Yesterday at the White House executive-order signing ceremony commemorating the death of George Floyd, President Biden unleased a false bromide that he has often repeated (transcript here):
I spent my career, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and as Vice President, working for commonsense gun reforms — as I said, as a senator and a Vice President.
While they clearly will not prevent every tragedy, we know certain ones will have significant impact and have no negative impact on the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not absolute. When it was passed, you couldn’t own a — you couldn’t own a cannon, you couldn’t own certain kinds of weapons. It’s just — there’s always been limitations.
Jonathan Turley notes several previous occasions on which Biden has shot off this falsehood “that many of us have corrected in the past,” as he did here last month on April 12. Today he reiterates his research:
Once again, 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.
Its almost funny. As Ed Driscoll put it at Instapundit on a previous Biden misfire this past February: “The gaslighting will continue until morale improves.”