President Biden stopped to discuss his plans for gun control policies on Memorial Day. While acknowledging that he can’t just ‘outlaw a weapon,’ he claimed that the Second Amendment right to bear arms was ‘never absolute.” Watch:
“And I deliberately did not engage in a debate about that with any Republican that we’re going down, consoling families in fact,” he said. “So I don’t know what is — how far it goes.”
“I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” Biden said. “And I know what happened — when we took national action before… the law about that. It will significantly cut down mass murders. And so, there is only one reason for something that can fire 100 shots… When I first started doing hearings on the issue on what rational gun laws should be, and during the period when I was a senator, and the death rate was going up. Not that many more people were being shot, but the death rate was up. ”
“I sat with the comandante. And I asked him, I said, what’s the difference? Why are so many people — there are not too many people that are being shot. This is now 20 years ago, or 25 years ago. I said why are they dying?” he said. “And they showed me an X-ray. He said a .22 caliber bullet will lodge in a lung and we can probably get it out, may be able to get it out and save a life. A .9 millimeter bullet blows the lung out of the body.”
“So the idea that these high caliber weapons, there is simply no rational basis for it in terms of the issue about self protection, hunting and I guess — and, remember, the Second Amendment was never absolute,” he claimed. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.”
“And those who — not many are saying anymore, but it was a while there when people were saying, that, you know, the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots,” he went on. “And what we have to is actually be able to take on the government when they’re wrong. Well, to do that you need an F-15. You know, you need an Abrams tank. So I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it.”
Liberal Constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley provided one of the best ‘fact checks’ on this matter in light of Biden’s most recent version of this claim.
“The statement that the Second Amendment is not absolute is certainly true,” Turley said. “There are laws that can be crafted within the confines set out under controlling Supreme Court precedent. However, as discussed in a column, President Biden continues to ignore those constitutional limitations in blaming the gun lobby and political opponents for these deaths.”
“President Biden also has repeated his claim that certain weapons were banned at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment,” he noted. “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.”
“I have received calls from media for years about this claim and it does not improve by repetition,” Turley went on. “Even the Washington Post has declared Biden’s understanding of the Second Amendment to be false.”
“Once again, there were no federal laws barring cannon ownership when the Second Amendment was enacted,” Turley said. “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.”
Furthermore, arguing that civilians don’t need firearms to protect themselves anymore because the U.S. government has fighter jets and tanks isn’t as persuasive an argument as Biden might think, especially in light of what happened in Afghanistan and what is now going on in Ukraine.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) perhaps put it best:
When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, they had just finished a war to liberate themselves from tyranny.
They didn't just get back from a hunting trip.
This is about your freedom.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) May 31, 2022
“When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, they had just finished a war to liberate themselves from tyranny<” Boebert said. “They didn’t just get back from a hunting trip. This is about your freedom.”
It’s just that simple.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.