Come and Take It

"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas."

Howdy from Texas!

1830’s Texas was not a place for the fainthearted. Daily existence was as likely to be experienced in the state of nature, as under the protection of government. The town of Gonzales, capital of the DeWitt colony, found itself the target of repeated raids by fierce warriors of the Comanche, Karankawa, and other native tribes. The town petitioned the federal government in Mexico City to provide protection from the marauding tribes. The answer to the town’s request came in the form of a small cannon.

By 1835, the federalist system of Mexico’s 1824 Constitution had devolved to centralism bordering on totalitarianism. Heavy handed tactics by the central authorities spurred the Texian colonists towards rebellion. As tensions escalated, Mexican Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea demanded the return of the Gonzales cannon. To which the stalwarts of Gonzales, led by Alcalde Andrew Ponton, famously replied, “Come and take it!”


Our situation is not dissimilar to that of the Texian colonists. Like the men and women of Gonzales, we are confronted with the devolution of federalism, and a centralized federal Leviathan that encroaches ever more egregiously on the liberties we once took for granted. Fortunately, somewhat more intentionally than the 1830’s Mexican government, the Framers afforded us the means to secure our liberties. These means come to us not in the form of a small cannon, but rather in the form of the Bill of Rights, particularly the 1st and 2nd Amendments. The pen, and the electron, in the hands of free people, are far mightier than the sword.

The results of the 2012 election suggest that the tides of statism have swept to a new high water mark. This may be so, but liberty will only drown if we permit it. I, for one, have no intention of allowing that to happen. The principles of classical liberalism on which this country was founded, and under which our prosperity flowered, are as true now as ever. I intend to give them voice.


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