The American Revolution was against British gun control.

 british gun control

The American Revolution was against British gun control.

  • BY: CARL HERMAN

The following excerpt of illuminating history of gun control in America is by David B. Kopel,Research Director, Independence Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law, Denver University, Sturm College of Law.

This Article reviews the British gun control program that precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events that changed a situation of political tension into a shooting war. Each of these British abuses provides insights into the scope of the modern Second Amendment.

Furious at the December 1773 Boston Tea Party, Parliament in 1774 passed the Coercive Acts. The particular provisions of the Coercive Acts were offensive to Americans, but it was the possibility that the British might deploy the army to enforce them that primed many colonists for armed resistance. The Patriots of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, resolved: “That in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by the strength of arms, our cause we leave to heaven and our rifles.” A South Carolina newspaper essay, reprinted in Virginia, urged that any law that had to be enforced by the military was necessarily illegitimate.

The Royal Governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, had forbidden town meetings from taking place more than once a year. When he dispatched the Redcoats to break up an illegal town meeting in Salem, 3000 armed Americans appeared in response, and the British retreated. Gage’s aide John Andrews explained that everyone in the area aged 16 years or older owned a gun and plenty of gunpowder.

Military rule would be difficult to impose on an armed populace. Gage had only 2,000 troops in Boston. There were thousands of armed men in Boston alone, and more in the surrounding area. One response to the problem was to deprive the Americans of gunpowder.

Modern “smokeless” gunpowder is stable under most conditions. The “black powder” of the 18th Century was far more volatile. Accordingly, large quantities of black powder were often stored in a town’s “powder house,” typically a reinforced brick building. The powder house would hold merchants’ reserves, large quantities stored by individuals, as well as powder for use by the local militia. Although colonial laws generally required militiamen (and sometimes all householders, too) to have their own firearm and a minimum quantity of powder, not everyone could afford it. Consequently, the government sometimes supplied “public arms” and powder to individual militiamen. Policies varied on whether militiamen who had been given public arms would keep them at home. Public arms would often be stored in a special armory, which might also be the powder house.

Before dawn on September 1, 1774, 260 of Gage’s Redcoats sailed up the Mystic River and seized hundreds of barrels of powder from the Charlestown powder house.

The “Powder Alarm,” as it became known, was a serious provocation. By the end of the day, 20,000 militiamen had mobilized and started marching towards Boston. In Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, rumors quickly spread that the Powder Alarm had actually involved fighting in the streets of Boston. More accurate reports reached the militia companies before that militia reached Boston, and so the war did not begin in September. The message, though, was unmistakable: If the British used violence to seize arms or powder, the Americans would treat that violent seizure as an act of war, and would fight. And that is exactly what happened several months later, on April 19, 1775.

 

Obama to demolish Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home in Chicago.

Reagan’s home could become a parking lot for Obama’s library

Is the scheduled demolition of Ronald Reagan's Chicago home politically motivated?  Photo: VOA
Friday, January 25, 2013 – Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad by William Kelly
William Kelly


CHICAGO, Illinois, January 25, 2013 – A new Cold War is brewing here in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and it has nothing to do with the frigid temperature.

The apartment building at 832 E. 57th Street was once the Chicago home of a boy who would become a President.

No, it’s not Barack Obama of Hawaii. It was at the apartment’s first floor window that a young Ronald Reagan looked out upon the world. 

But some powerful Chicagoans are planning to demolish Reagan’s historic home. Is it politically motivated? Is Mayor Rahm Emanuel behind the move? 

Reagan as a child.

It was a different world back in 1915. Reagan’s family had moved here from Tampico, Illinois. His father had gotten a job at the famed Marshall Field’s – now only a memory. A coin-operated gas lamp was the only home’s only source of heat.

But it didn’t stop a young “Dutch” Reagan from dreaming.

Young Reagan would watch the horse-drawn fire engines galloping wildly down the streets to save the day and he decided that he, too, would become a firefighter. It was here, too, that he survived a bout with pneumonia – he had the fight in him even then.

You can almost imagine him skipping down these streets, playing with his brother Neil,  whose nickname was “Moon.”

What makes a man great? And what makes a great president? Historians pen large tomes about that. Every man is the sum of his experiences – his loves, his losses, his achievements, and failures. How he sees the world and how the world sees him.

And this place – this place was a part of Reagan’s formative years – what he discovered and experienced here in Chicago helped him on the way to greatness.

Now, the University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Reagan’s Chicago home into a parking lot.

In 2012, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks denied Reagan’s home landmark status. The University of Chicago set demolition for January and the bulldozers quickly moved in. The wrecking balls are ready.

A “plaque” could mark the historic spot instead, say university representatives.

In January, Reagan’s home was granted a last minute stay of execution by the City of Chicago, at least for now. But the clock is ticking and it could be 90 days or less before demolition begins.

While the university is planning to kill Reagan’s home, University of Chicago is also aggressively lobbying to be the site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library.

Could the Reagan site become a parking lot for Obama’s library? Opponents of the demolition say yes.

There is good reason for them to be suspicious.

First Lady Michelle Obama and the president’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett are former top executives of the University of Chicago Medical Center. President Obama was a lecturer at the law school for twelve years. And let’s not forget, Obama’s Hyde Park home is here too. 

This is still Chicago. Barack Obama’s Chicago. Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago.

It is safe to say that Democrats don’t want any reminders of a Republican president named Reagan and his glory days a stone’s throw from a future Obama Presidential Library.

Better to raze the building now, than later. But do they have the right to erase Ronald Reagan from Chicago history?

Only time – and that wrecking ball – will tell.

William J. Kelly is an Emmy award-winning TV producer and conservative columnist. He is also a contributor to the American Spectator and Breitbart.com. He is a native from Chicago’s Southside.