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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chris Matthews vs Sarah Palin

Over at News Busters we have this item on News Commentator Chris Matthews suggesting that Govenor Sarah Palin gets in wrong when she links the Ride of Paul Revere to gun rights.  Their guess, and mine, is that yes, General Gage was out to take away the guns of the Citizenry of Massachusetts.  Apparently Chris Matthews not so much.

Maybe someone should "bookmark" Wikipedia for Mr Matthews on his computer.  He does have a computer, doesn't he?

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


Craig H said...

Semantics will always leave this argument impossible to settle.

For example, we can and should all agree that the battle at Lexington and Concord was fought to defend the Colonials' bearing of arms as part of their well-regulated militia, but it is problematic to extend that to infer an attack by the British army on a more-broadly defined "second amendment" right of individuals to bear individual arms. (Ironically and worth remembering, private ownership of weapons was so far beyond question in those days that it never would have occurred to any of the participants that restricting it would be an option--every farmer had a gun in his home, without which they could not survive, and nobody would ever imagine trying to take those away).

Simply put, the British army was not out to confiscate personal musketry from individual civilians, and the search of the Barrett farm should prove this to all: There were individual firearms in that house, but none of those were taken--the soldiers were only there to confiscate military stores: Concord militia gunpowder and two pair of bronze cannon. (Which were saved only by the guile of the women of the house, and not force of arms). No other houses in Massachusetts were entered forcibly by the army, and no personal arms, though ubiquitous throughout the region, were taken, or ever considered to be taken.

Paul Revere was carrying a military message to a collection of military organizations that they were to become under attack. No threat to personal arms was ever made or conceived. No "warning" to the British army was ever made or conceived. (They knew full well the countryside was armed against them--that's why they set out that day in hopes of secrecy).

The ignorance of the basic facts continues to frustrate, and I don't think we will ever get beyond it while individual gun ownership is the premise we are attempting to argue. It simply isn't relevant--only the context of the "well-regulated militia" is relevant.

As for "warnings", anyone implying a message to the British army is just plain daft.

Mimi said...


What came first? Sarah's comments or the Wikipedia entry supporting her point of view?

I like wikipedia but when the site is assaulted to promote revisionist history, I have to step back.

By the way, it was nice seeing you and Martha on Thursday.

C R Krieger said...

On the other hand, the source of the interesting and informative article is The New York Times, itself a "cult like" information source.  At least one gathers that from the comments from the prospective Editor.

Regarding Kad's point about the soldiers of General Gates not confiscating guns, some of those not confiscated were used against them.  COIN, which is what it was, is such a difficult form of politics.

And nice seeing both you and Kad Thursday evening.  Martha and I enjoyed ourselves, and the hotdogs and ice cream.

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...

Cliff, I think you might have meant Tom Gage--Gates (Horatio) was an American general who only joined the festivities later on, though in time to catch credit for the victory at Saratoga once Benny got stretchered off, and then discredit for trying to run a whispering coup against Washington later.

Regarding COIN, Gage bungled just about everything through his term as military governor. His philosophy will sound familiar to many modern-day would-be nation builders: "If force is to be used at length, it must be a considerable one...for to begin with small numbers will encourage resistance, and not terrify, and will in the end cost more blood and treasure."

I think it's fair to say occupation of foreign soil is an eventual loser in just about any and every way it's been tried throughout history, and trying to come up with new strategies defies both history and logic.

C R Krieger said...

Gates, Gage, those English names all sound alike to me.  Besides, I am a bad speller.  I am never sure if it is sweet or sweat for whichever thing it is.  I should go back and check my past blog posts.  But not just now.

Sometimes an occupation works.  In Germany it worked, because, in the immortal words of our baby sitter in Bitburg, Germany, "the Americans are not the Russians".  On the other hand, she is now an American Citizen.

And, Japan went fairly well (except for when a protest that went bad in about 1960 and some US Army postal clerks died when their truck was trapped in a tunnel and the fires and both ends suffocated them), but the cost was the use of two nuclear weapons and the Emperor saying enough was enough, back when the Emperor saying enough was enough was enough.

But, by and large, occupations tend to not go well.  Look at the US Civil War.  That didn't start to get straightened out until the 1960s.

Regards  —  Cliff