Today, Texas celebrates its decision—made 188 years ago— to assert its right to self-defense. The Battle of Gonzales, in which the town refused to return to Mexico a cannon that its inhabitants had requested for “the defense of themselves and the constitution and the laws of the country,” started the Texas Revolution.
By demanding a return of the cannon, Mexico, under whose rule Texas was at the time, prevented the Texans of Gonzales from defending themselves—and the Mexican government was letting them down. So, those Texans stood firm and defended their cannon. Emblematic of the battle, the “Come and Take It Flag,” which Texans continue to revere and use to this day, is sometimes said to have been created by women.
On this anniversary, Texas is again fighting for the right to defend itself and protect its citizens. A buoy barrier installed to deter illegal entry and human smuggling and trafficking into the state and country has replaced the cannon. Texans now face both the Mexican government, from which they gained their independence during the Texas Revolution, and our own federal government, which is demanding the barrier be removed, unconcerned that the latter is for its citizens’ safety. Texans are not alone in this fight though—we are blessed to have received reinforcements from fellow Americans, currently coming from 14 states.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation continues to support Texas’ efforts to assert its sovereignty and its authority to defend the border in the face of a complete dereliction of duty from the federal government.
Today, we announce that TPPF is launching a new initiative, born out of former campaigns Secure & Sovereign Texas and Right on Immigration: Secure & Sovereign Frontier.
Secure & Sovereign Frontier—and its team of three women: Melissa Ford Maldonado, Selene Rodriguez, and Carine Martinez—believes national borders matter.
We’re holding the federal government accountable for its responsibility to secure the border and we offer additional state options to address the border crisis. In addition, to advance those two goals, the campaign highlights the reality as it is: The government of Mexico is no longer a partner to the U.S. or Texas.
Secure & Sovereign Frontier will focus its research on issues related to immigration, border security, and U.S.–Mexico relations, to:
- Restore order and the rule of law at the border.
- Ensure Texas’ sovereignty by targeting Mexican drug cartels and corrupt Mexican elites in Texas.
- Protect Texans and Americans while enhancing the moral integrity of the Texas–Mexico relationship, which we seek to preserve.
- As the consequences of current federal policies unfold throughout the United States, Texas stands for the Rule of Law and has become a shield against Mexican drug cartels—for Texas and for the country.
In the 1830s, as it became clear that Santa Anna’s governance would clash with the Anglo-Texan colonists’ deeply held principles inherited from the founding of the United States, Stephen F. Austin understood it was time for Texas to prepare to defend itself. In his Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, historian T. R. Fehrenbach recounts Austin’s plan to foster armed American immigration to Texas as reinforcement to face Santa Anna and his army, and Fehrenbach to conclude: “What was at stake was more than mere boundaries.”
What is at stake today is more than borders and buoys. It is the sovereignty states possess to defend their borders and citizens and the conservation of the Rule of Law. Secure & Sovereign Frontier is committed to their defense.