Last week, our nation celebrated the 248th anniversary of the famed “shot heard ’round the world” which rang out during the legendary Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775. The battle was instigated when Thomas Gage, the British-appointed Governor of Massachusetts at the time, ordered British soldiers to seize arms and munitions being stored in the town of Concord. His order was given out of fear of colonial rebellion, and he believed that by taking away their weapons violent resistance to the Coercive Acts (dubbed the “intolerable acts” by colonists), and other tyrannical British laws, could be averted. On April 18th, 1775, the night before the historic engagement, two seemingly innocuous lanterns were lit in the Old North Church steeple in Boston; this unassuming signal alerted riders Paul Revere and William Dawes that the British planned to row their way across Boston Harbor to pilfer the armory. The two dashed off into the night, and as Revere rode through various towns towards Lexington, he drew in a host of fellow patriots and minutemen, so many so that by the time the British finally arrived in Concord they were met by a small army of armed and angry patriots.
A small contingent of militia led by Captain John Parker, himself a veteran of the French and Indian War, made first contact with the British the following morning, but the sheer size and swiftness of the arriving force compelled him and his men to urgently fall back and regroup. Several hours after the Lexington skirmish, the British garrison finally arrived at their destination in Concord. To their astonishment, they were immediately met by a fierce and well-disciplined line of hundreds of advancing American militiamen. Fearing the cascade of patriots moving down to meet them, the British made a tactical retreat, and a battle commenced. The British opened fire on the minutemen, but their volley was followed by a swift and deadly response from the patriots, a response which posterity has since known as the “shot heard ’round the world.” After enduring such a devastating line of fire, the redcoats retreated back into Concord before finally being ordered back to their staging point in Boston. Their retreat, however, quickly devolved into a general rout as colonial Minutemen pursued, ambushed, and fought them all along their way on “Battle Road”.
This battle was a defining moment for our fledgling nation, and many of the patriots who fought it later joined the Continental Army, thus setting the stage for the future Battle of Bunker Hill. Sometime during the battle at Concord, Bedford minuteman Nathaniel Page carried the flag displayed above into battle. Dubbed the “Bedford Flag“, it represents our nation’s earliest complete flag, with its origins likely tracing back to the beginning of the 18th century. Displayed thereon is the Latin phrase “Vince Aut Morire”, meaning “Conque or Die.” And indeed, should American patriots not have conquered their British masters in that battle, and in the titanic struggle for freedom and independence which was to come, everyone of us today might still be under the tyrannical purview of some British monarch or another.
Battle Road, Today
And yet, for as gallant and inspiring as the actions of American minutemen were during the Battle of Lexington and Concord, many “Americans” today are shying away from the principles these brave men fought for, and have even taken up a firm stance against the Second Amendment to our Constitution, claiming that our God-given right to bear arms is no longer as relevant today as it was in 1775.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
-2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
As though to insult the memory of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and the Americans who perished defending their rights, the Washington state senate last week passed House Bill 1240, a gun-control law which unconstitutionally bans law-abiding citizens from being able to procure or transport certain semi-automatic weapons in their state. Of course, one can’t help but to presume the timing of the bill’s passing was either intentionally done to mock our nation’s historic struggle in 1775, or is an unintended, if not curiously timed, coincidence. In 1775 we fought the British soldiers who sought to steal our means of self-defense, and today it seems many of our supposedly “elected” representatives are similarly hellbent on depriving us of our inherent right to self-defense, mimicking the despotic actions of the royal tyrants we gained our freedom from those several centuries ago.
And why is this so important? In 1775, the British wanted to seize the American colonists’ weapons because they didn’t want to face violent opposition to the Coercive Acts, which were designed to force Americans to kneel down and obey intrusive British laws by severely punishing offenders. Why would many of our nation’s lawmakers today be so adamant about depriving us of our Constitutionally guaranteed right to self-defense, the responsible handling and use of arms, unless they planned to pass laws which might incite the collective body of all red-blooded Americans into violent opposition? Only tyrants who snakishly desire to impose their bloodthirsty rule upon an unwilling constituency fear that same constituency to be well-armed and organized. And yet, here we find ourselves in this very predicament today, with many unscrupulous politicians putting out their dishonest calls for “peace and safety” as a pretext to disarm ordinary American families, thereby preventing them from being able to fight back against those who would do them harm. Little do these demagogues understand, or care, that criminals fear an armed victim, and would rather wrong a defenseless party than one prepared to fight back!
Surely the legislators of the once beautiful cities of Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago realize that the violent crime plaguing their streets isn’t the result of law-abiding citizens possessing arms, but rather, are the result of criminals being emboldened by soft-on-crime policies drafted and signed into law by their own quills? Or perhaps it is indeed their intention to increase crime, and further disintegrate civil cohesion, in a bid that can only be said to be an insidious plot to create a problem necessitating a draconian solution? That, or they are just simple, naive fools who don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I would prefer to assume the latter case to be more accurate, but we cannot neglect to consider the former, despite its dark implications. In what sane world is it rational for a legislative body to encourage shoplifting by reducing felonies to misdemeanors, and release criminals without bail to further harass the innocent public? Such are the policies of declining societies, and failed states, wherein the social contract has become so distorted between government and the people that the people have every natural right take to a new battle road and overthrow their now criminally-aligned leaders, and install new ones, a position which the English Philosopher John Locke so famously advocated in his Second Treatise of Civil Government.
Conquer, or Die
It is within the spirit of 1775 that every honest American should oppose any law or effort to undermine their right t0 bear arms, which is essentially our right to defend our own lives and properties from criminals, both those on the streets, and those seated in positions of power over us. Nothing could be more American than to assume the stance of the minutemen in 1775, and leap up from our seats at the first sounding of the call to arms! If any element of our state or federal governments should oppose our rights and pursue the path of disarming us, we must not hesitate to emulate the minutemen of 1775, lest we lose our freedom, and quite possibly our lives and the lives of those dearest to us. Make no mistake-only tyrants wish to disarm honest citizens, and rather than blame individual offenders, instead use the tragedies they cause as justification to punish the whole population for the evil actions of a wicked few. The problem isn’t the weapons, it’s those who wield them; we must all remember 1775, and why Americans first took up the call to rise up and stop the British from disarming them! A true American today would rather conquer their would-be oppressors before they had a chance to be disarmed. Once disarmed, there’s no longer a clear path forward to resist and overcome unimaginable tyrannies.