Joe Biden, the most anti-gun President ever, is fond of saying that the Second Amendment has always been limited, and that at the time it was drafted a person could not, for example, buy a cannon.

Au contraire. Historians agree that simply isn’t true.  As evidence, consider the fact that during the War of Independence, ship owners were buying cannons dozens at a time.

The Colonial Navy was embryonic, so the Founders issued “letters of marque,” which authorized privately owned ships to seize British shipping, cargo vessels as well as warships. I recently read historian Eric J. Dolan’s book “Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution” (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2022).

Seen by the British as legalized pirates, the privateers were seen (for the most part) by the Colonists as citizen warriors fighting tyranny. George Washington’s main objection to privateering was that it drew so many men who might otherwise have joined the Navy: because their shared the profits from auction of captured ships and cargo, privateering was a quick route to wealth.

That is, if you made it through the conflict. Dolin notes, “…the British government despised privateersmen and threw them into prisons where horrific conditions killed many thousands. Thus capture could be a death sentence.” Despite this, the Americans kicked butt. Dolin quotes from England’s  London Advertiser in 1776, “…the value of the (American) vessels (captured by the British), and the cargoes taken from them is trifling, whereas those they take are worth more in proportion than ten to one.”

Oh, and the cannons? The privately owned ships fairly bristled with them, sometimes dozens. Dolin writes, “Privateers also competed with the navy for cannons and gunpowder, which were in limited supply. Because the privateer owners had deep pockets, they were often able to outbid the government for these items. Some, such as the successful Providence merchant John Brown, also owned foundries that made cannons, and they favored their own privateers over naval ships when it came to selling them.” 

I would send my copy of “Rebels at Sea” to President Biden at the White House, but why? If he doesn’t listen when the Washington Post tells him he was wrong he’s certainly not going to listen to me…or to Eric Jay Dolin, to whom I give a big thumbs up for “Rebels at Sea.”

35 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think that will happen. They used to read Joe Dr. Seuss books at nappy-time but stopped when they decided he was a bigot. Then they tried “The Communist Manifesto” but the words were way too big. Jill tried to read him the Bible at his 6 pm beddy-by time but his footy pjs started to smolder. Maybe Kamala can read him the monthly inflation stats and they can laugh and laugh till his widdle eyes go shut.

    • Crooked Joe is very lucky to have a great wife like Doctor Biden who supervises a White House maid to change the Fibber in Chief’s loaded diapers and wipes his lying mouth after he has his daily quota of chocolate ice cream.

      I doubt Doctor Biden has read the Christian Bible because if she had, she wouldn’t have married such an evil monster. Aunt Kamala wouldn’t even let Crooked Joe sniff her hair.

  2. Americans have always been able to buy cannons. In 1901, Winchester came out with a small size cannon and placed it on the market. It was sold to the owners of boats and yachts to use for signaling.

    Americans can still buy cannons today. Check out these web sites:

    https://www.thecannonstore.com/category/winchester-cannons

    and

    https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/page/category/category_id/541/category_chain/540,541/name/Cannons+%26+Cannon+Kits/

    Biden, and other operators of the American Left, think that Americans have been dumbed down, by their warped indoctrination system disguised as an education system, to the point where they can tell the most transparent lies with impunity. They just keep repeating their lies in the belief that repetition, and blind acceptance by their media tools, will carry the day.

    • Reminds me of the 1984 movie, “Tank,” starring James Garner:
      “Sergeant Major Zack arrives at a new army base with his wife and son, and his privately-owned Sherman tank. One night at a bar he “stops” a pimp/deputy from beating a girl. The corrupt sheriff frames Zack’s son for revenge, and Zack uses his tank to get his son back.”

      • One can legally buy and own a tank of any kind in America, but it’s main gun barrel has to be plugged. Maybe having it classified as a class 3 destructive device might exempt it. From what I’ve read, liberal Follywood actor Arnold S. has the M48 tank he drove when he was in the Austrian army, but it has a non-functional 90mm gun.

      • Tom606,

        I met a man who owns what looks like a tank, but is really an armored personnel carrier. Instead of tracks, it has six big wheels. I believe it had three guns, which were all de-milled. And, this is in NJ! It’s great to live in a free, or nearly-free, country.

      • Roger, what you saw from your description is probably a Cadillac Gage V-300 APC which is what some police departments use as an assault vehicle, often equipped with a long metal ram, painted with a yellow Happy Face on it’s end. This vehicle has six large, heavily lugged tires and is capable of operating in water. It is impervious to most small arms fire with the possible exception of the .50 BMG with AP ammo. There are several other six wheeled armored vehicles, but they’re all foreign made and seldom encountered in the states.

