Lexington & Concord, the Shot Heard ‘Round the World
​Copyright Will Ghormley 2012

April 19th, 1775, General Gage sent out 700 British Regulars to destroy and confiscate the assault weapons hidden by the Colonials in the countryside, and arrest the ringleaders of the resistance. As the soldiers loaded into boats from occupied Boston, William Dawes and Paul Revere rode out to warn the citizens “The Readcoats are Comin’!” Already, the British had mounted several successful raids into the countryside to seize assault weapons and ammunition. In preparation, the Colonials had implemented an irregular system of communication known as “alarm and muster”. This form of emergency communication was so efficient, local militias were mustering 25 miles away from Boston before the British troops got off their boats at the Cambridge docks!

As the British troops marched into Lexington the morning of the 19th, Captain John Parker’s “training band” was arrayed on the Lexington Green in parade formation to greet them. Capt. Parker was a citizen of Britain and veteran of the British, “French and Indian Wars”. The “training band” offered no resistance against the vastly superior force, but were there to make a statement. Capt. Parker issued the orders, “Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

As the British column approached, the British soldiers rushed on the “training band” to intimidate and break their ranks. When the Colonials stood their ground, the British opened fire without orders. In the exchange, the “training band” returned fire and dispersed. Eight Colonials lay dead on Lexington Green from gunshot and bayonet wounds. One British soldier was injured. The British reformed and continued their march to Concord.

At Concord the British troops dispersed and searched the town. However, the local militias were converging in the hills surrounding Concord and the British Regulars would soon be outnumbered by the various militias. The British discovered and destroyed a stash of cannon too heavy to be moved, but most of the assault weapons, ammunition, and ordinance had been evacuated before the British arrived. Soon however, the converging militias began to engage the British elements dispersed through the town and countryside. The advance of the search-and-destroy mission of the British was halted, and then turned back. Soon, the British were in retreat, then in route. The British were continually harassed and engaged by the superior forces of the gathered militias, until the British received reinforcements as they neared Boston.

This deadly exchange of firepower, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, occurred before war was declared with Britain. Indeed, the bloodshed of Lexington and Concord took place a year before the Declaration of Independence was even penned! This pivotal event in the emancipation of the Colonies from British tyranny, was a direct result of the tyrannical confiscation of the Colony’s assault weapons – the only thing that stood between the Colonials and overwhelming governmental oppression.

This history lesson points out several critical points we would be well advised to consider. First, confiscation of assault weapons has always taken place before full-blown oppression can be put into place. This doesn’t just apply to the British, but is the pattern for the subjugation of every society by oppressive governments. Second, unorganized resistance to assault weapons confiscation meets with failure. If we learn from history, we don’t have to be like the Colonials and suffer lose until we are organized. Third, a system of informal “alarm and muster” has to be in place to effectively resist tyranny. Fourth, passive demonstration does not dissuade tyranny, and leads to bloodshed. Fifth, resistance must be by an overwhelming, numerically superior, and equivalently equipped native force to achieve the battlefield objective of Liberty. Let’s examine each of these points one at a time.

The confiscation of assault weapons: Why do I call single shot, muzzle loading flintlock weapons assault weapons? Because they were the military assault weapons of their day! They were the state-of-the-art in weapons technology! The Colonial Patriots attempted to arm themselves with equivalent or superior weapons to what they would encounter facing British troops. It would be suicide to resist tyranny with anything less than what Oppression would bring to the fight. A trained British infantryman could load and fire his musket three times every minute. When he was out of paper cartridges, (and presumably everyone else on the battle field had shot all their ammunition), his fixed bayonet supplied an endless supply of death. The purpose of the current “assault weapons ban” isn’t about killing kids, it is about putting Patriots at a disadvantage against the forces of oppression.

Let’s follow the logic of the proposed ban on assault weapons and hi-capacity magazines. “We won’t take your assault weapons or your hi-capacity magazines, but we will make it illegal for anyone else to obtain them legally.” First, murder is already illegal. If laws stopped criminals, there would be no crime already. Another law isn’t going to make any more difference to a criminal or madman than the thousands of laws already on the books. So, the next time we have an orchestrated or manufactured tragedy, we will be told, “Dang, that didn’t work. To keep the children safe we are going to have to collect all the dangerous assault weapons and hi-capacity magazines you foolish people already have. It’s for the children!” This is just part of the incremental disarming of America that has been going on for decades. The following statement from George Mason was recorded during the ratification delegation for the Bill of Rights in 1788.

“…when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.”

Remember, this statement was made while the delegation was considering the ratification of the Second Amendment guaranteeing American Citizens the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment was passed, recognizing the God-given right of every citizen to armed protection of our persons, and our Constitution. This is an unalienable right, meaning it is granted by a higher power, and cannot be infringed upon, even by changing the Constitution itself, (without being unconstitutional, or, against the law). Any assault on Citizen’s assault weapons is an assault on the Constitution. Only enemies of the Constitution, (and the Liberties it protects), assault the Constitution. We must defend our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic!

