On Thursday, a resolution to designate the cannon as Texas’s official state gun passed a Senate committee.
That resolution, authored by State Sens. Don Huffines (R) and Lois Kolkhorst (R), argues that “the cannon has been an important weapon in the state’s fight for liberty and independence as well as a symbol of the defiance and determination of its people.”
The resolution described the Battle of Gonzales, the first fight of the Texas revolution, which Huffines wrote “was fought over a cannon” on Oct. 2, 1835.
“The 150 Texian rebels at Gonzales refused to surrender their bronze six-pounder to Mexican dragoons,” he wrote. “They pointed instead to the cannon and declared, ‘Come and take it!’
“During the ensuing battle, this memorable catchphrase and a painted image of the cannon itself were raised on a makeshift flag that was created by the women of Gonzales,” he added.
“Obviously the cannon is the most significant symbol we have for the state of Texas, our sense of independence, our strength of being responsible as individuals and not reliant on the government,” Huffines said before Thursday’s hearing, according to the Guardian.
Meanwhile, a resolution to denote the 1847 Colt Walker pistol as the state’s official handgun is before the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee.
Authored by Rep. Mike Lang (R), the resolution argues that the “pistol was historically crucial to the early survival of the great State of Texas.”
The pistol was the “first revolver ever purchased by the Army Ordnance Department,” according to the National Museum of American History. Produced only during a short run in 1847, the gun was the brainchild of firearms magnate Samuel Colt and Capt. Samuel Hamilton Walker, a hero of the Mexican-American War.
When Walker was killed in the Battle of Huamantla, he was carrying two of the revolvers.
The weapon carried such heft, Colt reportedly said, “it would take a Texan to shoot it.” It was so powerful, Walker wrote, it was “as effective as a common rifle at 100 yards and superior to a musket even at 200.”
Quickly, the Colt Walker became “a symbol of strength, authority and great financial means,” according to the American history museum.
Indeed, Lang pointed to these attributes in his resolution, calling the revolver “an essential tool in the defeat of the Mexican army during the Mexican-American War to reclaim Texas” and noting its status as “America’s first pistol to hold six rounds, otherwise known as a ‘six-shooter.’”
It also noted that the handgun “is still the most powerful black powder pistol in existence.”
Texas gun ownership is about 6 percent higher than the national average, and the state would be joining a small number of others that already claim an official firearm. The first to bestow such an honor was Utah in 2011, when it named the Browning model 1911 automatic pistol as its official firearm.
“It does capture a portion of Utah’s history,” state Rep. Carl Wimmer (R), who sponsored the bill, told Reuters at the time. “Even bigger than that, it captures a portion of American history.”
Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Alaska all followed suit.
But, because everything’s bigger in Texas, there’s more.
In case an official gun isn’t enough, lawmakers are also trying to name an official state knife. A resolution, authored by Rep. Drew Springer (R), to give the Bowie knife that honor passed the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee on Thursday.
“Forever associated with Jim Bowie and the heroic Battle of the Alamo, the Bowie knife has long been a vivid and colorful symbol of the history and heritage of Texas,” Springer wrote in the bill.
It also mentioned the knife’s usefulness as a backup weapon when guns misfired and how much Confederate soldiers loved the blade, on which they would often carve “Sunny South” and other mottos.
“Since the days of the Alamo, the knife has served as an evocative reminder of Texas’ storied past, and it is forever linked with the fierce and independent spirit of the Lone Star State,” the bill concludes.
“There’s room for all three, there really is,” Huffines said.
In related news, last week the Texas state Senate designated Chuck Norris — a native Oklahoman — as an honorary Texan.
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