That is true. And a perspective that is all too often swallowed-up in the larger story of the American Revolution. Something that isn't taught in schools today. Because it's too "politically incorrect".
The battles at Lexington and Concord were not some vague attempts to "suppress the American Revolution". The actual declaration of independence didn't happen until almost a year and a half later.
Gage's orders were to seize arms and ammunition stored at these towns.
Like you say: its real purpose was "compulsory gun seizure".
The British were not looking for rebels or the leaders who were advocating resistance to the crown. They were under specific orders to seize and destroy arms and munitions believed to be hidden in the two towns. If by some stroke of luck they caught up with Sam Adams or John Hancock, so much the better.
The first battle of the Revolution was fought over gun control. The British government wanted to seize the lawfully owned firearms of the colonists. If British troops could disarm the militia, there would be less of a threat to their control.
And THAT, dear readers, is why the Founding Fathers were so keen on having a 2nd Amendment in the Constitution.
A movie I really enjoyed about that first run in with the British is called "April Morning" with Tommy Lee Jones and Chad Lowe. It sometimes comes up on Amazon Prime. If you see it, its worth the watch. I liked it enough that I bought the DVD.
With Nationalist Day (aka - Independence Day) fresh in mind, my family gathered for movie night last night. I pulled up the link that I posted earlier to set up the historical event at Lexington, and then streamed April Morning. Along the way, I could not help but pause and add some commentary for my kids to emphasize some of the relevant dynamics related to bravery, and the threat of gun control to true liberty.
The first battles of the revolution were fought over taxes. The colonists (often in the form of smugglers) had been actively fighting against the crown for over a decade by the time Lexington happened. Naval vessels had been taken, or burned, like the Gaspee in 1772. Prior to that, the houses of British officials in Rhode Island had been burned upon resistance to the Stamp act, and the Sugar taxes.
The reason the crown went to take those arms at Lexington was specifically to prevent more of that armed direct action from occurring. It WAS “the shot heard round the world” though, and that was what finally led to even more open rebellion.
But it was the last straw. American liberty as we currently know it would never have came to be without the courage of those patriots at Lexington finally drawing their line in the sand. Revolution would have come eventually, but it possibly would have spawned a different set of founding fathers, and who knows what kind of Constitution they would have authored. We will never see this level of bravery again in my opinion.
The idea of this scenario scares the ever-loving crap out of me. Y'all need to stop thinking of this as farmers vs redcoats and more like a high tech Vietnam and Afghanistan meet 1984, except where the belligerent is not across the ocean or thousands of miles away from its base of supplies. It's right there with the insurgents. Cameras are everywhere, on everyone's business and house. The insurgent's neighbor might be on his side, but his recently divorced ex-wife knows all about him and his buddies. We haven't even gotten to the part where insurgents carry out a raid on the potential enemy's base, and the feds just hit rewind on the satellite footage to watch insurgent vehicles travel in reverse back to their hideouts. Bushwhacking in the wilderness in large groups will also be a nightmare due to thermal imaging from above. This will force any insurgency to be deeply embedded in the civilian population. There's a reason why US drone strikes in Iraq seemed to also blow up a wedding or a school house every time. Iraqi insurgents figured out real quick that if they were going to make themselves a target, they'd make it an expensive one. Media will of course lie about civilian deaths but people won't be stupid. Alternate media will be jailed outright or murdered. Social media will be monitored more closely than ever. There's a reason so many former FBI go to work for Twitter and so many CIA have gone to Facebook. You will see lots of reprisals against civilians sympathetic to either side. Such a scenario will be hell on Earth. The worst part is that I don't think it can be avoided now.