Loose cannon as a common metaphor refers to a specific hazard aboard ship. Ships of the line, warships of the British, French and American navies bore iron or bronze cannons of five or six hundred pounds that fired balls as large as thirty-two pounds. A thirty-two pounder was a very large cannon. The carriages for these cannons were harnessed with block and tackle (say “take-le”) fore and aft. The two-inch lines were run through pulley systems necessary to run the guns out, and acted as recoil limiters when fired. Block and Tackle might also be used to help “point” the cannon. Some cannons were bolted to the deck, and four men commonly manned each cannon.
A loose cannon doesn’t fire accidentally, as Clinton hoped to infer regarding Donald Trump. A cannon breaking free careens across the heaving gun deck splintering ladders, buckets, crates—six hundred pounds of hot metal in a massive wooden carriage, rolling on heavy wooden wheels destroyed everything in its way, and crushed any man caught in its path—literally clearing the deck [Recall that scene in “Pirates of the Caribbean—World’s End” when the rat Commodore descends from the poop deck as his ship is shredded around him].
A loose cannon is a bull in a China shop times ten. A loose cannon brings the work of the ship to a halt as the careening metal mass destroys the crew and the very ship that carries it until it can be sent overboard or pinned to a rail. As long as the cannon is loose, the ship is out of service.
Secretary Clinton called Trump a loose cannon and then arrogantly, condescendingly added, “…and loose cannons tend to misfire.” Most likely, mongering fear, she meant that Donald Trump would impetuously push the big red nuclear button.
But Misfire means to fail to fire, as when one relies upon their weapon when the trigger is pulled, or when one expects the cannon to fire when the fuse is lit. So, let’s separate the concept of misfire from loose cannon—it certainly doesn’t mean what she intended. But the idea of miss fire fits Secretary Clinton and President Obama.
The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty in what is known as the Battle of Benghazi stands as the perfect example of a misfire. Secretary Clinton and President Obama either slept peacefully, or played golf—but no one responded to the cry for help from Ambassador Stevens, and the others who died or were wounded on 9/11/2012.
Hillary Clinton misfired, misfires, and will misfire again, as she blunders along in disregard for the Constitution and our balance of power as has been Loose Cannon Obama’s habit, and she will be Obama’s third term if elected. Further, President Obama golfed as 100,000 people scrambled for places to stay after the Louisiana Flood. Then he scolded Congress three days ago for not getting something done in the loss of 65,000 homes in that flood. He is now guilty of playing more than 400 rounds of golf in his nearly eight years. There are 408 weeks in eight years; and he will have averaged more than one game a week by the time we reach January.
Clinton’s careless use of the metaphor “Loose Cannon” reflects her casual, arrogant habit of assuming that whatever she says will be eagerly absorbed by most everyone. And it is apparent she and her speechwriter have little concern for the accurate use of English.
If Hillary takes office and is ever found in a position requiring her to push the big red button in our defense, Heaven help us all, it would most likely misfire since she will no doubt have given Russia the rest of our uranium.