Liberty University student Riley Hayes and his friend John are traveling the U.S. on a 10-day spring break, stopping at historic and significant sites along the way in support of the Second Amendment and the movement toward National Concealed Carry Reciprocity. Follow along on NRA Blog!
We packed up from our stop in Texas at the Guadalupe County Rest Area, 40 minutes from the Alamo, and hit the road at 8:30 a.m. The drive into San Antonio when smoothly, and we asked a police officer who was waiting to direct after church traffic where we could park. He pointed out two spots on the street and told us to hurry around the block to grab one before they were taken. We got parked and went over a block and a half to the Alamo! Admission to the Alamo is free, which I really think is a great way to run historic sites, and it was very impressive to see.
When I was a kid, I watched Disney’s Davy Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier over and over, and I’ve memorized probably every Alamo ballad every sung, from Marty Robbins to Lorne Greene. Seeing the mission in person was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. They had living history folks in the courtyard, and we spoke with a fellow who had an interesting musket on his shoulder. John recognized it as a French design due to his experience as a living historian at Fort Ticonderoga, and the man explained that it was a Springfield Armory (the real one in Massachusetts) musket that closely followed the French design (Charleville) of the day. He equated the design to the AK of its time, since it was easy to mass-produce, quite reliable, and simple to operate.
The action and sacrifice of those brave men would inspire many more to join the fight for the independence of the Texan Republic. Just over a month later, Gen. Sam Houston won the decisive victory against Gen. Santa Anna, due to the swelling support for independence generated by the Alamo massacre. This sight is one I hope every freedom-loving American can someday see. You can walk the same ground that these men gave their lives to defend, while enjoying the freedom they hoped would belong to every Texan.
After the Alamo, we made tracks west again, and watched the landscape shift from green to arid. We passed by a cool-looking store called Apache Rifle Works in Comfort, Texas! According to their site, they have an indoor shooting range, and sell a wide variety of firearms to meet any need. The next several hours went by quietly, with the landscape continuing to change as we got farther west. Seeing over the fence into Tijuana, Mexico, from the freeway in El Paso was pretty cool! Obviously, the Marty Robbins songs "El Paso, El Paso City," and "Feleena," were blasting as we went passed through! The next state we passed was New Mexico, which allows Constitutional Open carry of a loaded handgun, so we were both covered!
Our next state, and the stop for day three, is Arizona. Arizona is likely the most Second Amendment friendly state in the U.S. I believe they were neck and neck with Vermont until Vermont recently passed a gun confiscation bill in late January. Until that bill, Vermont had been a great place for gun owners, but sadly that appears to be changing. Arizona, thankfully, is still very much a free state, and that was nice to know as we made it to Benson for the night. The weather was nice, and we slept like logs, excited for the next day’s adventures.