By: Teresa Mull
Because they disagree politically with a decision made recently by Judge Roger Benitez, who ruled in Miller v. Bonta that California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban is unconstitutional, the Washington Post editorial board decided to continue its misinformation campaign by spewing more propaganda against these demonized firearms.
“No, Judge Benitez, we do not need weapons of war for ‘home defense,’” the Post declares in a recent editorial, starting their erroneous statements right at the title. The so-called “assault weapons” banned by California’s law are not, as every informed gun owner knows, “weapons of war.”
Nor are they, as the Post writes, “more dangerous than other firearms.” The military uses rifles with select fire capabilities, meaning they can transition from semi-automatic to automatic fire. True military-style assault weapons – actual weapons of war – are already heavily regulated and have been since the passage of the National Firearms Act in 1934.
It appears the editorial board did not read past Judge Benitez’ first five words in his decision, as the piece blatantly – and I would venture, purposefully – ignores key information.
Judge Benitez elaborates in great detail on the mechanical design features of the guns California deems “assault weapons,” proving that their functionality is no more lethal than any other semi-automatic firearm lacking the arbitrary “assault weapon” label.
Had the Post persevered in its reading, or been more honest in its interpretation of the decision, the board would also have discovered that asserting these weapons “are disproportionately used in crimes” is, as the judge notes repeatedly, a claim “not supported by the evidence.” If the Post has contrary data, they don’t cite it.
One thing the board does get right is that assault weapons are “not Swiss Army knives.” Indeed, as the FBI has found, and Judge Benitez observes with in-depth statistics, you are much more likely to be killed by a knife in America than with any type of rifle.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.