodlight to toggle a solenoid water valve plumbed to pre-aimed pop-up yard sprinklers.

          She should get the message, especially if you carefully aim the sprinklers so that the water falls only on your property…

        • I was thinking mortar simulators, trip flares, and paintball claymores…. Then again the sprinklers would be less likely to get the bomb squad called out….

    • ATFAgentBob,

      “How about we all leave everybody else alone? Let them believe whatever they wanna believe, let them buy whatever they want, and let them do them …”

      Progressives refuse to do that. They, especially their feelings, are a god unto themselves. There is no timeless all-encompassing standard of right and wrong.

      Since Progressives have strong, STRONG I TELL YOU!, feelings about people who are different wrong, Progressives go after such people and demand, DEMAND I TELL YOU!, that such people conform to their Progressive standard.

      Unfortunately, Progressives are so Hell-bent in their desire that they ask government to force compliance and threaten imprisonment/death for anyone who refuses to comply.

      • Yes unfortunately no one can be left alone anymore and everything offends someone and God knows you have the right THE RIGHT DAMN YOU! to live a life free from exposure to anything offensive. Sucks that this is what society has become, a large part of the population offended by everything from Barney Fife (possibly the most inoffensive character ever) to the color palette used on Barney the Dinosaur’s costume! This is far beyond ridiculous and until people stop using the court system to pursue a big payday and using the government to guarantee their right to be free from offensive items, ideals, and behaviors this will not change. I’d rather have my freedom and have to deal with offensive things than give all my freedoms away at the expense of someone else’s pwecious feewings. FUCK THEIR FEELINGS! LEAVE MY FREEDOMS ALONE AND LEARN TO DEAL WITH BEING OFFENDED AND A LITTLE SCARED BY LIFE! If you aren’t a little scared of life you just ain’t living it right.

    • I was about to post the same thing. This is a constant hassle with my nephews. Crazy uncle shouting “keep the muzzle out of the dirt!”

  6. I think the characterization of owning certain tools without prohibitively onerous bureaucratic red tape as a “dangerous obsession” tells me all I need to know about the article’s perspective, and lack of objectivity.

  7. I’m still clinging to my guns and religion, but my bitterness levels are rising with this influx of failed state refugees fleeing their messes and bringing their same destructive politics here.

    There should me a twenty year moratorium on new residents voting in their new state.

  8. What does it say about you that you fear your neighbors that bad, but nobody else does?

    When you come from a place that everyone lives on top of one another like a ball of snakes, or you can reach to shake your neighbors hand just by opening each of your kitchen windows, then it’s up to you to notice that your neighbors running your town hate you, and don’t trust you with any threat that they reserve for themselves. They’re the problem and you are part of it.

  9. I still find people’s stereotypes of Texas amusing. Also, don’t use the word vaquero if you don’t know it’s not the same as a cowboy.

    When urbanites move to Texas, they usually move to — wait for it — urban areas. Another thing I don’t get is why someone having guns next door would be a source of “friction.”

    Urban areas, even in Texas, aren’t a 24/7 Open Carry Rally. In fact, I’ve only seen three open carries in a year and a half. The last one was changing someone else’s tire on the side of the road. Public image and relations for the win.

  10. Instead of time-traveling Marines back to 1836, time-travel Santa Anna’s legions forward to the ‘hoods of Chicago, Detroit, or Baltimore, circa 2107. He’s done.

    By the way, the gun culture of Texas is far superior qualitatively than the gun “culture” in the urban Northern ‘hoods.

  11. Good grief, I can’t allow this sort of ignorance to slide:

    “Living in a state where ‘vaqueros,’ cowboys, do not stand out in a crowd…”

    OK, vaqueros are not cowboys, and vice-versa. Vaqueros (a term which morphs into “buckaroo” in the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain west) absolutely do stand out in a crowd with all their dressy bling, Wranglers tucked into their high boots, their jeweled spurs and such. They’ll often be heard to utter such phrases as “if’n it can’t be done from horseback, I ain’t doin’ it!” Oftentimes after they’ve said this, the ranch owner or manager goes looking for a cowboy, because few cattle operations have jobs for people who won’t get their ass out of a saddle.

    Cowboys, on the other hand, often dress in some pretty ordinary clothes, little to no jewelry, a gimme cap, and they usually have to move cattle, bale hay and fix fencing all in the same day. They don’t look like anything special walking down the street, other than tired and dirty.

    Want to see the difference between the two? Go to the Cowboy Poetry Festival, which is held in Elko in January. You’ll see the difference between buckaroo and cowboy, plain as day.

    This is Lesson #32,767 from the book “How to Spot a City Slicker in The West.”

  12. I think a dozen angry lesbians in pussy hats would scare off Santa Ana and his army, once they trotted out Gloria Allred.

  13. Pump scattergun
    Old Black Lab
    Bet he’s got a Jon Boat

    TX and GA, not too disimilar, except we’re more into center console Mako’s.

  14. That could be a “Caption this” contest photo. What is he doing to that poor dog?

    Don’t like how they live in Texas? Go back to your safe space in Commiefornia, ya snowflakes!

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