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Apr 23 2013

Lexington and Concord

Recently, there has a been a lot of debate over the second amendment and how it applies to current times. Eventually, it all comes back to Lexington and Concord and “the shot heard round the world”. On Wednesday, April 19th of 1775 at Lexington and Concord, American patriots defended their rights against an armed military that intended to enforce a rule of tyranny by confiscating weapons.

The British army, which had occupied Boston for several years, had adopted a strategy of disarming local militias to prevent them from being able to resist British rule. The Massachusetts militia was collecting caches of weapons and ammunition at Concord. When British intelligence reported this, Lt. Col. Francis Smith was ordered to take about 700 British regulars and destroy the caches. Before they arrived in Concord, most of caches had been moved or dispersed, but they were able to damage some cannons found buried at a tavern and when they found food and musket balls stored in the village meetinghouse, they threw them into a millpond nearby.

The record shows that there was an exchange of deadly gunfire at Lexington, along the way to Concord. At Concord, there was another deadly skirmish at the North Bridge and eventually the British troops began to withdraw back toward Boston. Several thousand American “Minutemen” (although mostly a hundred or so at a time) ambushed and harrassed the British troops throughout their return to Boston and managed to kill 73, wound 174 and capture 53 British, compared to losses of 49 killed, 39 wounded and none captured.

This was the incident that sparked the American Revolution. The need to rise up and defend basic human rights with violent force when necessary is the essence of the Declaration of Independence. The need to disperse power and create checks and balances in government and offer guarantees of rights drove the debates that ended in our Constitution. The second amendment is not about hunting or defending against violent criminals. It is about Lexington and Concord.

The word is about, there’s something evolving
Whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
They say the next big thing is here
That the revolution’s near
But to me it seems quite clear
That it’s all just a little bit
of history repeating

– Shirley Bassey

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US Declaration of Independence