President Joe Biden returned this week to his claim that the Second Amendment was originally understood and applied to ban the private ownership of cannons. It is not just an embarrassing repetition of a false claim but threatens to reduce his own gun control measures to little more than cannon fodder on a historical perspective.
President Biden’s repeated accounts of his Amtrak conductor, truck driving past, and other stories have long been the subject of jokes in Washington. However, those stories (like his showdown with a “bad dude” named Corn Pop) can become an almost harmless signature of a president who seems to implant permanent memories in his own head. However, this is different. Biden has repeatedly defended his plans for banning certain weapon types based on his false understanding of the scope and history of the Second Amendment.
Ironically, in continuing to make the same false argument on cannons, President Biden delivers a blow below the waterline of his own argument for gun control.
Previously, Biden declared:
“And I might add: The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.”
This week, President Biden repeated a false claim that many of us have corrected in the past.
When he was announcing new rules for so-called “ghost guns” and other measures, President Biden renewed his false claim that early Americans could not buy a cannon.
“By the way — it’s going to sound bizarre — I support the Second Amendment. But from the very beginning the Second Amendment didn’t say you could own any gun you want, as big as you want. You couldn’t buy a cannon, when in fact the Second Amendment passed.”
It does sound bizarre because it is factually and legally untrue. I have received calls from media for years about this claim and it does not improve by repetition. Even the Washington Post has declared Biden’s understanding of the Second Amendment to be false.
There were no federal laws barring cannon ownership when the Second Amendment was enacted. Gun laws remained local matters and I do not know of any bans on cannons or other gun types until much later in our history. Early local laws did control concealed weapons, though concealed cannons were not part of those ordinances.
Indeed, the Constitution itself supports private cannon ownership in the case of privateers. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 allows Congress to “grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal.” That allowed private parties to privateer on the high seas with . . . cannons. (Recently some members of Congress wanted to issues such letters of Marque again to enlist privateers in the fight against Russia).
What is most striking about this implanted memory is that it actually works against the President’s arguments. Unlike the conversations with a dead man or driving some eighteen wheeler, the falsity of the story highlights the constitutional challenge to his calls to outlaw assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.
The fact is that the Second Amendment was not viewed or used as a basis for banning certain weapon types. That does not mean that it cannot be interpreted to allow for such prohibition, but historically it was not used to do so in the early Republic. Most importantly, it was not until much later that the federal government even started to regulate private ownership, sale or possession of weapons.
It is like the Corn Pop story not only proving false, but Corn Pop turning out to be a local anti-violence social worker. The fact that the Second Amendment was not used by Congress to ban certain weapons works against Biden’s argument that he is advancing on the original understanding of the Second Amendment. The historical practice actually supports the opposite point that the Second Amendment was not used for such bans and there is no evidence of a general acceptance of the broad interpretation given by the President. There is not a dispositive argument for gun rights advocates but the President’s continued use of the false argument hardly improves the argument for gun control.
We all have false memories or “big fish stories.” Indeed, it can be charming in the right context. However, this is a story being used to limit the scope of a constitutional amendment. While I disagree with the “militia” theory of the Second Amendment, there are good-faith arguments for gun controls under the Amendment. Those arguments will not be improved through the revision of our constitutional history in a more convenient light.
Arguing such finer points of constitutional law is not nearly as effective as claiming that this question was resolved in 1791. Yet, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (the father of the famed jurist) once said “the sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.” This is an echo that seems to continue to ricochet in the mind of President Biden.
147 thoughts on “No, The Second Amendment Did Not Prohibit Cannon Ownership in the Early Republic”
AMERICIAN CITIZENS ARE UNDER EVERY DAY THREAT FROM VIOLANT HOME INTRUERS AND ROBBERS AND KILLERS AND BEING MURDERED BY COPS
As proven by the daily News, Federal and State government police officers are incapable of protecting Citizens from being killed, and/or robbed, and/or raped, and/or from home invasions by “psychotic people.” Even the cops themselves daily kill Citizens. Police have shot and killed at least eight Minnesotans this year and 274 people across the U.S., according to a database maintained by The Washington Post. At least 100 have died just since March 8, 2021.
