No, The Second Amendment Did Not Prohibit Cannon Ownership in the Early Republic

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”

  1. Had an armed New Yorker been on the subway in the Bronx subway where the black shooter injured so many riders, that person could have shot him dead. More Americans should be carrying guns to take care of these anarchists. Police can not be everywhere, though Obama, Democrats and Biden have denigrated our men in blue for far too long. Georgia did the right thing. The more Americans that carry weapons, the less violent crime there will be because thugs wont be so trigger happy.

    “Kemp signs bill allowing people to carry handguns without a license in Georgia into law”
    https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/kemp-constitutional-carry-bill-allowing-handguns-without-license-georgia

    1. “Had an armed New Yorker been on the subway in the Bronx subway where the black shooter injured so many riders, that person could have shot him dead.”

      This sheriff believes in the rule of law. Watch out Democrats.

  2. Back in the early 1990s Ukraine gave up all their nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union collapsed. Bet they wish they had them back now.

  3. SAILORS FIRING CANNONS
    ______________________

    “Duck Cannons of the Chesapeake – When Punt Guns Spoke, Waterfowl Markets Sang”

    The late Harry N. Walsh, out of necessity a Maryland Eastern Shore outlaw gunner in his youth and later a physician and author, called the era of the big guns the, “greatest, most dangerous and most demanding method of wildfowling.”

    Imagine a time when nighttime duck assassins stealthily maneuvered low-profile skiffs toward vast rafts of dozing ducks and geese, blasting them at close range with punt guns — massive, heavy, boat-mounted duck cannons. Market hunters seeking optimum killing efficiency slayed dozens of birds with a single shot. Walsh recounts an interview with four aging market hunters who gunned the Holland Island area. One night, working as a team with each having a punt gun, they executed four simultaneous shots. Walsh quoted Ray Todd of Cambridge, Maryland, as stating “By morning, we had killed over a thousand ducks; they brought $3.50 a pair in Baltimore and it was the best night’s work we’d ever done.” A single gunner routinely could kill 50 to 70 birds in an evening with just a shot or two. Gunners often teamed up, shooting the rafted flocks at varied angles to up the kill count.

    Heavyweights The guns were named for the type of small, flat-bottomed skiff in which they were used. “The bores, the length of barrels, the weight and more is all over the map. I haven’t seen two the same,” Lesher said. Some gunners had heavy, well-machined varieties with barrels made at foundries equally suited to producing cannons. Other versions were largely homemade jobs, crafted using high-pressure pipe tapped to accept a hammer lock. Ignition systems began as flintlocks, but some guns were later converted to fire with percussion caps. Bores two inches in diameter on some of the bigger guns could launch an incredible spray of shot. Some of these large production guns could weigh nearly 200 pounds.

    The heaviest guns were typically manufactured in England. Other production guns came from Washington or New York. Lesher said he has heard stories of a few punt guns being made at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard in “after hours, unofficial” labors. “These guns would’ve been well-crafted,” he said, adding, “They probably fitted out barrels made as naval guns with the stock and firing mechanism needed for a punt gun.” Lesher said some gunners likely would’ve ordered factory-made punt guns from European manufacturers through high-end hardware stores. He wasn’t certain what manufactured guns would cost, but bet it was pricey, given the investment return. With a brace of ducks fetching a couple bucks, gunners filling customer orders could make considerable fast cash with a couple shots.

    Walsh wrote that the earliest punt gunners were sailors used to firing cannons aboard ships. They knew how to handle the recoil that comes when launching two pounds of lead shot.

    “Virtually any extremely oversized bore might have been called a punt gun,” Lesher said. “Anything below 4 gauge was usually used as a boat gun, either mounted to or rested in a boat for firing.”

  4. “ghost guns”

    That sounds scary.

    Which of course is the point. Don’t appeal to peoples’ reason. Appeal to their irrational fears.

    1. STOOGE, If I’m a Police Detective investigating a murder in which the weapon was an untraceable gun, am I irrational for resenting the availability of such guns??

