Saturday, June 05, 2021

Cold dead hands

 Tired of waiting for the federal government, California went ahead and passed an assault weapon ban.  They thought they could do this because back in 1967 California had passed the Mulford Act banning the carrying of any loaded firearms.  This was explicitly intended to disarm the Black Panther Party, whose members were patrolling parts of Oakland.  The governor who signed Mulford was Ronald Reagan, and his friend Charlton Heston never said a mumbling word.

But this time a federal judge named Roger T. Benitez decided to celebrate Gun Violence Awareness Day by declaring the law unconstitutional, and going on to endorse the AR-15, declaring, "Like the Swiss Army knife, the AR-15 is the perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment."  He also praised its "militia readiness," whatever that means.  He was born in Cuba and appointed by George W. Bush, whatever that means.   He couldn't just cite the Second and let it go at that.  And now I have a mental picture of Swiss reservists drilling with a combination nail file-bottle opener-fish scaler-wire stripper-tweezer-chisel and seventy other indispensable tools.

You know what I can't picture?  Steven Paddock killing sixty people and wounding 411, even with twenty knives and a bump stock.

It's always Gun Violence Awareness Day in America, unless you turn off all news media and load up on sleeping pills.  On Tuesday two children, twelve and fourteen, fled their foster home, stole guns from another house and played a deadly game of Grand Theft Auto with sheriff deputies in Volusia County, Florida.  Somehow the deputies avoided killing them, although the girl, 14, was wounded.  In Canton, Mississippi, Ashton Walden's mother left him in her car with his brother and their two-year-old sister.  The sister found a gun under the seat and killed Ashton, who was nine.  At least thirty children have been shot so far this year.  I assume none was related to Judge Benitez, but who can be sure?  He probably wouldn't change his position on guns if someone shot him.  Steve Scalise didn't.


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