Joe Eskenazi, a columnist for SFWeekly.com, took a lot of heat from several members of the gun community for his decision to use a picture of Rambo and a picture of guns from the videogame HALO to make a point about a lawsuit over the clarity, or lack thereof, of California’s Assault Weapon ban.
A blogger from the website Days of Our Trailers.com wrote of Eskenazi’s article:
In an article written to smear rights activists attempting to overturn CA’s vague ‘Assault Weapon’ law (originally written by picking out scary looking guns from a catalog), the author shows his blatant stupidity.
He first uses an old promo poster for the Rambo movies. Sylvester Stallone BTW, is/was a spokesman for the Brady Campaign, even after his decades of glorifying criminal use of firearms.
The second photo is a list of ‘guns’ from the video game HALO.
Seriously, he couldn’t bother finding a picture of a real EBR but instead had to use a photo of made up ones? Just like the original CA AWB. This is the Main Stream Media of today.
Others were even more direct, “That dude is a liberal piece of sh*t!” one blogger wrote.
But in looking at Eskenazi’ article, which also includes a youtube video of Warren Zevon performing “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” it’s clear that although his picture selection was poor, it’s not the biggest problem with his article.
Rather, where Eskenazi really falters is he doesn’t admit what is plainly evident – that California’s assault weapons ban is overly complicated and downright confusing.
See, Guns.com ran an article that covered the same lawsuit a few days ago. Basically, the lawsuit involves Brendan John Richardsss, an honorably discharged Marine and Iraq war veteran, who was arrested and jailed in May 2010 and August 2011 for carrying what police believed were ‘assault weapons.’
Eskenazi points out the details of the case in his article, he writes, “In both of Richards’ confrontations with the law, he and the arresting officer differed on whether the firearms in the ex-Marine’s trunk fit the definition of “assault weapons.” In both cases, Richards lost the argument, was arrested, had his guns taken away, and spent several days in jail while his family ponied up bail money. And, finally, in both cases, weapons experts overruled the arresting officers, declaring Richards’ armory were not ‘assault weapons’ — all charges were dismissed, and Richards got his non-assault weapons back.”
Based on this paragraph alone, one can reasonably conclude that if a weapons expert needs to be brought in to determine whether or not a firearm is an ‘assault weapon,’ then the law is ill-defined and, perhaps, as the lawsuit posits, “unconstitutionally vague.”
Eskenazi stops short of admitting what we already know and what is evident by virtue of Richards experiences, that the California Assault Weapon ban is ambiguous (and total B.S.).
Now he hints at this idea, specifically at the beginning of his article where he says, “The term ‘assault weapon’ has always rankled Second Amendment absolutists. Handled properly, an umbrella could be an ‘assault weapon.’ Considering the purpose of a weapon, the term ‘assault weapon’ is rather redundant” – but he never quite admits that the plaintiffs in the case, Richards, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation make a very cogent argument when they say the state’s laws are “hopelessly vague and ambiguous as applied; and thus an infringement on the Second Amendment.”
But then again, maybe he has to keep up an aura of journalistic disinterestedness that precludes him from weighing in on the matter. Either way, if he is to be criticized it should be for his refusal to point out the obvious and not for his poor picture selection – because, truth be told, we’ve all had a bad picture day.