      1. STOOGE, Amend the Constitution.

        You decline to cite the Constitution because there is no enumerated power in the Constitution to regulate arms which are kept and borne by American citizens, which shall not be infringed.

        The Constitution severely limits and restricts government, not the people (as individuals, not as a collective).

        The Constitution provides rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities to the people, not the government.

        “Shall not be infringed” is not open for debate.

        We get that you communists love dictatorship; write a love letter to Putin.

        High-criminal “executive overreach” began with “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, who well-earned the reward he so richly deserved, by destroying the Constitution and America “from within,” interestingly, nor for the benefit of Americans, but for the benefit of illegal aliens, as bizarrely occurs everyday in the current era at the southern border.

        The criminal un-president is committing a crime of high office by legislating, modifying and amending the Constitution from the White House.

        This is an impeachable offense – this is indicative of the abject, high-criminal failure of the judicial branch and Supreme Court to “support” the Constitution, as Justices swore an oath to do.

        It may not be disturbing to communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) who despise the Constitution and favor the Communist Manifesto.

        Communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) are the direct and mortal enemies of the Constitution, America and Americans.

      2. If I’m a Police Detective….

        Cupcake, you might fantasize about having a police detective in full uniform your arms while nehkid, but that is as close as you will ever get to being a man. You could of course relocate to Sweet Florida, learn from Gov Ron DeSantis in how to be a leader. But that would require you leaving West Hollywood, CA, and grow a pair
        🍒

        1. STOOGE:

          Old Chinese saying: ‘The loser constantly referring to gays ‘is’ most certainly gay’.

          1. STOOGE:

            No guy who’s really a guy calls another guy ‘cupcake’.. That’s a dead giveaway!

      3. Fists and feet are untraceable. Knives are untraceable. The percentage of “ghost guns” to the total, is a mystery, because the ATF is using a muddle of charecteristics to lable some as Privately Made Firearms, including guns with SN filled off. ATF is supposedly claiming they are getting numbers from the Police, but Police are mum about PMF in there cities.

        It starting to look like the letter to the AG about school board meetings, being a talking point created by activists.

      4. Rights are not determined by your level of resentment.

        I understand that having stolen many liberties from people if they would not acced to your demand that they mask or get jabbed, you might be under the delusion that is not true, but to a large extent it still is.

        Your resentment, nor the ease with which you might be able to solve a crime are NOT sufficient justification to infringe upon a right.

        You want to tattoo numbers on all guns.
        The Nazi’s tattoo’d numbers on all jews.

        Both equally rational – or not.

      5. You obviously have no idea how the ATF “tracing” works.

        First, they go to the manufacturer.
        Second, if the firearm was manufactured after 1968, they are notified as to which FFL the firearm was shipped to.
        Then, the FFL records (assuming they haven’t been destroyed after the 20 year storage requirement ends) will reveal the initial buyer.
        (MAYBE – if a subsequent FFL that handled the gun went out of business and turned over their records to the ATF, there may be additional information.)
        The End.

        Everything else is regular detective work.

  5. How/Why is it our so call nation’s govt gave an enemies, the Taliban 80 +billion $$$ worth of some of the best weapons in the world then turn around give billions more in for weapons for the Ukrainian Nazis???

    That’s correct US Citizens Govt is Arming Islamic & Nazi Lunatics with Weapons most of which our govt won’t allow us Citizen, the Nations OWNERS, to have.

    ***********

    The U.S. has trained a small number of Ukrainian soldiers to use Switchblade unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the “kamikaze” tactical aerial drones sent to the war-ravaged country as part of a military assistance package, according to a Pentagon official.

    https://www.flyingmag.com/ukrainian-soldiers-trained-to-use-switchblade-drones-in-u-s/

    1. Ukrainian Nazis??? You are just pushing Russian propaganda with that one.

      Yes, some Ukrainians did collaborate with the Nazis during WWII. But then again, only a few years before Stalin had deliberately starved to death between 3.5 and 7 million Ukrainians. So who should they support? Their “own government” who had just enacted a genocide against them or the invaders? Both were equally evil.

