the Wild West

Photo via Chris Bickham (CC-BY)

'I thought Trump's comment was a bit racial myself.'

Donald Trump’s comments on “bad hombres” during the third and final presidential debate sparked a flurry of memes and Twitter jokes. It also sent people googling the phrase, which inevitably led them to BadHombres.com.

Unlike NastyWomenGetShitDone.com, a URL Hillary Clinton’s campaign quickly snapped up and redirected to her official site, Bad Hombres doesn’t provide subtle, contemporary commentary on Trump’s characterization of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. as “drug lords,” nor is it a reflection on the speed with which political gaffes become overplayed jokes in the internet era.  

It’s a completely sincere tribute to three of the most iconic outlaws of the Wild West—Billy the Kid, Black Jack Ketchum, and Bill Doolin—that’s been around for well over a decade, and its owner doesn’t want anything to do with the Republican presidential candidate.  

Bad Hombres was created in 2000 by Karl Franklin, a 58-year-old Army veteran who lives in Roswell, New Mexico. He sells unique parking signs, license plates, and license plate frames for a living on Etsy and eBay, as well as on his two sites, Clankys and PecosSigns. Bad Hombres is his outpost for his interest in the American West, one that ties directly to his commerce operation. 

He doesn’t update very often. The note at the top of the site, which states the site is being rebuilt after being compromised, is more than a year old. It’s just that not much has changed since then. 

Trump’s mention of “bad hombres,” however, sent an unprecedented number of visitors to the site.

“After Trump mentioned Bad Hombres, holy crap, my site blew up, so much traffic it shut it down,” Franklin told the Daily Dot. 

At 9:33pm MT, Bad Hombres was forced offline after receiving 1,043,000 hits within about a 15-minute span. His website host told him that the site’s counter kept resetting every 1 million hits, and that that likely happened at least six times. 

Franklin finally got the site back up this morning, and he’s still getting around 5,7000 hits per hour. He also noted that the site received “thousands of hits from Russia last night. Gulp.”

So what does Franklin, a self-described “American patriot” with an affinity for outsiders who operate outside the law, think about Trump’s remarks and his presidential campaign?

“I thought Trump's comment was a bit racial myself,” he said. “I am not a Trump fan, well I guess you could say I am more of an anti-Trump fan than anything. As he says over and over so eloquently: 'Wrong.’”

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