President Biden continued to ignore facts on the Second Amendment and its history. He even erred when speaking about the Revolution-era days and why the right to keep and bear arms was so sacrosanct.
“When the amendment was passed, it didn’t say anybody could own a gun and any kind of gun and any kind of weapon,” President Biden remarked. “You couldn’t buy a cannon, and when – the – when this, uh, this amendment was passed.” It did, and does, say the right of the People “shall not be infringed.”
Even The Washington Post was brutal in their assignment of “Four Pinocchio’s” to this statement. “Biden has already been fact-checked on this claim — and it’s been deemed false. We have no idea where he conjured up this notion about a ban on cannon ownership in the early days of the Republic, but he needs to stop making this claim.”
In fact, the Constitution of early America – before the Bill of Rights, and Second Amendment, was even ratified – granted and encouraged “special waivers” to American merchants and sailors, “allowing private individuals to act as pirates on behalf of the United States against countries engaged in war with it.” Americans given waivers and who owned warships obviously also obtained cannons for use in battle.
In fact, it is still perfectly legal to buy a cannon today.
It is the presidents’ fundamental misunderstanding and blatant lying about the Second Amendment that informs his gun control agenda and misguided approach to solving the crime problem. Millions of law-abiding Americans took ownership of their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves, understanding the president won’t. Instead of mangling the meaning of the right and pushing for more gun control on law-abiding Americans, the president should keep it simple. Take on the criminals and punish them for breaking the law.
Larry Keane is the senior vice-president for government and public affairs, assistant secretary and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.