A Citizens’ encounters with criminal intruders in the home are not uncommon. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, household members are present for almost a third of all burglaries and become victims of violent crimes in more than a quarter of those cases. Studies on the frequency of defensive gun uses in the United States have determined that there are up to 2.5 million instances each year in which civilians use firearms to defend themselves or their property. Other common, lawful uses of firearms are hunting and sport. At least a third of all gun-owners own a firearm for hunting or sport shooting, and recreational target shooting has been cited as the top reason, albeit closely followed by home defense, for owning a modern sporting rifle. When seconds count, and the police are minutes or hours away, if they come at all—they certainly have no obligation to, see, e.g., Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005)—the People have a constitutional right to make use of common firearms for effective self-defense and not to be disarmed by government tyrant schemes to take away a Citizen’s secured “rights,” to possess a legal firearm for home and family and self-defenses.
Government gun laws like its drug laws, have had no effect on “maniac and psychotic people” who choose to use drugs, and/or to use guns to shoot people. Some 40 years ago, the government commenced a “war” on drugs. Thousands of drug agents were put in place for this so-called “war.” Yet, there are more illegal drugs on the streets than back then. In 1968 the Federal government commenced in earnest with its tyrant scheme to disarm, and to deprive thousands of American Citizens of their secured “right,” to possess a legal firearm for lawful home and family and self-defenses. Again, thousands of government agents were put in place for this “war” on Citizen’s Second Amendment secured rights. After hundreds of federal gun laws, “psychotic people” (none who are felons), killing other people and young deranged school kids killing other young school kids, have increased 100-fold. Thus, the government’s drug and firearms laws have no effect on “defective people.” However, those hundreds of federal gun laws have, and does, effectively deprive and/or hinder American Citizens in possessing the weapons of their choice for home and family and self-defenses; and for resistance against the today’s violent mobs and violent rioters, and maniac and psychotic people, who freely murder Citizens at will, and who have freely taken over our cities, with violent destruction of property and freely steal private property, and rob citizens on the streets and in parking lots; which the state and federal police are both unable to stop.
Only a very dumb person, and/or very incompetent politician would think that passing gun laws would stop deranged people, violent mobs, violent rioters, and maniac and psychotic people from freely murdering Citizens at will, or from committing crimes. The State and Federal governments over 2000-gun laws have caused both the state and federal prisons to be over 100 percent past their capacity, and all the jails to be over 50 to 100 percent past their capacity with people on their way to prisons. Yet, today, violent mobs, violent rioters, and psychotic people, have freely taken over our cities, robbing citizens on the streets, and in parking lots, and carjack cars, with violent destruction of property and freely steal private property, and those deranged people freely shoot and assault and kill people, while the over 2000 state and federal gun laws, and the state and federal police are unable and incapable of stopping such bad actions by these “defective people.” Government laws are nothing more than a political plot to appease the unintelligent public; and to enhance the best interest of politicians, while at the same time, depriving thousands of American Citizens of secured “rights,” guaranteed them and protected by the Constitution of the United States.
Instead of politicians recognizing their Constitutional Oath of Office, and their obligation to the Constitution of the United States, those politicians tell the public that it is guns that is causing all the problems. And, of course the unintelligent public believe those lies, instead of recognizing that the real problems are not guns, but maniac and psychotic people. The question here is, why do we have so many school kids killing other kids; and why do we have so many maniac and psychotic people, young and older, running around robbing, carjacking, and killing people?? Until these issues are addressed, and corrected, these maniac and psychotic people will continue running around robbing, carjacking, and killing people at will.