      1. Prester, it is difficult to discuss the various things happening at the time, but Ukrainians at the time wished to free themselves from the Soviets. They linked to the Nazis, and some engaged with the Nazis in killing Jews. On the other hand, some helped Jews escape. The Babi-Yar memorial represents the 33,000 deaths in one day and the 100,000 to 150,000 murdered dumped into its ravine.

        We have to remember the ideology helped people become murderers. That is what we face today. In the same type of leftist-Nazi thinking on this blog today, where lying is natural to some members, Putin represents the left in his willingness to kill and murder innocent civilians, denying them Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Though Putin is the aggressor, since Ukraine is a sovereign state, he has been aided by leftist ideas elsewhere. This war would not have occurred If Biden was not the President.

  6. 2nd Amendment

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  7. Florida Boy Killed When He And Friends Take Turns Getting Shot With Body Armor

    One teen was killed and two jailed after a pair of boys put on body armor and took turns shooting each other, local authorities in Florida said.

    In some quarters the death of Christopher Broad, 16, and the arrests of two of his friends were held up as examples of a permissive gun culture, particularly in the US south, that has driven calls for meaningful gun control reform.

    On the evening of 3 April, at a home in Belleview, Florida, about 70 miles northwest of Orlando, Broad and Joshua Vining, 17, took turns wearing a piece of body armor, colloquially known as a bulletproof vest, and firing a gun at each other, police said in a statement.

    Broad was wearing the vest when Vining allegedly shot and wounded him. Emergency responders took Broad to hospital, where he died.

    Edited From:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/12/florida-teen-dies-gun-shooting-body-armor
    …………………………………………………..

    Who says guns are too available in these United States? An incident like this could’ve happened in any country. ..Not..!

    1. Far more 17 year olds die while driving and texting.

      The obvious solution is to ban cell phones.

      1. “The obvious solution is to ban cell phones.”

        And cars. Think of all the bank robberies that would be stillborn.

        And knives. A nasty weapon used by murderers all the time.

        And dogs. Think of all the irresponsible dog owners whose dogs attack the innocent.

        And . . .

    2. How many boys died in pickups last week? Are you going to also ban pickups next week?

      If you people are such Idiots to give up any of the Rights you were given here you need to get your Slave Arses out of this county.

      BTW: When this country was founded the only Gun Control people here had was the Slaves like yourself couldn’t own guns.

    3. Any right that is constrained by not being stupid – is no right at all.

      Rights are those things we are free to do – whether others think they are stupid.

      There is lots of stupidity arround.

      Those on the left believed government could spent gargantuan amounts of money without consequence.
      No less a leading light than Nobel Winner Paul Krugman assured us that was so.

      But reality does not care how smart you think you are.

      Believing something does not make it so.

      People kill themselves doing stupid things all the time without guns.

    4. Sad to say, this is an example of evolution in action. Young men die through stupidity all over the world. This less-than-intelligent example just happened to employ a firearm. But he is no less dead than someone playing Russian roulette or riding the top of an elevator.

  8. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao all agreed gun control works every time when crazy govt’s suspend all citizen’s rights, register everyone, then seize property & guns.

    Then it’s easy for the govt to genocide their domestic populations like they did.

    Only a fool hasn’t noticed the US is in the middle of a govt lead domestic genocide now.

    Within a year hear in the US it could be most everyone will be dis-armed & helpless just like those 31 million dis-armed Chinese Domestic Slaves in Shanghai screaming in the night starving & dying.

    https://www.infowars.com/posts/video-tucker-carlson-warns-shanghais-brutal-lockdown-is-coming-to-america/

  9. @Olly,
    Naw.
    There is something else going on.
    Could it be a foreign terrorist who snuck in to the US thanks to Biden’s Southern Border policy?
    Could it be a home grown Black Hebrew Israelite member?

    (We know witnesses said black male wearing construction vest and gas mask.)

