Vincent Gordon Buckles took a star turn during his three years on “Sons of Guns,” a reality TV show aired on the Discovery Channel.
While the camera recording the show is unflinching and shows almost everything, it missed a key part of Buckles life.
Buckles appears to be a member of the neo-Confederate group League of the South, a racist organization that sees itself as a protector of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and an ethnic insurgency in a more diverse America.
But, he’s not making that association widely known. Buckles goes by “Gordon Lockerbie” among League of the South members, as well as in profiles on Facebook and Gab, the right-wing Twitter knockoff where racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia is rampant.
Buckles, who runs a pair of gun shops in Gonzales, Louisiana, outside of Baton Rouge, appears to have taken over as a group-wide leader in Louisiana from John Mark “Tiny” Malone, who served as the LOS’s director of security and intelligence.
Malone, who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, vanished from the group after the Southern Poverty Law Center made his identity known in June 2017.
In Malone’s former position Buckles likely handles intelligence and logistics for League of the South all the while running Mesa Kinetic Research, which offers a “Build your own AK with Vince Buckles and Larry Vickers” at a local shooting range.
A public records search shows that Buckles, a Michigan native, once lived on Locherbie Avenue in Beverly Hills, Michigan, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit.
Statements in public forums and photographic comparisons of the two men, including identical tattoos in pictures of both, link Buckles to the “Gordon Lockerbie” persona.
Who is Vince Buckles?
Buckles, 39, is a Detroit, Michigan, native who learned gunsmithing at the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh in 2004. He got into the trade while working in a machine shop in southern Michigan when he was 22 years old and heard co-workers talk about guns and making guns.
“It was a pretty quick transition,” Buckles told smallarmsreview.com in November 2013. “I picked up everything I owned in Michigan and moved to Pittsburg for a year and a half of full-time, 45 hour a week training then moved to Louisiana straight after that.”
Once in Louisiana, Buckles bounced around to a few different gun shops before landing at Red Jacket Firearms in Baton Rouge. The gun outlet, run by Will Hayden, would become the subject of the Discovery Channel’s reality show “Sons of Guns,” which aired from 2011 through 2014.
The show’s cancellation coincided with Hayden’s on charges of aggravated rape and forcible rape. Hayden was sentenced to two life sentences at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for sexually assaulting two preteen girls in East Baton Rouge Parish, one in the early 1990s and the other several years ago.
Buckles left the show as a full-time participant before Hayden’s arrest, but has been outspoken about what happened to his former colleague.
“There’s so much solid evidence that i (sic) don't need 12 people to convince me he's guilty,” Buckles wrote on Hayden’s now-deleted Facebook page. “The man can't give a solid TV one liner without 5 takes. I wanted so bad for the initial arrest to be bulls*. I knew it would ruin so much if it was true. But I won't defend a guilty man just because I wish it wasn't true.”
Now, Buckles, a former touring musician with Bite the Curb — a term associated with Edward Norton’s character in the movie American History X in which someone is attacked and their face is forced to the curb of a street, then stomped on — and American Outlaws, runs Mesa Kinetic Research, which custom builds AK-47s and other firearms for customers like ATAT Development Group and Khyber Pass Tactical, a retail gun outlet in Gonzales, Louisiana.
A more radical League
Buckles ascension in the organization comes as League of the South founder Michael Hill is pushing the group further to the right.
In a May 1 post on the League of the South website, Hill said the group has changed and “you adapt or perish.” The League remains consistent in the belief that white men and Southerners are the dominant race, Hill wrote.
“But yes, we have radicalized by openly and directly addressing the Negro (and general dark-skinned) Question and the Jew Question,” Hill wrote. “We are de facto and openly professed White/Southern nationalists, meaning that we seek to restore the South to the dominance of the White man and to make it our own ethnostate for our posterity. “
Buckles’ public statements in interviews and in YouTube videos appear to fit in with Hill’s shift to a more radical stance. Gordon Lockerbie’d Facebook page features multiple photos of Confederate flags as well as a link to a petition to outlaw Antifa groups in Alabama.
Buckles, in a video posted to his YouTube page, said the Second Amendment gives people “the right to form a militia.”
“To have an artillery battery was really … the issue,” said Buckles, who’s page also includes a link to a League of the South documentary from 2014. “Technically, under the Second Amendment, as long as I’m not firing inappropriately, I should be allowed to have a triple seven howitzer on my front lawn.”