Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, April 19, 2018

On This, the 243rd Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord,
Be It RESOLVED....

...That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts be Forever Prohibited From Commemorating Those Most Sacred Battles.

The mission of the British soldiers was to confiscate the weapons and powder of the Colonials, to disarm the populace.

That's pretty much been the official policy of the government of Massachusetts, under both Republican and Democratic governors, for the last two decades, if not longer.

So it seems to me that, on a day when the men of Lexington, Concord, Woburn and Menotomy rallied to send the soldiers of the British Army back to their bases in Boston (without the weapons they wanted to seize), Massachusetts, now a state that is in the forefront of disarming the population, should be required to mourn the defeat of the British on April 19, 1775. The state should be banned from celebrating the victory of the Colonists.

4 comments:

3383 said...

Seconded.

BadTux said...

I might point out, the British mission was to confiscate the firearms and ammunition *STORED IN THE TOWN MILITIA ARSENAL*. Not to confiscate firearms in the possession of individuals. They were especially concerned with some brass cannon that the colonial militia had assembled. They could have cared less about the rifles and fowling pieces that were owned by individuals, they were after military weapons.

Which is a point I keep making about those who claim that personally owned and possessed firearms were a Big Deal in colonial Massachusetts militias: they weren't. Massachusetts had always had a collectivist streak when it came to firearms, likely because of their Puritan underpinnings where early Massachusetts communities were run more like cults than like anything we have today. Their militias were heavily armed, but the muskets and cannon were kept in town arsenals along with sufficient gunpowder and shot to make them of use, not in individual homes. Individuals may have owned rifles or fowling pieces (shotguns), but they did not have a musket at home because for personal use, muskets were basically useless. They were too inaccurate and too long and heavy to make good hunting weapons.

I've written long discourses on Colonial era military weapons and tactics elsewhere, but suffice it to say that most of what we "know" about the era is wrong when you study the actual military weapons, tactics, and science of the era. For example, there were no battles that were settled by colonials sniping from behind trees. Even Lexington and Concord wasn't settled by that, the British soldiers achieved their objectives, then headed home. The sniping was misery, but the sniping was because they hadn't brought their own skirmishers with them to counter-snipe -- the British knew very well (having defeated the French and Indians) how to deal with that kind of thing. They just hadn't realized they were going to war that day, rather than a modest police action to disarm some people who had illegal cannon.

And militia... there was a single (one) battle after that initial clash where militia made an impact. That was it, in the entire war. Everywhere else they were utterly useless, thus why George Washington inserted the militia clauses into the Constitution in some hope of getting militia that was actually useful (which turned out to be wishful thinking -- in the War of 1812, the militia once *again* were useless). Yet this mystique about the militia somehow winning the war remains, when the actual cause of the British basically surrendering was that they ran out of money. Seriously. The British Crown was bankrupt by 1784. Couldn't even meet interest payments on their national debt or pay the soldiers already on American soil, much less replace those surrendered at Yorktown. And the French and Spanish were threatening India, which was far more valuable than sparsely-settled American colonies. The British could have perhaps fought on by raising taxes but to do so threatened the loss of India. They ended the war to protect India, they didn't get defeated militarily -- even the forces at Yorktown were less than 1/10th of the British forces on American soil. Granted, most of those forces were in Canada or New York City, but there they were.

None of which is taught to American students in American K-12 schools, which instead are replete with jingoistic nonsense with no basis in fact. So it goes.

Comrade Misfit said...

BadTux, The counter-argument is that because of the risks of explosion, it was common for the community's store of powder to be kept in a dedicated magazine. People kept only enough on hand for ready use, which was probably enough to fill a powder horn.

Glenn Kelley said...

The important thing Badtux is trying to get across is that you don't have to win the battles to win the war.