  3. Biden read? Yea we see him read the teleprompter… no doubt he would wonder what that number on each page was and why it increased as he turned the pages.

    But we should be honest.. he only looks at the pictures anyway.

    And one suspects he is not the ‘real’ president… someone else, some small committee, is pulling the strings and THEY should read the book.

    • Someone will write out a to do list and put it on the teleprompter.

      Imagine an important speech and he say’s ”check cheapest broadband deal,pay Netflix and Disney +,pay gas bill,cancel milk for two weeeks as going on holiday,put Champ in kennels while away”.

      • Crooked Joe doesn’t have to pay for gas, milk, or anything else as we, the poor overburdened taxpayers are footing the huge bills for his lavish lifestyle. Of course, with all the many dirty millions of dollars he has illegally received in bribes over fifty years in politics, he could easily afford to pay for all those luxuries himself. Yeah, former Top Gun aces Joe “Sniffer” Biden and Hunter “Snorter” Biden, plus Doctor “Taco” Biden and the rest of their crime family have it made financially.

        I wouldn’t be surprised that the kennels at the White House are much nicer than my humble little home and Crooked Joe’s dog(s) eat better than I do.

  4. Biden could also read Justice Thomas’ opinion which contained an excellent history lesson in the Second amendment historically being historically interpreted to include firearms that were in “common use” in the military.

  5. Among all the other debilitations, I very much doubt the mal-administrator reads much of anything, except for his instructional que cards.

  6. Last year I narrated “The Road to Concord: How Two Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War” by J. L. Bell for Audible. It’s one of my favorites. The Sons of Liberty were brilliant at keeping General Gage off balance without making him mad enough to burn Boston to the ground. When they stole two brass cannon literally from under his nose, by cutting into a side door as the guard was making noise ceremionially changing in front of the armory, he sent a detatchment into Concord to try to get them back before someone told Parliament about the incident and embarrassed him. Most histories say the expedition was supposed to try to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock, but that was incidental; Gage wanted those cannons back. He never got them; they were hidden beneath a pile of firewood in a schoolroom. Ordinary American farmers and shopkeepers fought the British every day.

    • I am often called upon to tell the story of Gage’s little “powder raid” on Cnocord. Yes, there were two cannon, in the possession of the inn/tevern keeper just off the Commons there in the centre of town. As four companies were sent to guard the North bridge and also go out to Barrett’s farm to seize the newly acquired long guns hidden out at the farm one of the British officers ccosted the innkeeper, who had closed the tavern and was at his home next door. He was eventually rousted out and questione about “those two canon” “Cannon?” he responded… I don’t know of any cannon around these parts. The officer drew his pistol, and clapped it up to the side of the Keep’s head. OH, THOSE CANNON. Why theyre right over here, under this pile…… the officer had his men dig them out and get them to an open part of the yard. They then broke off the trunnions of both of them, rendering them useless for anything other than paperweights. Or remelting and refounding, which is I am quite certain what happened to them. But the office,r knowing it would be well nigh impossible to bring them back to Boston along with them (there were MANY wounded even at this early stage of the day). So preventing the colonists from using them against his troops was an acceptable second to returning them to their rightful home in Boston.

      From what I have learned, it does seem the kerfuffle at Lexington was an attempt to assure there could be no flanking fire upon the Redcoat column as it passed along one side of the Commons at Lexington. John Hancock and Sam Adams do seem to be “small change” in the larger game of the day. Had they been arrested it is all but certain they’d have been “transported” back to London for a rigged trial no witnesses, no legal counsel, and almost certain death at the Tower. Low enough prirority especially after the undisciplined volley killing some men of Lexington had set a different an very bad tone for the day, which was a debacle from the start, as the landing at Lechmere Point was at fairly high water in a fetid swamp. And those Redcoat issue boots do seem to have lacked suitable scuppers for draining that smelly water back out.. Marching all night with tide-stench and mud in those already uncomfortable boots did not set a good tone for the mission.

      I might have to see about getting a copy of that book. Im a sucker for great stories, and for things of that period in our history. Double whammy there.
      And no Dopey Joey won’t read it. Beneath his station, for starters.

