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The Spirit of King George III live on CNN.
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Let’s begin with an incident that took place on the night of March 5, 1770. An incident known in America as the Boston Massacre.
After endless provocations by the British government — more of which in a moment — angry Bostonians gathered at the government’s custom’s house, known in the day as the “King’s Chest” because it stored the revenue from custom’s taxes. The mob — led by among others an African-American runaway slave named Crispus Attucks — surrounded the lone British sentry and began to taunt him. Reinforcements arrived in the form of British troops. Insults were hurled by angry colonists who brandished clubs — but no guns. A soldier was knocked to the ground in the turmoil — and abruptly the command “fire” was heard.
In a blink, wrote Stanford University Professor John C. Miller in his 1943 book Origins of the American Revolution, “five Bostonians lay dead or dying” — one of them Crispus Attucks.
Faced with an armed attack — by guns in the hands of the government — Miller writes:
The streets echoed to the beat of drums and the cry of “To Arms! To Arms! To Arms! Turn out with your Guns!”
Deciding the best course was to back off, the British commander on the scene retreated until joined by an entire British regiment decidedly armed with guns. Between the retreat and the overwhelming show of British arms against an unarmed mob, the incident came to an end.
This may have been the first notable imprint on the American psyche of the need for guns to deal with a tyrannical government — but it wasn’t the last. Annually afterwards, the most prominent of Boston’s citizens would deliver “The Boston Massacre Oration” — and these speeches were in turn used to target the imposition of tyranny upon the King’s subjects in the colonies. John Hancock, who would later famously fix his unmistakably large signature on the Declaration of Independence, delivered the Massacre Oration in 1774. Hancock went out of his way to cite the government for tyranny, saying :
“….I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny.”
And there was no mistake: to fight government tyranny, the right to bear arms was a necessary and fundamental liberty.
A little over one year after Hancock’s 1774 Massacre Oration, the British army, in search of rebel stores of guns and ammunition, marched out from Boston to Lexington and Concord. Warned by spies that the government was coming to take their guns, the Americans were ready.
As British troops entered Lexington, marching in perfect formation in their scarlet red coats, musket bayonets glittering, British Major Pitcairn demanded in a yell:
“Disperse ye rebels, ye villains, disperse….Lay down your arms.”
Which is to say, the government was demanding of its citizens that they disarm themselves — or else.
To which the American Captain John Parker famously said to the armed men of Lexington as they stared out at the British:
“Don’t fire unless fired on, but if they mean to have war let it begin here.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?