    Reports of non-detonated explosives were found… hence the terrorist reference… Still waiting for more news….

    The point is that Biden has been promising some action and even this action on the surface is something that doesn’t do much of anything.

    -G

    1. Thanks G.

      (We know witnesses said black male wearing construction vest and gas mask.)

      Interesting that when asked to describe someone during a crisis moment, all of a sudden everyone has a moment of clarity on the subject of gender and race.

  10. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that in the same week Biden goes after “Ghost Guns”, a mass shooting happens in a crowded subway station and the shooter is still at large. The Feds will be all over this…trust them.

    1. From the NY Post:

      The suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting has been described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-5 tall with a heavy build, NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

      He was wearing a “green construction-type vest and a hooded sweatshirt” that was gray when the incident unfolded. Sewell said he slipped on a gas mask before opening fire on the train.

      The suspect fled and is still at large.

  11. I am surprised that Turley does not know about the law that is the most restrictive law passed in America in the 1930’s where there is no mention that a cannon cannot be owned. I have friends who rebuild cannons for people all over America and there has never been a problem.

    1. @Dellison,

      He does know the law and he was calling out Biden’s comments which were inaccurate.

      That law you’re talking about was updated in 1968 and then later…

      Guns aren’t the issue.
      Its the person behind the gun.

      -G

  12. When the 2nd Amendment was written, drunkenness was a common predicament, there not being water safe-to-drink in population centers. This explains why the right to keep and bear arms was qualified as being quasi-supervised by a local militia captain (“a well regulated militia”). Is it possible that a private citizen would be buying or selling a cannon in 1791 without someone in a position of authority knowing about it? Possibly, but very unlikely.

    Would a habitual drunkard owning a cannon be overlooked by the surrounding community? Someone mentally ill?

    They avoided mass murder by imposing supervisory authority over the ownership and use of firearms. Granted it was very loosely applied supervision. But, it did exist to intervene where most needed.

  13. A privateer was a pirate with papers. As the name suggests, privateers were private individuals commissioned by governments to carry out quasi-military activities. They would sail in privately owned armed ships, robbing merchant vessels and pillaging settlements belonging to a rival country.

    They were what we call mercenaries today and they required special permission from Congress to buy a weapon such as a canon. The majority of the time privateers got their canons from raiding ships instead of buying them.

    The 2nd amendment was not a free for all buffet of weapons acquisition for just any individual. Just because there was no law expressly forbidding an individual from buying a canon doesn’t mean they were not expressly allowed to either. Each state had their own rules and many were only focused on who could bear arms and where.

    Then there’s the cost of a canon in 1791. No average joe of the time could afford one. Not on the wages in 1791.

    1. I haven’t researched it but I would be surprised if no private merchant ships were armed with canon to protect themselves. I doubt they needed any particular license under federal law to buy the canon. This is distinct from privateers, who were licensed not just to defend themselves but specifically to attack and ransack the property of other ships.

      1. That is the problem in these discussions. They ofter go off track because the person going off track doesn’t understand the meanings of the words he is using.

    2. “The 2nd amendment was not a free for all buffet of weapons acquisition for just any individual. Just because there was no law expressly forbidding an individual from buying a canon doesn’t mean they were not expressly allowed to either. Each state had their own rules and many were only focused on who could bear arms and where.”
      *********************************

    3. They were what we call mercenaries today and they required special permission from Congress to buy a weapon such as a canon.

      If the facts don’t don’t support you, just make some “facts” up that do.

      Reminds of the Scholar Michael A. Bellesiles. He wrote a book called the Arming of America. The premise he put forward, Early America did not have that many guns, they were rare, and didn’t not become common until much later. Arguing that the govt limited access. It was researched and duly footnoted. But when people followed the foodnotes, they did not exist.
      In order to get the result he wanted (“what ever it takes”) he just lied.

      Support the lie you posted, that congress had to approve the purchase of cannons.

      1. Iowan2,

        Turley himself made the point that privateers required permission from Congress to have possession of canons. Privateers we’re nothing more than government-sanctioned pirates. The facts do support my argument.