  7. Not the first time Crooked Joe has spewed lies. Just recently in a speech, the senile member of the Dark Side claimed firearms killed more young people than other cause including cancer and car accidents. Obviously blatant lies and of course he didn’t mention the many thousands of Americans who died from the deadly Fentanyl he is allowing to be brought into our country from south of the border. I believe that Crooked Joe has indirectly caused the deaths of more people, domestically and in foreign lands, than any American president other than FDR and maybe Truman, and he still has 2+ more years to kill more people and wreak additional havoc on us and the rest of the world.

    • Tom606,

      Just think how many of our fellow citizens still prefer Biden to Trump. I don’t know if it is one-third or one-half the country, but there are way too many anti-Trumpers out there. How can we have a decent country when we live with such idiots? I would love to blame immigrants for our problems, but I can’t. Many native-born Americans just do not understand politics and economics.

      We are doomed. Oh well. I am as ready as I can be. The Patriots around me give me hope, but their influence is diluted by the idiots.

      • Roger, dire times are in our future. I only hope those on this blog are ready or preparing for the hardships ahead. I’m naturally optimistic, but also realistic (so won’t make a good liberal) and am constantly preparing for when the stinky excrement hits the fan. I just ordered a solar powered generator with four 100W panels to keep my basic appliances in operation in case of a power outage. I may add more panels and possibly a few deep cycle batteries to store additional power in case of inclement weather. I had considered a propane generator which could power my entire house, but it’s only good as long as the fuel tanks could be refilled after several days. Also, a solar unit will operate for a long time and is completely silent, which in a bad situation is very important. Stealth is a good thing.

        Dark Side teachers have been quietly indoctrinating impressionable students from elementary school to college for decades now and their very insidious mission has produced tens of millions of brainwashed liberal zombies who cast their votes for any politician with a (D) after their name. Certain groups of people are more prone to be influenced by the Dark Side and they are constantly supporting politicians who do things that actually harm them more than it does other folks. They are truly the “Useful Idiots” Lenin spoke of with contempt.

      • Tom606,

        I love generators, especially solar generators, for the reasons you mentioned. If I had made better career decisions, I would be able to buy one. Congratulations on your purchase! You have made good choices.

  8. “Because the privateer owners had deep pockets, they were often able to outbid the government for these items.” Wow! Imagine that. Outbidding the government. Those really were “the good, old days.”

    I like seeing how technology evolves. The blunderbuss was a short-barreled shotgun. The musket was a smooth-bore, firing a ball of lead. When I shoot slugs in my shotguns, I see how they are really just repeating muskets. A slug of lead going down a smooth-bore barrel.

    From Douglas Pratt, I’m actually a little disappointed to hear that those two cannons were stolen by The Sons of Liberty. In my eyes, that means General Gage was justified in going after them. But, whatever the truth is, I have to accept it.

    It’s interesting that we got rid of our king, King George III. But, we didn’t get rid of any king or queen ruling us all the way back to 1607, King James. King George III was pushy. It looks like there were eight monarchs (and a couple of Cromwells) from 1603 until we get to King George III in 1760. The American Colonists never rebelled against them.

    Since our revolution, the Brits have actually imitated us. Queen Victoria was the last monarch to have real political power, and she died in 1901. So, the Brits, and most of the European countries, have followed our lead. They have rejected monarchy. I think if monarchs had behaved better, and treated their subjects better, they would not have been replaced by republics.

  9. Oneof my favourite stories from that era is concerning the privateer Quero, owned and captained by a man named John Darby. After the treaty was signed t Yorktown, the leaders of the new nation wanted very much to get word to London, and that quickly. The first reports in would likely set the story, nd anything straggling in later was likely to become the “fix'” or fairy tale to counter it. Darby was approached, his ship was available, he mustered up a minimal crew, was given the packet of documents, and they set sail, I believe out of Salem. His ship was a very fast coastwise schooner, far faster than the typical British merchant or naval vessels. He was straitly commanded to NOT sail directly into England, but to land in Ireland, which he did, He sent his ship further up the Irish west coast to await further orders. He made his way across Ireland thence by ferry to Liverpool, blending in well with the locals. He made his way to London, contacted the “friendlies” there, delivered his packet. It was devastating in the local politicla scene. The greatest military force on the planet ever had been “owned” by a bunch of rag tag dirty colonists, bundled up onto the few naval vessels that could be brought, and sent packing back to London, tail twixt legs. HOW could this have heppened? They first took tne news to be a fabrication. But some news began to trickle slowly across the Puddle, and it all confirmed the documents Darby had brought. Of course, HE was never connected with the sudden appearance of those papers……) Then Gage;s report finally arrived. His report was even more devastating, much as he tried to soften and dilute the truth. Things got “tight” for Darby and he was ordered by his compatriots to disappear that night, and to NOT go straight to his ship. He sent word, and ship with crew met him at some remote place on the rugged west coast of Ireland, and they were back in Salem before anyone important realised they were gone “somewhere”. He had a number of light cannon aboard the Quero, and had done well in privateering over the years. I believe he and crew sank a few important British naval vessels thus reducing the Navy’s effectiveness and stretching what remained even thinner.

