True. A few of those militiamen-turned-revolutionaries are in the family tree. One of their immediate descendants wrote a book on the history of their town that includes the pre-revolutionary period when the Sons of Liberty were just getting started. More interesting to read about the daily lives of real people in those events than a typical history book would be. It's based on first hand oral accounts, letters, journals, and public records. Those early patriots got a little out of hand sometimes. He tells about them going around to individual neighbors’ homes with guns, tar, and feathers to force statements of loyalty from them, to remove local officials from office if they didn’t agree to join them, and about their refusal to appear in a court whose judge hadn’t pledged himself to the S of L. It got so bad that, from fear of "mobbing" and injury, neutral groups formed their own bands to surround individual homes for protection from gun-toting patriots on their way home from meetings at the local tavern.Minimalist wrote:purposed confiscating all civilian owned guns.
The use of the word "civilian" is mis-leading there. The British had equipped the Colonial militia with the standard Brown Bess musket/bayonet. These were not the private property of the miltiamen. Gen. Gage had information of Colonial ammunition stores in Lexington and Concord and sent a column to confiscate those.
The notion that the Americans were using hunting rifles is a popular misconception. Militia companies from the entire area came scrambling and popped away at the retiring British. Had they been using actual rifles the miserable American marksmanship of that day would be less understandable. The muskets were notoriously inaccurate but still, they hammered the British column by sheer volume of fire.
It's a little risky to romanticize or glorify the actions of the past as if they should and could be repeated in the present, under different circumstances. And we are in different circumstances today, thanks to a governmental system that allows for a change of power without coups and armed rebellions over partisan politics. We have votes, an amendment process, an impeachment process, and courts for settling disputes. Cumbersome at times, but in the long run, much more effective than political coups that can quickly get out of hand and be followed by still more, like a banana republic with no history of self-government. I like to think that we’re better than that because our founders left us an excellent governing legacy.