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Things I Didn’t Know About Ron Paul

Ron, baby, if I can get a Letter of Marque and Reprisal from Congress, I will totally vote for you.  I can be bought.  I have a price.   Permission to arm a ship and hunt down terrorists will get my vote any day of the week.

I’ve been looking for a career change.  Privateer sounds like a great job title.  Do I get business cards?

9 Responses to “Things I Didn’t Know About Ron Paul”

  1. Ahab says:

    Hell yes you do. If you can get the Letter, I can get us a deal on a nice 50 footer that we can outfit like a Q-Ship.

    Now we just need to find some 82mm Chi-com mortars and .50 BMG machine guns and we would be all set.

  2. Sebastian says:

    There are places in the world where piracy is still a problem. The gun blogosphere stands by to help. But a letter of reprisal basically allows you to commit legal piracy against ships flagged by the nation listed in the reprisal or marque. The big problem is, which nation do you reprise against? Afghanistan doesn’t have a navy, and Iraq not much of one. Iran maybe?

    Maybe we can get it against the French. For old time sake?

  3. Ahab says:

    I think the last time we granted Letters of Marque was during the Quasi-War with France.

  4. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    I wonder if Letters of Marque and Reprisal override BATFE rules and legislation. Technically, you’d be a federal military contractor such as Blackwater. I also wonder if it would apply to airplanes and helicopters. Buy a Huey or MiG and mount rockets and guns on it.

    The U.S. granted Letters of Marque during the War of 1812. None were used in the Civil War (except by the South) or the Spanish-American War. However, in the Civil War, there was a blockade that intercepted goods heading toward the Confederacy. Those captured goods would be sold at auction and [half?] the proceeds would go to the crew.

    Letters of Marque and Reprisal fell out favor in the mid-19th Century. I can’t even find if any were issued for the Mexican-American War.

    Anyway, I thought that ships historically carried a small complement of weapons to deal with pirates. I wonder if the Coast Guard regulates this kind of stuff.

  5. Ian Argent says:

    I believe it is currently against ratified international treaty to issue Letters right now – though Dr. Paul may not care…

    (I also have no real proof of this – pehaps I should edit the Wiki page on them :) )

  6. Sebastian says:

    I think Ian is right. A letter of marque from Congress would have to stipulate that you are exempt from federal firearms regulations in order to arm your ship. Otherwise ATF could claim they still apply to you, despite your permission from Congress to arm a ship. As long as that stipulation was in there, it would carry, because a letter of marque is still an Act of Congress, and is law.

  7. Ahab says:

    While not technically a Letter of Marque, during the Mexican American war and the Civil War, the Revenue Cutter Service (the predecessor of the modern Coast Guard) was authorized to “deputize” civilian volunteers to serve on their blockade forces. As smuggling was an excellent source of income for the South, Revenue Cutter vessels often plied the shallow waters where larger ships of the line couldn’t go. Their primary role during the Civil War was to interdict slavers and smugglers.

  8. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    I know there are international agreements against LofM&R, but the U.S. is not a signatory to them.

    There are actually a lot of international agreements that the U.S. has never signed, but follow in a “gentlemen’s agreement” fashion.

    What we really need is a discussion on how to best fight off the piratical hordes.

  9. Ian Argent says:

    I knew the general policy of the US was to “not sign, but honor” for stuff like that – I thought that the LM&R treaty was one (like some, but not all of the Geneva Conventions) that had been doen up in bows.

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