Skip to comments.'Damn You, Why Don't You Lay Down Your Arms!'
Posted on 01/13/2013 10:52:25 AM PST by morethanright
"Ye villains, ye rebels, disperse; damn you, disperse! Lay down your arms, damn you, why don't you lay down your arms!"
~ British officer to American Minute Men assembled at Lexington, April 19, 1775, as recalled by the Reverend Jonas Clarke in his diary.
By Mr. Curmudgeon:
Of England's King Charles II, John Trechard wrote in A Short History of Standing Armies in England (1698), "... He came in with the general applause of the people, who in a kind fit gave him a vast revenue for life. By this he was enabled to raise an army, and bribe the Parliament, which he did to the purpose."
"The purpose," of course, was the maintenance of King Charles' royal power.
Standing before the delegates at the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in June of 1787, James Madison said, "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
Noah Webster, the famous American lexicographer of dictionary fame, said, "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any presence, raised in the United States."
Though little remembered by most Americans, the truth of Madison's warning against America having a large standing army became clear after the defeat of Britain at the battle of Yorktown - what historians call the "Newburgh Conspiracy."
Congress failed to pay the Continental Army -- in some cases for years. They issued promissory certificates redeemable in the future, and many of America's military men sold these promissory notes to speculators for pennies on the dollar to feed their starving families. With so many having fought, bled and died to secure American independence from Britain, officers serving under Washington wondered whether the price of freedom was too high.
"I own I am not that violent admirer of a republican form of government that numbers in this country are," wrote Col. Lewis Nicola to Gen. George Washington in a letter dated May 22, 1782, "this is not owing to caprice, but reason and experience. Let us consider the fate of all the modern republics of any note ... These have, each in their turns, shone with great brightness, but their luster has been of short duration, and as it were only a blaze."
Then Col. Lewis hints that with the army's help Washington might attain a title higher than Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. "Some people have so connected the ideas of tyranny & monarchy as to find it very difficult to separate them, it may therefore be requisite to give the head of such a constitution as I propose, some title apparently more moderate, but if all other things were once adjusted I believe strong arguments might be produced for admitting the title of king, which I conceive would be attended with some material advantages."
And with that, Col. Lewis appealed to what he believed were Washington's ambitions for power and wealth. But Washington was no ordinary man, and his written response to Lewis illustrates the estimable character of the "father of our country."
"I am much at a loss to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to an address which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my Country," wrote Washington, "If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable; at the same time in justice to my own feelings I must add, that no Man possesses a more sincere wish to see ample justice done to the Army than I do, and as far as my powers and influence, in a constitutional way extend, they shall be employed to the utmost of my abilities to effect it, should there be any occasion. Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your Country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your Mind, and never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like Nature."
And with that, one very remarkable man saved an infant America from a military coup d'eta.
Today, there is much in the news regarding President Obama's "commission on gun violence." Many reports suggest the president's potential ban on the sale of "assault weapons" is not likely to gain traction in Congress; that he will make the purchase of arms by law-abiding Americans more difficult through the issuance of imperial Executive Orders.
The Progressive left defines arms of military design as "assault weapons." The often-heard argument is that there is no need for average Americans to own military-style weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines; that the police and military - the enforcers of state power - should be America's sole possessors of such might.
To be perfectly blunt, this is because the Progressive left cannot conceive of an all-powerful government as oppressive - provided, of course, they are the authors of the oppression. This pathological need for total power is why a disarmed population and a standing army are so desirable to those possessing royal inclinations. And, as European royalty often said in defense of their total power, they "ruled by divine right." It's hard to contest the arrogant irrevocability of that argument ... especially when you're unarmed.
I don't make the argument in support of the Constitution's 2nd Amendment on the simple claim of home defense or hunting. I support the average, law-abiding American's right to own "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines to allow free people a modicum of parity with the military and police. That may seem shocking to Progressive ears, but it was a matter of common sense to the nation's Founders.
The original 13 states created a national government with limited powers, reserving the rest to themselves and the people. To insure the national government adhered to the compact, amendments to this arrangement forbade the national government from abridging free speech, conducting invasive search and seizures and royal infringements on the individual's right to bear arms.
The Founders understood, as expressed by Noah Webster, that an armed populace assured that "the supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword."
That said, the question for America's military and police is whether, if asked, they will carry out unconstitutional orders to confiscate legally-obtained arms from free, law-abiding Americans - or, instead, search the deep well of their conscience and tell the enemies of republican government, as Washington did, "... if you have any regard for your Country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your Mind, and never communicate, as from yourself, or anyone else, a sentiment of the like Nature."
Article shared using the Free Republish tool on Tea Party Tribune.
As an aside, there is a magazine-like book that is a collection of the recollections of those who fought at Lexington Green, on both sides, those who were just there, those who heard about it in second hand accounts immediately after, and those who were descended from those who were there, whose information was family history.
“What Happened on Lexington Green: An Inquiry into the Nature and Method of History”
Its purpose is to show history students all the complexity, arguments, lies, extrapolations, and biases that arise from just a single event. With the idea that, to be a good historian, you have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In 1792 the deadliest military weapons, the Brown Bess, the Pennsylvania Rifle, the Ferguson Breechloading Rifle were found in civilian hands from the Province of Maine to the Natchez Trace. Missisippi and Ohio River keel boats were armed with swivel cannon. Private trading forts in the Old NW routinely possessed cannon and every Yankee and Baltimore merchant ship and whaler possessed cannon for defense. This was the world into which the 2nd amendment was written and approved. Don’t ever tell anyone the 2nd Amendment was about duck hunting.
Why don’t you just come up here and try to take them?
‘’The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’’ It’s a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs’’.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO: The right to shoot tyrants, not deer.
By Andrew P. Napolitano; Thursday, January 10, 2013
The full article can be found here:
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution
is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision
to those of the British government.”
“If the colonists had been limited to crossbows
that they had registered with the kings government in London,
while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here,
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.”
“We also defeated the kings soldiers
because they didnt know who among us was armed,
because there was no requirement of a permission slip
from the government in order to exercise the right to self-defense.”
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We Americans..."We will when they are empty or you are dead!"
I don’t know why this article has to take a swipe at Charles II. I’m a great admirer of this humane and moderate man. It only goes to shed any even more unfavourable light on his fanatical, civilization-destroying, regicide enemies.
*** why don’t you lay down your arms!”***
This reminds me of what a Nazi officer said when the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto started fighting back. He could not comprehend it.
“Why won’t they come out and let us exterminate them?”
***”...a kind fit gave him a vast revenue for life. By this he was enabled to raise an army, and bribe the Parliament, which he did to the purpose.”***
And this is how both the 1968 Gun Control act and Clinton’s aw ban were passed. The states were promised huge amounts of money (pork) for “crime control”. Even John Dingell resigned from the NRA board of directors to vote for the Clinton ban.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Revolution is Duty of the People
IIRC none of them stopped to reload and a lot of them were shot while they were “falling back”.
Just letting you know I have absconded with your image. ;-)
The patriots learned a hard lesson on April 19th 1775 as to why not to "lay down your arms"
Obama wants us disarmed so he can rule (not govern, rule) the way the despotic, tyrannical rulers of Europe did.
That reminds me of John Stokes. He didn’t live to a ripe old age, though, dying of complications from being run through with a bayonet, having his eye put out and his hand lopped off by Banastre Tarleton’s Dragoons at the Waxhaws. He did live long enough for George Washington to appoint him the very first Federal District Court judge in North Carolina. My home county is named for him.
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