Just after midnight on April 19, 1775, Paul Revere was secreted out of Boston in a rowboat, past the HMS Somerset, to Charlestown. He mounted a fine mare by the name of Brown Beauty, and helped set off a network of alarm riders, church bells, musket shots and signal fires that quickly broadcast across the New England night that “the Regulars were coming out,” on a gun control raid to Lexington and Concord.
Within just six hours 14,000 militiamen were on the march towards the Lexington-Concord road. Before the day was done, units of the most powerful land army of it’s day would be shattered in two-minute engagement at the North Bridge.
Reeling from the sustained rotating column of fire developed by a portly farmer and amateur strategist, Redcoats broke and ran. So desperate was their plight that six of the King’s elite Grenadiers surrendered to an old woman picking dandelion greens to make a laxative.
Only a late arrival be a relief column of Redcoats armed with cannon and the delayed reaction of a Colonial militia commander allowed the survivors of these “damned rebels” to barely made it back to Boston and avoid utter annihilation.
All because of a primitive communications network, and a concern for liberty from a people that meant to keep their freedom.
Today we have smartphones, landline phones, satellite phones, network television, cable television, satellite television, AM radio, FM radio, Ham Radio, and GMRS. We have pagers, laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, blogs, and RSS feeds.
We have millions of veterans of recent wars, hundreds of thousands of which are combat experienced, most of which recognize the fact that they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, not any particular regime or would-be tyrants.
I hope that those historically-ignorant souls rushing to impose restrictions on our rights from Capitol Hill take such things into account. The unexpected responses to rash actions often lead to unpleasant outcomes.