I showed Swamp Rabbit a copy of the recent court ruling on assault weapons in California. He read the first paragraph out loud:
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 AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR-15 type rifle. Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.
Swamp Rabbit laughed. “You must have got this from the Onion. Ain’t no federal judge would compare an AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife. Looks like some looney wrote this. Or an AR-15 salesman.”
“Well, there you go,” I said. “A looney or a salesman. Or both.”
But the author of the ruling that struck down a three-decade ban on assault weapons in CA was indeed a judge — a guy named Roger Benitez, called “unqualified” and much worse by the American Bar Association when nominated for the judgeship back in 2003, but appointed anyway by George W. Bush. (The next Republican POTUS, Donald Trump, would be even more adept than Bush at choosing unqualified judges.)
Swamp Rabbit read more and seemed to become even more incredulous. Benitez wrote that most people “who own and keep the popular AR-15 rifle and its many variants do so for lawful purposes…” but conveniently left out the fact that, in this country, assault weapons were used in the seven deadliest mass shootings in the past decade.
The judge also wrote that “More people have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than mass shootings in California,” a fittingly Trumpian lie and a telling indication of Benitez’ notion of jurisprudence.
I couldn’t help but ask Swamp Rabbit if he remembered the guy who, in Las Vegas in 2017, used his assault rifle, or “home defense weapon,” to kill 58 people and wound nearly 700 in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“I remember,” Swamp Rabbit said. “I don’t even want to think about how bad the slaughter would have been if he’d had one of them Swiss Army knives.”