A Violent Past

Bay State officials shouldn’t be surprised by Wallace’s revelations; after all, Massachusetts has a terribly violent history for which all of its citizens should hold their heads high.

Next month, people will be celebrating this bloody violence because Massachusetts is where it all started. The Revolutionary War, that is. On April 19, 1775, the first shots of the revolution were fired at the village commons in Lexington, and more a couple of hours later at the North Bridge crossing the Concord River. Now that was gun violence!

Notified about the killings of nine militiamen at Lexington, word spread through the countryside — they didn’t have Twitter or cell phones, either — every farmer with a gun — which means every farmer within a ten-mile radius — grabbed rifle, powder and bullet, and by the time the Regulars arrived, there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000-1,500 Colonials waiting to greet them, and they were looking for payback.

Not long after Lexington and Concord, thousands of Colonials took the high ground at Bunker and Breeds Hills, essentially cutting the city off. They were ultimately routed, but the cost in British blood was high, as was the cost in American lives.

Massachusetts is home to the first battles in the war of independence, but 246 years later, the Commonwealth has adopted the kinds of gun laws that would have gotten politicians tarred and feathered back in 1775.