Judge Overturns California’s AR-15 Ban — States The Rifle ‘Like The Swiss-Army Knife,’ Despite The Pure Fact It Ain’t No Fucking Knife

June 5, 2021

In the spirit of murderous mass shootings, and coming yesterday way-ironically on National Gun Violence Awareness Day — this is asshole-insane:

Details via KTLA, updated last night:

A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal.

Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”

In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons, said they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons.

“Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction.

That comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom said in a statement.
“We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”

Bonta called the ruling flawed and said it will be appealed.

California first restricted assault weapons in 1989, with multiple updates to the law since then.

Assault weapons as defined by the law are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes, mass shootings and against law enforcement, with more resulting casualties, the state attorney general’s office argued, and barring them “furthers the state’s important public safety interests.”

Further, a surge in sales of more than 1.16 million other types of pistols, rifles and shotguns in the last year — more than a third of them to likely first-time buyers — show that the assault weapons ban “has not prevented law-abiding citizens in the state from acquiring a range of firearms for lawful purposes, including self-defense,” the state contended in a court filing in March.

The asshole judge continued:

“This case is not about extraordinary weapons lying at the outer limits of Second Amendment protection. The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns. Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes,” his ruling said.

Despite California’s ban, there currently are an estimated 185,569 assault weapons registered with the state, the judge said.

“This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes,” the ruling said.
“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

“In California, murder by knife occurs seven times more often than murder by rifle,” he added.

Benitez was appointed by GW Bush in 2003, and confirmed a year later.

Although handguns are reportedly the biggest weapon used in mass shootings, the worse cases involved semi/automatic rifles — from Statista last week:

Since 1985 there has been a known total 49 mass shootings involving rifles, mostly semi-automatics.
This figure is underreported though, as it excludes the multiple semi-automatic (and fully automatic) rifles used in the 2017 Las Vegas Strip massacre — the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, killing 58 and wounding 546.
In fact, semi-automatic rifles were featured in four of the five deadliest mass shootings, being used in the Orlando nightclub massacre, Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and Texas First Baptist Church massacre.

The asshole judge also called the ban a “failed experiment,”  even after 30-plus years:

The ruling is “alarming and wrong,” said Ari Freilich, the state policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a group led by Gabrielle Giffords, the former representative from Arizona who was shot a decade ago.
“It’s also an insult to families across the nation, on today of all days, who have seen in the most painful way possible how dangerous and deadly assault weapons are.”

And about those family members of mass-shooting victims?
Fred Guttenberg has been through it:

“Let me deliver a message to this activist judge … you are a liar. Your opinion is written utilizing the exact language of the gun lobby, these are not new words, these are not new phrases. You took the language from the gun lobby to write this opinion.”

Please go listen to Guttenberg’s narrative in the tweet above — his 14-year daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. The shooter that day was armed with an AR-15.

What can you say?
Accept maybe scream your ass off…

(Illustration out front: Edvard Munch‘s ‘The Scream,’ lithograph version, found here)

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