Federal judge overturns California’s ban on assault weapons


Ruling leads to the first annual Around the Block “One of these things is not like the others” contest

Before we get deep into the headlined story, I thought it might be fun if we’d first take a break and warm up with the first annual Around the Block “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others” contest. The rules are simple: look at the images below and put an “X” under the image you believe is not like the others. I’ll give you a few minutes to choose and then, because Around the Block has not yet evolved into an interactive blog, provide the answers below.

So, now it’s time to play,

“One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others”

I’ll give you time to think.

Ok, I understand a few of you are struggling to come up with the answer, so I’ll provide you with a hint:

I know, I know. This is tricky. I mean there are two Ruger assault weapons, but they’re different…one’s a rifle, the other a pistol. And a Swiss Army Knife? Clearly different, you say.

Well, time’s up. And the answer: not one of those things is different. In fact, they’re all the same. At least according to the Federal judge who overturned California’s 22-year old ban on assault weapons.

How so? This is how so:

As reported by CNN,

In a ruling that compared the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife, a federal judge overturned California’s longtime ban on assault weapons on Friday, ruling it violates the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. 

According to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego, the assault weapons ban deprives Californians from owning assault-style weapons commonly allowed in other states. Benitez issued a permanent injunction Friday so the law cannot be enforced. 

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez said in the ruling. “Firearms deemed as ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.”

Just to put your mind at ease that this wasn’t a sudden epiphany on the fine judge’s part, CNN went on to report that “…Last year, Benitez ruled California’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. He also struck down the state’s restriction on remote purchases of gun ammunition.”

Now, as heinous as this ruling appears, and it will be appealed by the state, there is this one niggling question. According to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle,

California, the most populous state in the nation and home to some of its strictest gun laws, was also the site of the most active shooter incidents over the past two decades, according to a new FBI report.

The Golden State saw 42 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2019, a figure more than 50% higher than the 27 shootings recorded in Florida, the state with the second-highest number of such attacks.

So, I guess the question is, do laws really matter? I believe they do. But while we’re thinking about and writing these laws, not just at the state but at the Federal level as well, there’s another critical path: How about a complete re-interpretation of one of the most abused amendments to the Constitution. Yes, you originalists out there, do you really think the Founders meant to protect the rights of people to carry and use the kinds of weapons freely (and now in California, more freely) available when they wrote this convoluted Second Amendment sentence:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The late, not-so-great NRA is fond of saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Or, “It’s not a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue.” I guess that sentiment is why we’re supposed to have waiting periods and background checks. But then there’s Texas and Tennessee which, along with 19 other states, have laws that allow the carrying of handguns, both openly and concealed, without a license or the need for training. Will background checks and waiting periods be next on the gun control chopping block. Crazy!

Finally, while I’m on the subject of crazy:

Former President Donald Trump said a radio host’s suggestion that he run for a House seat in 2022 in a bid to become Speaker and consequently launch an impeachment investigation against President Joe Biden was “very interesting.”

During an interview on Friday afternoon with VRAinsider.com, far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root suggested that Trump runs for Congress in a bid to “wipe” Biden out.

“Why not, instead of waiting for 2024, and I’m hoping you’ll run in 2024, but why not run in 2022 for the United States Congress? A House seat in Florida. Win big. Lead us to a dramatic landslide victory. Take the House by 50 seats,” Root said.

“Then you become the Speaker of the House, lead the impeachment of Biden and start criminal investigations against Biden. You’ll wipe him out for this last two years,” the radio host continued.

When Katharine Lee Bates wrote these words at the turn of the 20th Century, do you think she could have ever imagined an America like ours?

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

4 thoughts on “Federal judge overturns California’s ban on assault weapons

  1. Ted, while I haven’t seen a blog from you lately, this was worth waiting for. I can’t wrap my brain around the lunacy all around us in this country, I’m sad and scared.


  2. Thanks for keeping us posted on the crackpots out there. I missed the urging of Trump to run for the House. It is crazier and crazier with the gun situation and the attempts to deny democrats the right to vote. I want to go to sleep like Rip Van Winkle and wake up when this is all over. Didn’t you write a blog about him now that I think about it? Hugs, Toni



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