Individual rights. The Second Amendment declares in part: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” See Second Amendment (1791). The Second Amendment protects “the right to keep and bear Arms.” United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 265 (1990). The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right grounded in the inherent right of self-defense. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court explained that the “operative clause of the Second Amendment, “which protects the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” from infringement, creates an individual right, not a “collective” one that “may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body.” 554 U.S. 570, 579 (2008).
The individual nature of the right “contrasts markedly” with the prefatory clause, which speaks of forming a “well-regulated militia,” because “the ‘militia’ in colonial America consisted of a subset of ‘the people’—those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range.” Heller, at 580. “The Second Amendment ‘elevates above all other interests the right … to use arms in defense of hearth and home’—a right that is at the ‘core’ of the Second Amendment.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 635; Binderup v. Attorney General, 836 F. 3d 336, 358 (3d Cir. 2016) (en banc) (Hardiman, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgments) (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 635, and adding emphasis).
The Second Amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, this means that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 553-554. Chief Justice Taney, made clear that Congress cannot deny to the people the right to keep and bear Arms; and cannot abrogate any right expressed in the first Eight Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. See Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 450 (1867). See also Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370, 391 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
The Heller Court found that the creation of a militia and an individual right to keep and bear arms “fit perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 598. It noted, “That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents.” Id.
The right of self-defense. The Second Amendment protects the right of citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008). Heller “ma[de] it clear” that the right of self-defense, which the Second Amendment protects, is both “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty” and “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3036-42 (2010). When a person is on his own premises or within his own dwelling-house, in the lawful pursuit of his business, and is attack by person(s) intent on violence and or bodily-harm, or murder, a person may stand his ground, and is entitled to defend his home and family and self, with any weapon, including firearms, and even killing the intruder, and is entitled to self-defense. See Beard v. United States, 158 U.S. 550, 563 (1895).
Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day. Individual self-defense is “the central component” of the Second Amendment right. McDonald, 177 L.Ed.2d at 914.
Inalienable Rights. The “right” to keep and bear arms is a natural, and an inalienable right, secured and protected by the Second and Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The rights of life and personal liberty are natural rights of man. ‘To secure these rights,’ says the Declaration of Independence, ‘governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ The very highest duty of the States, when they entered into the Union under the Constitution, was to protect all persons within their boundaries in the enjoyment of these ‘unalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 553-554. See also Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 450 (1867).
The natural rights of life and liberty are INALIENABLE rights. Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition. “Inalienable: incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523.
The Declaration of Independence gives three examples of inalienable rights, in the well-known phrase, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These fundamental rights are endowed on every human being by his or her Creator, and are often referred to as “natural rights.”
The framers of the Constitution acknowledged the inalienable rights of man in this powerful phrase from the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The founding fathers intended the government of the new nation to have the sole charge of protecting the inalienable rights of its citizens, and made that clear as they stated:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government …”
While there is not a specific list of rights that are considered inalienable in the Constitution, there are some rights that are generally accepted as natural rights of man. The list is extensive, and the following are but a few:
To keep and bear Arms
To act in self-defense
To own private property
To work and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor
To move freely within the county or to another country
To worship or refrain from worshipping within a freely- chosen religion
To be secure in one’s home
To think freely.
The history of inalienable rights takes us back at least as far as the philosophy found in Athens in the 3rd Century B.C. Centuries later, as the Age of Enlightenment rolled through 17th Century Europe, as the common people fought the idea that only those born to the monarchy were endowed with unquestionable rights, the concept of inalienable rights was used to challenge the rights of kings.
The concept of inalienable rights had made its mark on the world, though there has been much controversy and differing beliefs on what such rights are. Philosophers and scholars, who held widely differing beliefs, generally agree on the one point that inalienable rights are something that cannot be taken from the people, even at the hands of the government. For example, John Locke, 17th Century English philosopher, discussed the concept of natural rights as he advanced the idea that life, liberty, and property were fundamental rights that people could not be forced to surrender. It was Thomas Jefferson who later adopted Locke’s belief with the slightly modified statement placed at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” George Mason, delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, in the text of his home state’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, said:
“All men are born equally free,” and hold “certain inherent natural rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity.” Thomas Jefferson relied heavily on the writings of Francis Hutcheson in his Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, in which he made a distinction between alienable and inalienable rights. stated:
“For wherever any Invasion is made upon unalienable Rights, there must arise either a perfect, or external Right to Resistance … Inalienable Rights are essential Limitations in all Governments.” See also Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 176-180 (1803); United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, 220 (1882); and Copper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 17-18 (1958).
You can-not surrender, sell or transfer inalienable rights, they are a gift from the creator to the individual and cannot under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individuals have unalienable rights, such as, but not limited to, the “right” to keep and bear arms, and the “right” to self-defense. You cannot surrender, sell or transfer inalienable rights. Inalienable rights are not inherent in man and cannot be alienated by government. All persons have inalienable rights. Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred. Morrison v. State, Mo. App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.
By their very nature, having been bestowed by God, or by happenstance of birth, inalienable rights cannot be suspended or abolished in dire circumstance of the nation. “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no ‘rule making’ or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona, 348 426, 491 (1966); Sherer v. Cullen, 481 F.2d 946 (1973). See also Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 450 (1867). “The first Eight Amendments to the Constitution set forth self-executing prohibitions on governmental action.” City of Borene v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 524 (1997).
The Constitution of the United States recognized that certain universal rights cannot be taken away by legislation, as they are beyond the control of a government, being naturally given to every individual at birth, and that these rights are retained throughout life. See the first Eight Amendments and Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States.
Chief Justice Taney, made clear that Congress cannot deny to the people the right to keep and bear Arms; and cannot abrogate any right expressed in the first Eight Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. See Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393, 450 (1867). See also Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370, 391 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no ‘rule making’ or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona, 348 426, 491 (1966). See also Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 176-180 (1803), and United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, 220 (1882). “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no ‘rule making’ or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona, 348 426, 491 (1966). Neither Congress nor a state can validate a law that denies the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. See Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489, 508 (1999); Williams, 393 U.S. at 29. “The first Eight Amendments to the Constitution set forth self-executing prohibitions on governmental action.” City of Borene v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 524 (1997). See also Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 176-180 (1803), and United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196, 220 (1882).
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES PROTECTS ALL CITIZENS AT ALL TIMES AND UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING “FELONS” IN THE POSSESSION OF LEGAL FIREARMS
The rights enumerated in the first eight Amendments belong to every Citizen as a member of society. Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 540-543 (1961); Logan, 144 U.S. at 286-288; United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 551-554 (1875).
The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protections all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequence’s, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2, 121 (1866). See also Florida v. Bostick, 115 L.ed. 2d 389, 401 (1992).
“All Constitutional guarantees extend both to the rich and poor alike, to those with notorious reputation, as well as to those who are models of upright citizenship. No regime under the rule of law could comport with constitutional standards that drew such distinctions.” Smith v. United States, 428 U.S. 1303, 1308 (1975). Thus, the secured “right’ to keep and bear Arms,” includes, and completely encompasses, and covers with the shield of its protections, American Citizens that the government has labeled felons.
The Due Process Clauses. The “right,” to keep and bear Arms is completely encompassed within, and is fully protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Constitution of the United States. See Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 306-307 (1994); Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 847-848 (1992); Moore v. East Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 502 (1977); Poe v. Ullman, 367 U.S. 497, 541-543 (1961). The right to keep and bear Arms is incorporated into the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. McDonald v. Chicago, 177 L.Ed.2d 894, 912-13 (2010); Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 5-6 (1964). The Fifth Amendment prohibits the Federal Government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. The fourteenth amendment prohibits a State from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; It furnishes an additional guaranty against any encroachment by the States upon the fundamental rights which belong to every citizen as a member of society. As was said by Mr. Justice Johnson, in Bank of Columbia v. Okely, 4 Wheat. 244, it secures ‘the individual from the arbitrary exercise of the powers of government, unrestrained by the established principles of private rights and distributive justice.’ 92 U.S. at 553-555. The fourteenth amendment prohibits a State from denying to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 92 U.S. at 553-555. The power of the national government is limited to the enforcement of this guaranty. 92 U.S. at 553-556. Thus, setting the standards applicable before the government may Constitutionally take away, for a lifetime, a Citizens fixed “right,” to “possess” a legal firearm for lawful home and family and self-defenses.
Denial of Due Process. A denial of the “right’ to keep and bear Arms’” would be a denial of due process. See Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 4-5, 21-22 (1964); Simmons v United States, 390 U.S. 377 (1968).
The deprivation of the “right,” to keep and bear Arms, is punishment. See Cummings v. Missouri, 71 U.S. 277, 320-322 (1866).
Due Process Violation. To punish a person because he has done what the law (here the Constitution of the United States) plainly allows him to do is a due process violation of the most basic sort. Bordenkircher v. Hayes, 434 U.S. 357, 363 (1978). And, “there can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional rights.” Miller v. United States, 230 F.2d 486, 490; Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F.2d 946 (1973).
Therefore, even if the state and/or federal government “conjured up” some kind of scheme to disarm and/or abrogate a Citizen’s secured “right’ to keep and bear Arms, or “right” to self-defense, the Constitution of the United States would bar-prohibit such scheme. Because the disarming of any American Citizen including “felons,” or the abrogation of any American Citizen’s secured “right’ to keep and bear Arms,” is punishment. Thus, requiring a judicial due process of law in the courtroom hearing. Therefore, the majority of the federal government’s gun laws such as 18, USC Section 922(g)(1), constitutionally cannot be applied against American Citizens unless the government first obtains a written judicial due process hearing record proving that the Citizen’s secured “right’ to keep and bear Arms,” had been judicially abrogated.
William J.R. Embrey
245 7th Ave. N.E.
West Fargo, ND 58078
Well, here is Judge Scalia’s comment on cannons: “I mean, obviously, the (2nd) amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear.’ So, it doesn’t apply to cannons. But I suppose there are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be — it will have to be decided.”
You’re conveniently not telling your audience the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2008: 1. There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285, 128 S.Ct. 1830, 170 L.Ed.2d 650 (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. 2 We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
Ah ye olde Second Amendment. That’s one the Commies have a hard time getting around…
The author conveniently not telling his audience the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2008: 1. There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285, 128 S.Ct. 1830, 170 L.Ed.2d 650 (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. 2 We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
The govt has always desired to disarm the citizenry of this nation and has used any and every excuse to achieve that goal. Sadly, the populace are mostly ignorant of their rights, so those in govt can use death by a thousand cuts to achieve their desires. Also, it appears many citizens today lack the capacity to understand firearms are needed in order to maintain a (somewhat) free society and that same society is as free as it is because of firearms. Then there are the cowards. There are plenty of anti-2nd Amendment restrictive states and even countries which prohibit firearm ownership, and those people who are afraid of or simply don’t approve of firearms, should be free to move to those places.
The author fooled you by conveniently not telling his audience the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2008: 1. There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285, 128 S.Ct. 1830, 170 L.Ed.2d 650 (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. 2 We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
As we see grim Ukrainians battling Goliath invading Russians, it becomes more obvious why a well-armed populace can be vital in a crisis.
People get complacent. They felt safe their entire life in a suburb or nice part of the city. They cannot comprehend why anyone would want a firearm. Since they can’t understand it, they seek to disallow others from gun ownership.They look at the crimes committed with guns but ignore millions of law abiding gun owners. That’s like wanting to ban cars because there are drunk drivers and maniacs who drive through crowds.
A gun is an extremely dangerous tool, and should be treated with careful respect. It should be kept out of reach and access of children and teenagers. It should be well maintained. If you own one, you should learn how to safely use it.
We use guns with some regularity out here in the country to shoot rattlesnakes, or when I have to go out during the night to make sure I shut the water off at the horse’s trough. The other day, I used a shovel to kill a young rattlesnake at my feet, and was reminded why I prefer firearms over shovels. The snake’s head will stay alive, suffering, for at least 20 minutes. It’s scared and in pain. It took a couple whacks to get the head off, and then I had to keep beating the head until it died. I’m still not sure it was completely gone when I buried the head, to prevent wildlife from getting bitten. I love animals and don’t enjoy hurting them. With a gun, I can dispatch it quickly, and keep the pets and my kid safe. At my cousin’s place, they get about 25 rattlers a year just on their property.
My father stopped a break in simply by chambering a round on the other side of the door.
Perhaps those who traditionally opposed private gun ownership are seeing the other side of the argument now. When the defund the police movement resulted in less policing, and skyrocketing crime, on top of the unrest due to shutdowns, a lot of first timers bought guns, including a Democrat I know who was emphatically against guns. All of a sudden, they realized the police might not come, at least not in time, if they called 911. With the defunding, and DAs who refused to prosecute crime, criminals are either not arrested, or immediately released to reoffend, and 911 response times went way up in some areas. In my rural part of CA, the sheriff told us that it would take a minimum of 45 minutes for police to arrive, as a direct result of the defund the police movement. 45 minutes means we’re on our own.
Those same people are seeing average Ukrainians line up to receive weapons to fight for their country. They’re not getting skeet shooters or muzzle loaders. Not just single action only. They’re getting serious firepower and told to get to it.
All of a sudden, this belief that the US will remain a safe country in perpetuity got a little shaky.
Joe Biden stating the second Amendment is not absolute is as legitimate as Joe Biden stating he graduated the top of his class with 3 degrees and on a full scholarship. Once a liar, always a liar
Well, sir, the Supreme Court said the same in 2008. The author didn’t tell you this inconvenient truth.
The former mayor of my city owns about a dozen Cannon from the Revolution through to the Civil war. Friends own about half a dozen more.
Until a few years ago these were brought out every 4th of July to provide the concussion section to the County Symphony during the 1812 overture.
Boston has tried to lure him and his cannons to their 4th of july for many years.
A howitzer is just not the same as a dozen Napoleons.
Several of his canon were featured in hollywood movies.
Cannon ownership is STILL legal in the US, I doubt it ever was illegal.
We have a cannon. A field howitzer. We have even shot a dear friend’s ashes from it.
robinette is full of ca ca as usual. The only limit to weapon owning so to speak was a LAW ABIDING CITIZEN for militias 16 to 45. Cannons and anything else you could afford you could have. That is part of why LEXINGTON started was of a cashe of citizen weapons INCLUDING A COUPLE of cannons.
Perhaps Joe doesn’t know that all guns used during the Revolutionary War would qualify as “ghost guns”
As would most cannons – which are still legal to own in the US.
The 2nd has never said that we were limited to any specific type or caliber of arms.
Look up the definition of infringement. Any limit at all is an infringement on the right to BEAR arms (not just own them or have them locked up in a safe). EVERY RESTRICTION is banned by the 2nd, not the bearing of arms (another word for constitutional carry).
The US Supreme Court disagreed with you in 2008. “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. ‘Miller’ said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time.’ 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’” That’s why the ban of assault rifles from 1994 to 2004 was not violating the 2nd Amendment. A new ban to save thousands of lives wouldn’t be either.
Well, here is Judge Scalia’s comment on cannons: “I mean, obviously, the (2nd) amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to ‘keep and bear.’ So, it doesn’t apply to cannons. But I suppose there are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be — it will have to be decided.”
In the 1700s Great Britain required merchant ships to carry cannon.
David, the States when newly independent wanted all the men to own their own rifles (or other weapon). That was the norm for most of the country.
Comments are closed.