Were the British justified to fire at colonists in the Boston Massacre?

  • The massacre itself is deeply misleading

    Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "Massacre" as : "the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty"

    A mob several times the size of the soldiers actively throwing stones, sticks, and provoking the soldiers fails spectacularly to match this definition. Not a single person on the no side speaks favorably of the behavior of the Bostonians. Another definition talks of indiscriminate killing, while less men died than total muskets present.

    It was not a mob that formed because of the soldiers aggression, it was the soldiers who deployed in response to the mob's aggression toward a soldier. Nothing that happened that day was fast, and the soldiers ultimately displayed incredible restraint before pulling the trigger.

    When an arrest warrant was issued for the soldiers, they immediately turned themselves over to the sheriff, knowing that any objective jury would deliberate testimony and find their actions justified. Six were acquitted, two reduced charges to manslaughter after pleading benefit of clergy. The fact that jury decision was made with a anti-crown jury pool, speaks volumes.

  • Soldiers don't shoot for no reason...

    We're talking about a time period right before the revolutionary war, to paint the picture, imagine, Britain passing acts such as Townshend, Stamp and Sugar acts, that the colonists work to avoid. Britain is having problems controlling the colonies at this time. Taking that into consideration, why in the WORLD would ANY British officer allow or order their soldiers to fire into a crowd of unarmed people? Might as well throw the colonies away by doing that... The logic just doesn't line up. These are war veterans we are talking about, soldiers that have tons of training and experience, I think they could tolerate a few "snowballs" that most people pretend were the only things thrown or used...

    -I try to look at things in an unbiased way and form an opinion AFTER examening evidence.

  • They were threatened

    There was only 8 British soldiers present at the "massacre" and they were completely surrounded by a rowdy crowd of colonists/ patriots. The crowd had balls of ice, sticks, and clubs and were threatening to do bodily harm to the British. Feeling threatened the British fired their weapons as an act of self defense.
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  • They were getting attacked!!!!!

    Hello! Wake up everyone! They were getting attacked! What do you expect them to do, laugh while stones and snowballs are being thrown at them? A few more good aimed rocks probably could have killed one of the British soldiers! This is exactly what a child would say: "I'm allowed to hit you, but you're not allowed to kick me." I mean seriously, are we really acting like little children here? How immature can one get?!

  • Captain Preston said NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Captain Preston wouldn't say "don't shoot" if he didn't have any reason for it. Private Hugh Montgomery had no right in ordering his fellow soldiers to shoot, especially after Captain Preston ordered otherwise. The first thing you learn when you enter the army is "yes sir, no sir" Not, "I know better than you sir." Montgomery obviously had a problem controlling his temper issues, but that doesn't give him any right to shoot!

  • Their reaction was excessive.

    The colonists were behaving violently, and while the soldiers needed to protect themselves, but lethal force should not have been implemented. Most current state laws concerning self-defense allow no greater degree of force to be used than what is absolutely necessary to neutralize the threat. Yes, this means that you can't shoot someone for throwing a small rock at you. I believe, since this law applies to citizens, it's only fair that it applies to law enforcement and soldiers as well.

  • Soldiers weren"t ordered to attack

    Some say that Captain Preston ordered them to fire. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. Soldiers fired themselves even when Captain Preston said no. This wasn't the colonists fault, it was one of the soldiers who started the killing. Yes the colonists were acting violently but that was probably because they showed up with weapons and colonists may be afraid of what will happen. And colonists hit people with snowballs, stones, and clubs. Soldiers shouldn't kill the people for self defense! They could have just hurt them a little so they would stop!

  • Why is this 50-50?

    How would you feel if YOU were in the Boston massacre? You would probably feel dead.. . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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