    • Tionico,

      Thanks for writing that. I just want to point out that those “rag tag dirty colonists” also had help from the French Army and the French Navy sent by the French King Louis XVI.

      France helped us gain our independence, and we helped France gain independence from Germany, twice, in 1918 and 1944. That’s what friends are for.

      • Ah, if only we could have helped fat Louie XVI from losing his head. Maybe before his appointment with the guillotine, he had a huge piece of cake his German born wife Marie gave him. Some delicious ice cream from Pelosi’s private stock would go nicely with that cake.

  10. We used to get the Finnish Lahti 20mm anti-tank gun for $99 back in U No Who’s flower child days. You can’t touch it now for less than $6,900 USD. A highly versatile DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE and well worth having during the present Zombie Apocalypse, otherwise known as “The Age of Barely Vetted Vaccinations.” I don’t know how far black powder will throw a 20mm projectile. Surely part of the fun will be experimenting with different loads? Please use the Lahti only for peaceful purposes, especially if you plan on some more rioting, but still leave me out. Don’t worry about law enforcement in Seattle, they are way over budget. and the jail is off limits to criminals.

    • Back in the good ole days, one could also afford to buy the Swiss made Solothurn S-18 chambered in 20mm. Not the most portable weapon but it does pack decent stopping power, especially if armor piercing explosive ammo is used. I would personally take a scoped Barrett 82/107 with some Raufoss and standard black tipped AP rounds as the rifle is more easily transported and could be owned without the government’s permission.

  11. The 2nd Amendment isn’t limited?
    So you’d all have had no objection to Bin Laden being able to buy nukes?

    • nicholas kane,

      Maybe Bin Laden tried to buy nukes. I’m sure Israel is about to take out Iran’s nuclear program, just like they took out Saddam’s in 1981. Israel has no choice, and frankly, neither do we.

      In theory, a good person could own a nuclear weapon, and keep it safely. In the real world, I agree, that is a crazy notion. You are correct, there must be some limit on the arms people are allowed to own. Bill Gates could probably afford an F-15, spare parts and the accoutrements for it.

      Where do we draw the line? I don’t know. But no semi-auto rifle should be forbidden. Certainly not just because it looks wicked. I don’t know where to draw the line, but I know the liberals are wrong.

      Bad people will always get some type of weapon, (trucks make great weapons) and use it to attack good people. The good people need to be armed and trained to shoot back, and stop the attack. Attacks cannot be prevented.

      In Uvalde, Texas, the security guard did not fight back, the teachers did not fight back, the principal did not fight back, the police did not fight back, and the parents did not fight back. If good people, who have access to weapons, are not going to fight evil monsters, then gun laws don’t matter. One monster prevailed against all those “good” people, even though many of them were armed, and all those adults were allowed to be armed in Texas.

      • Roger, in Uvalde, at least one parent was able to run into the school and get her child out, after she was arrested and then released by the police. This took time and happened while the police assault team was waiting in the hallway with their “weapons of war” rifles and ballistic shields. At least one of the cops was very careful about not spreading any germs and walked across the hall to get some hand sanitizer from a dispenser on the opposite wall. Dr, Fauci would be so proud of this guy.

  12. If only I had Elon Musk’s fortune, I could have a copy of Germany’s WWII era Gustav 80cm railway cannon made and displayed on my front lawn. With a 31.5″ diameter projectile that weighs 10,560 to 15,620 pounds and a velocity of 2,330 fps to 2,700 fps, it has enough stopping power to satisfy even Jeff Cooper and Elmer Keith.

  13. Looks like Jim Longley beat me to my comment, but it bears repeating:

    On April 19, 1775 Lt. Colonel Francis Smith was dispatched with 800 men to seize privately owned powder, shot, and YES, cannon.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of a narrative, Joe.

    Mas, I haven’t seen you mention Project Appleseed in awhile. Could it be you’re overdue for a visit to one of our events? We have a pistol program now, you know 😉 While it might not be much of a challenge for a man of your ability, it’ll still be tons of fun!

    Keep on keepin’ on, sir. What you do matters.

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