Next, we will examine unorganized resistance to assault weapons confiscation: As illustrated by the Colonials, Britain’s initial efforts to seize assault weapons and ammunition were successful. The Colonials didn’t considered Britain would strip them of such a fundamental necessity as self-protection and survival. They were unprepared and suffered loss as a result. Undoubtedly some individuals resisted, but the overwhelming power and might of an armed government against a single Citizen or family is impossible to defend against. These initial failures brought about changes required for self-preservation.

Third, an informal system of “alarm and muster” must be developed to successfully guard against confiscation of assault weapons and ammunition: The Colonials developed an informal system of “alarm and muster” to alert and mobilize Citizens against tyranny. This was necessary because “united we stand, divided we fall”. Benjamin Franklin put it well when he said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we will all hang separately!” Force can only successfully be resisted when met with equivalent or superior force. Forces can only be massed with effective communications. It is important to note this principle has not gone unnoticed by our government. A series of Executive Orders have been issued effectively putting an end to all electronic communications in the case of “National Emergency”. The Executive Order, issued July 06, 2012, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions”, locks-down all electronic communications under federal control during any “National Emergency” declared by the government.

This single Executive Order holds the potential for the governmental control of all radio and T.V. stations and their broadcasts, both publicly-held and private. It includes all HAM radio stations, all cellular phone communications, and the internet itself. No private electronic communication, or warning, will be allowed by the Federal Government when this Executive Order is acted upon. If communication and resistance efforts are delayed until the Federal Government enacts communications blackouts, the confiscation of assault weapons and indefinite detention of resistance leaders, (On December 4th, 2012, Congress passed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, extending Obama’s already-unconstitutional, unwarranted, limitless, detention of innocent American Citizens who face no “official” legal charges!), will follow without restriction.

For this reason, local “neighborhood watch” groups need to be organized in advance. A network of communication must be set up and maintained between each local neighborhood group. A non-electronic warning system must be put into place to sound the “alarm and muster” for each local group. I would recommend the universal use of car horns, sounding the universal code for assistance; the Morse Code S.O.S., “save our ship”. On a car horn, it would consist of three short blasts, three long blasts, then another three short blasts. This could be repeated as volunteers went throughout the neighborhoods, and even between towns, raising the alarm. With a total lockdown on electronic communications, this may be the fastest, most secure way to communicate in the case of unconstitutional governmental oppression. Of course, the use of cars does not take into account the thousands of drones now flying overhead monitoring U.S. Citizens. Use of “un-flagged” personnel and vehicles should be considered for this purpose, with intervals of exchanged predetermined to throw off drone monitoring. Redundant messengers would need to be assigned, (just like William Dawes and Paul Revere), to increase the chances a messenger remaining to continue sounding the alarm, (Revere was taken into custody before gaining his destination).

The next point is, passive demonstration does not dissuade tyranny: Capt. Parker formed his “training band” in parade formation on Lexington Green to send a defiant message to the British. Apparently, that message was interpreted as, “We are outnumbered, un-prepared to effectively resist in a significant military show of force, and will bravely die where we stand.” Eight brave Americans died that day. Their deaths did serve to rally support for Liberty, and embolden fellow Patriots to committing to the fullest measure of their devotion. Perhaps that is what will be required of this generation of Patriots. However, I would opt for a more practical and impactful approach to tyranny and unconstitutional oppressive government.

The last point is that unconstitutional and illegal governmental confiscation of privately owned and legally obtained assault weapons, must be met with overwhelming, numerically superior, equivalently equipped, well trained, and well organized native combatants with sound communications. If Patriots must die for their Liberty, and they must, then it has to be done in a significantly tactical manner, achieving in some measure the military goal of defending the Constitution. Too many Patriots have already died for the Liberties we were once guaranteed by our Constitution. Every life is significant to loved ones, and important in the defense of the Constitution. Not one single life should be cast away because of poorly planned, poorly executed, or a frivolous or gratuitous show of force or determination. Fight smart, fight viciously, and fight to win every engagement. That requires good intelligence, planning, communications, and the implementation of military tactics.

All of this is achieved with superior prior planning. Let not this generation of Patriots be caught unprepared for what we would consider the inconceivable use of force by a lawless, unconstitutionally restrained, rouge faux-government. It would benefit every American Patriot to once again study the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and the unalienable rights afforded us by our God, and canonized in our founding documents. I will leave you with this passage from the Declaration of Independence, drafted a year after Patriot blood soaked the soil of Lexington Green.

“But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

We do not need to “throw off” our current government, nor do we need “to provide new guards for our future security”. All we need is for our public servants to return to the Constitution as the rule of law, and constrict governmental actions to Constitutional limitations.