Texas is unique. Not to say that the other 49 states in America aren’t special, but Texas has a very unique history to it. It started out as a part of the Spanish Empire, then became a part of Mexico when Mexico became independent. Then American settlers began to move in. One thing led to another and Texas had its own war for independence! For about a decade, Texas operated as its own nation. It joined the United States in 1846, joined the Confederacy for the Civil War, and then rejoined the United States. At long last, Texas settled down and became the awesome-est state in the Union ever!!!
Of course, anybody who has lived their life in Texas has had the idea of secession. Few are ever serious about it, it’s just a fun little fantasy history buffs and writers have. “What if Texas became its own country again?” Of course, that will probably never happen. Texas neither has the legal authority, nor any really good reasons, to leave the United States.
And then there’s the group that says Texas already is independent, and it’s never joined the United States at all! The group that claims that is called “The Republic of Texas.” They claim that Texas has never been a part of the US, and that they are the real political authority of the “country.” This organization has their own minted currency, “sessions of congress,” and a strange belief that Oklahoma is infringing on national borders.
While generally a harmless group comprised of old-timers with a slight obsession with Texas history, The Republic has, at times, become violent:
In 1997, the group’s leader at the time, Richard L. McLaren, and his supporters abducted a West Texas couple and held them hostage, leading to the standoff. A member of the group was shot and killed in the gun battle. Mr. McLaren surrendered and remains in state prison. Other members have been charged over the years with assault, forgery, the impersonation of an officer and, in a 1998 federal case, threats to use a weapon of mass destruction.
The Republic of Texas has gotten a big publicity boost, due to a police raid on one of their “congressional sessions” last Valentine’s day. Nobody was arrested in the raid, just a few fingerprints taken and cell phones confiscated. In fact, the only thing that has come about of this raid was to make the Republic of Texas write an angry letter.
Paul Robert Andrus, who was among those detained, filed documents accusing the sheriff’s lead investigator of “trespass upon liberty.” He demanded $3 million in gold, money order “or any combination necessary thereof.”
$3 million in gold? That seems like fair compensation. Now, did the police overreact with this raid? Maybe, it does seem like a pointless show of force. Still, considering that the group does have a history of violence (and the fact that they legitimately believe they are outside of federal jurisdiction) it was probably best to play it safe.
(But still, imagine the outcry there would’ve been if this had happened at a mosque or a political rally. Oh boy, the media would have fun with that!!!)