In discussing the firing of Kevin Williamson a few days ago, @1967Mustangman closed the post with the observation, “…America inches closer to a fracture.” A District Court in Massachusetts may have just moved us several feet closer thereto, in ruling that the Second Amendment permits a ban on possession of many categories of the most popular guns in the country. That the Judge, William G. Young, had a political axe to grind is suggested by his gratuitous observation in the opinion that Justice Scalia would have been “proud” of it. Such commentary in district court opinions are, let us say, unusual.
The law bans virtually all semi-automatic weapons, calling them “assault rifles.” As such, the court says (straight out of gun-banners’ talking points) they are useful to the military, therefore not protected by the Second Amendment. This, itself, is a non sequitur.
As well, the opinions is – like most anti-gun propaganda – all but fact free. If a military force were armed with the civilian version of AR-15’s in question, it would be a laughably (it would be, at minimum, unkind to laugh as soldiers were cut down en masse as they would be, thus armed) ineffective force. Actual assault rifles, you see, have a selector switch which permits fully-automatic firing (the way they are invariably used, except by snipers), so the very name of the category of banned weapons is a fabrication. First, kill language, then kill rights. Civilian versions of AR-15’s and all other rifles mythically called “assault-rifles,” lack the full-auto function.
This law criminalizes at a stroke scores or hundreds of thousands of
citizens subjects of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It will set local citizens at each others’ throats and this ruling will embolden anti-gun fanatics throughout the country. Every municipality and some states with anti-gun activists will be passing similar bans. Fractures (and punctures) to follow. Only a prompt Supreme Court ruling (an unlikely event) announcing that such weapons may not be banned under the Second Amendment can prevent what could easily become a violent upheaval. But, I think that may be precisely what the illiberal left is aiming for.