“As the pocket knife of the Swiss army, the popular Ar-15 semi-automatic rifle it can serve just as well to defend one’s home and country ”. The passage is contained in the 90 pages of motivation of the judgment of the federal judge Roger T. Benitez, which thus canceled the ban, in force for 32 years (since 1989) in California, to possess assault rifles. For the judge, the ban was “a failed experiment”. The decision deeply shaken him State, which within the next 30 days (time in which the sentence is suspended) will appeal against the verdict, and upset the Democratic governor Gavin Newsom in light of the growth of the phenomenon of shootings and gods massacres. “This sentence – he commented Newsom – represents a threat for public order and for the lives of many citizens innocent. And comparing assault rifles to a Swiss army knife – he added – is a slap in the face and an insult to the families of the victims of the many mass slaughters ”.
Who is Judge Robert Benitez – The appeal filed in 2019 by a group consisting of gun owners, lobbyists and owners of armories was accepted by the federal district judge Roger Benitez, appointed in 2003 by George W. Bush and already risen to the headlines for having blocked in 2003 the Californian law that prohibited the sale of maxi magazines, those capable of holding more than ten bullets. For the pro-arms magistrate, the 1989 ban banning assault rifles “is unconstitutional because the government of one State it is not free to impose on American citizens her choices policies when these concern constitutional rights “: in this case the second amendment which establishes the right to defense and possession of firearms. The judge, however, went further, giving reasons for the sentence to say the least questionable: “We’re not talking about here bazooka, cannons or machine guns, But say ordinary modern rifles and popular “. Hence the risky parallel with pocket knife Swiss and the consideration that “weapons and ammunition in the hands of the criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous. It is preferable to leave them in the hands of responsible and law-abiding citizens ”.
The Ar-15 semi-automatic rifle – It is estimated that over 8 million people in America own it. To this deadly weapon – derived from thatM16 used byAmerican army and in some states Usa from police – some of the massacres more bloody occurred in recent years in the country, including that of the concert of Las Vegas, the most tragic in American history that killed 61 people and injured 411 others. But also there California has paid a heavy price despite the ban on AR 15, with the massacre in the high school of Parkland in 2018 or the one in the social center of San Bernardino in 2015.
The massacres caused by weapons – The sentence of the California once again turns the spotlight on the circulation of weapons in the Usa, which only in 2019 – he writes Bbc – they’ve caused 14,400 homicides. I Cdc, the highest authority for the control of public health, also in 2019 recorded 38,300 overall deaths caused by firearms, of which more than 23,900 suicides. The United States they also hold the sad record of the first country in the world for the possession of weapons, about 120.5 for every 100 residents. In second place only it Yemen with 52.8 per hundred inhabitants, as recorded by the 2018 data Small Arms Survey.
Impressive numbers that, in the light of shootings occurred in recent months, they pushed Joe Biden to ask the Senate to approve two laws introducing more restrictive rules on the circulation of weapons, defined by the president as “an epidemic, a source of international embarrassment for our country”. It is unlikely that the two measures will be approved in a Senate split in half and where the arms lobby No. for decades it has financed many influential members of the party republican.
Since the beginnings of pandemic Arms sales had skyrocketed in many states, with millions of Americans convinced that the health emergency could lead to the disintegration of public order through theft, looting and murder. A significant surge in sales also occurred in the weeks leading up to the presidential elections in November, where the victory of Biden it subsequently culminated with the assault on Congress by supporters of Trump.
Meanwhile, the tension is growing: since last year i American criminologists, he wrote Cnn, found an increase in shootings (33% of murders more in the main cities), exploded with the crisis economic caused by the pandemic and anti-racist protests erupted after the case of George Floyd. Just looking at the weekend of Mothers’ Day, Mother’s Day of May 12, according to data from Gun Violence Archive11 shootings occurred within 72 hours, killing 117 people and injuring 303 others.