        “ 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.“

        The Constitution didn’t imply that it supported the private ownership of canons.

        “ Support the lie you posted, that congress had to approve the purchase of cannons.”

        I didn’t say congress had to approve the purchase of canons. I said congress had to give permission to PRIVATE individuals. I added that the average Joe at the time would never be able to afford one anyway.

        1. “Turley himself made the point that privateers required permission from Congress to have possession of canons. Privateers we’re nothing more than government-sanctioned pirates. The facts do support my argument.”

          It only proves you don’t know how to read.

          “PRIVATE individuals” and privateers are different entities.

        2. “Turley himself made the point that privateers required permission from Congress to have possession of canons (sic).”

          No, Turley correctly noted that Congress had the authority to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal. That gives the legal cover for what otherwise would be piracy or individuals waging war. The implication was that in order for those individuals to actually employ those letters they had to own their own cannon, not that the letters gave any sort of permission to own the cannon. The letters cover the actions, not the tools.

          1. Those on the left rarely get past the first order twisted examination of anything.

            Letters of Marque made STEALING legal. Cannons were already legal, and many ships already had them.

            Private ownership of cannons is legal today.

          2. Prester, Svelaz is a peddler of mistruths. He either has a reading comprehension problem or likes to be on the other side of the truth.

    4. @Svelaz
      Dude!
      You’re like batting 0.000

      I mean even a troll like a blind squirrel or a broken clock at least gets something right.
      Sorry but seriously..

    5. “They were what we call mercenaries today and they required special permission from Congress to buy a weapon such as a canon. The majority of the time privateers got their canons from raiding ships instead of buying them. ”

      Not quite. You could call them mercenaries, but the rest of your comment is wrong. The Letter of Marque gave permission to engage in offensive actions against a particular country’s shipping using your own privately owned ship and weaponry. (It also provided legal protection in case you lost a battle, you were not hung as a pirate – not that POWs were treated all that much better.) Anyone wealthy enough to own an ocean going vessel was wealthy enough to outfit it with cannon.

      On another note, many militia cannon were privately owned as opposed to being State owned.

    6. “The 2nd amendment was not a free for all buffet of weapons acquisition for just any individual.”

      True. The “free for all” buffet is your right by being a free individual. The 2nd Amendment tells the Federal Government (and, since the McDonald v Chicago decision, the States) to keep their noses out of your business (assuming you are a citizen – arms ownership is also extended to legal permanent residents.) The only legitimate method to restrict an individual’s rights is via the due process described in the 5th Amendment, where upon conviction your rights can be curtailed.

  14. Nor does it grant the right to own a cannon. Staggered how many completely misunderstand the second amendment. Even after Heller.

    Eb

    1. . Staggered how many completely misunderstand the second amendmentBill of rights

      Exactly were are any rights “granted” in the constitution? Show a stunning ignorance of foundational Constitutional Structure

    2. It is staggering how many completely mis-understand what a right is.

      Even as mis-understood by SCOTUS – we still have nearly limitless rights.

      Neither the 2nd amendment no the constitution “grants” rights – try reading the declaration.

      We are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights.

      Supreme Court constitutional docrine on Rights does NOT create rights.
      It just determines the extent and ease with which government can infringe on specific rights.

      You have an inalienable and constitutional right to inject heroin.

      Unfortunately SCOTUS has decided that right may be infringed on by government with the slightest justification.

      It is however still a right, and government is not free to infringe on it with no justification at all.

      The debate over Gun (or cannon) ownership is not whether that is a right – but the degree of justification that government must meet to infringe on it.

      That is the debate over every law that infringes on any of our near infinite rights.

    1. In a city, like the super violent, criminal city of Chicago, NYC has the most stringent “gun control” in the nation. Works well, huh? Too bad they can’t outlaw Leftist idiocy….problem solved. Stupid morons ‘led’ by demented fools!

