Yesterday was Wear Orange Day, which has become something of a national event for my friends in Gun-control Nation. The concerts, demonstrations and other public gatherings that take place to remember and memorialize victims of gun violence have now been going on since 2015.

              This year, however, Wear Orange Day was marked by a rather unique and auspicious event, namely, a decision by Federal District Court Judge Roger Benitez, which overturned California’s assault weapon ban and reinstated the ‘right’ of California’s law-abiding residents to buy and own an AR-15.

              If you want, you can take the trouble to download and read through the 94-page decision or you can save yourself the trouble and reflect on the one sentence [Page 80] which sums up the whole thing: “the point is that most of what the Attorney General says are dangerous features on a prohibited modern rifle are also features on a Second Amendment-protected semiautomatic pistol.”

              I’m not saying that I’m happy with the California assault-weapons ban being lifted, although this case will obviously now continue winding its way through the courts.  What I am saying is that, like it or not, Judge Benitez got it right whereas every other advocate and legal expert on both sides of this issue has gotten it wrong. The whole notion of defining an ‘assault rifle’ based on its design, its mechanical features, or its add-on doodads (flash suppressor, sliding stock, etc.) is absurd.

              Worse, my friends in Gun-control Nation who promote an assault-weapons ban based on the lethality of such guns invariably trot out the number of people who are killed or wounded by AR’s. This is also a non-argument, and contradictions which appeared in the testimony of experts (Klarevas, Allen) about the number of mass shootings was cited by Judge Benitez in knocking down California’s case.

              From 1999 through 2019, my state – Massachusetts – reported 206 cases of West Nile virus, maybe three infected individuals died. Does that mean I don’t need to spray myself with mosquito-repellant when I go for a walk in the woods?

              On the other hand, the idea promoted by Judge Benitez that a particular weapon’s popularity is some kind of proof that it falls under the umbrella of Constitutionally-protected guns is equally, if not more bizarre. He states that nearly two million AR-type rifles were purchased in 2018 and then says, “After handguns, modern rifles are probably the most popular firearms in America. They are quietly owned by millions of law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes ranging from home defense to sporting competitions.” {Page 16-17.]

              So what? In 2020, there were at least 35 million Americans who consumed more than 16 bags of potato chips that year. Should we avoid talking about banning this extraordinarily-unhealthy processed food because so many people sit on their rear ends playing video games while chomping away?

              The AR-style rifle is the usual weapon of choice used by individuals who really want to kill a lot of people in a brief period of time (James Holmes in Aurora, Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook, Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas, Omar Mateen in Orlando, et. al.) But the kid who killed and wounded 50 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 used a handgun, a point cited by Judge Benitez in his defense of 2nd-Amendment protection for assault rifles quoted above.

              The fact that Americans can easily buy handguns with certain design features similar to assault rifles is no reason to extend 2nd-Amendment protection to the latter types of guns. Why not simply remove Constitutional protection from bottom-loading, semi-automatic handguns?

              The reason we suffer from gun violence is because some Americans buy into the silly and stupid notion that they can walk into a gun shop, leave with a Sig or a Glock, take it to the local gun range, shoot it a couple of times and now they’re ready to defend themselves against either a ‘street thug’ or the ‘tyranny of the state.’

              The good news about Miller v. Bonta is that maybe it will provoke a serious and informed discussion within Gun-control Nation about what their strategy for reducing gun violence should really be.

Sandy Hook: A Man Sold A Gun: Weisser, Michael R: 9780692945025: Books