  15. Here’s what Prof. Turley quotes the president as saying: “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.” Here’s how Prof. Turley characterizes the president: “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.” The president is not saying the Second Amendment bans cannons; he is saying that it permits the banning of cannons. Prof. Turley seriously mischaracterizes the president’s words.

    1. Turley didn’t mischaracterize anything Biden said. Biden said “You couldn’t buy a cannon, when in fact the Second Amendment passed.” That is not true. There were no restrictions placed on purchasing and owning cannons when the Second Amendment passed.

      1. No, Turley is indeed mischaracterizing Biden here. You couldn’t just buy a canon as a private citizen back in 1791. As Turley points out. You had to get permission from Congress to buy one. Plus there’s the problem of just any individual being able to even afford one.

        “ There were no federal laws barring cannon ownership when the Second Amendment was enacted.”

        There were no federal laws banning anything in 1791. There were no federal laws at all except one signed by George Washington the Oath act of 1789.

        Privateers often had ships that required canons to defend themselves against pirates or other foreign governments on open seas. They still required permission from Congress to obtain them.

        Biden was correct in his claim. Turley is just splitting hairs as an excuse to criticize.

          1. A client of mine used to fire one off every day at sunset. Kind of an obnoxious idiot.

            He would’ve enjoyed this blog.

            Eb

        1. Anyone can purchase a cannon and have it restored. I know people who are restoring cannons for private individuals – so no you are wrong.

      2. When Biden said you couldn’t buy a cannon (whether he was correct or not) he didn’t claim that the prohibition came from the second amendment. Turley’s mischaracterization was by incorrectly claiming that Biden attributed the inability to buy a cannon (again, accurate or not) to a requirement of the second amendment. That’s not what the quoted text says.

        1. Biden:
          “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.”

          Troll@12:01
          he( Biden)didn’t claim that the prohibition came from the second amendment

          So yes Biden did claim the prohibition came from the 2cnd amendment.

    2. John Kolassa……our Rights do not limit us….it limits the power of government…..well at least that was the Founding Father’s thinking when they crafted the Constitution.

      People forget….those on the Left by choice….that simple fact.

      The Professor is exactly right….and you are exactly wrong.

      1. The public has become the servant. Absolute power will corrupt them, absolutely. Marxists are passing out koolade and libs are guzzling it.

      2. OK. So, pre-Heller, there was no individual right to own a gun, but afterwards there was? Pre Roe, there was no right to an abortion, but now there is? All by magic? I don’t think so. Reread what Turley quotes Biden as saying. Biden says that the right to buy a cannon was not protected by the second amendment. He furthermore says that you historically couldn’t buy a cannon. Turley says that Biden says that the second amendment outlaws cannon purchase. Turley mischaracterized Biden. It really is that simple.

        1. Of course, there was a right to own a gun. It was implicit and not denied by the Constitution. The Second Amendment was clear on this issue. Those signing the Constitution knew that, and some believed the Second Amendment was repeating that which was already implied, based on the nature of the Constitution and the times.

          Again, ATS adds superfluous things to the debate that have no relevance because he cannot prove his point directly. This is typical of the arguments ATS engages in. Biden scr-wed up again, but ATS is too illiterate to notice.

    3. @JohnKolassa: I’ve never seen such a fine (indeed, microscopic) hair split so well. Perhaps your coin does, indeed, only have one side.

      “It didn’t say you couldn’t have them, it just didn’t say that the government could not disallow you from not having them.” Is that a better characterization? If you’re ever nominated to the double-speak editorial board as a subject matter expert, you’ll have my vote!

      1. You need to read more closely. Biden’s argument is that the second amendment doesn’t allow cannons, and that in fact cannons were illegal.

    4. Look up infringed. Dims can just change the definition of words to win an argument. Ricocheting around in his empty head. “This is an echo that seems to continue to ricochet in the mind of President Biden”. Keep up the good work, @jturley

    5. he is saying that it permits the banning of cannons.

      That’s simple. Quote the constitution. Congress has enumerated powers. Just point out which one you speak of.

Leave a Reply

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
%d bloggers like this: