AP Describes Authoritarian Court-Upheld California Gun Law As 'Unusual' and 'Rare'

June 29th, 2018 3:38 PM

California's Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that the state's legislature can pass a law knowing full well that compliance is impossible.

The law in question, as described in the Associated Press's coverage, requires "new models of semi-automatic handguns to stamp identifying information on bullet casings when shots are fired." The underlying law defines any such weapon without this technology as an "unsafe handgun."

The AP's Sudhin Thanawala described the law as "unusual." The wire service's headline called it "rare."

When the the wire service's Juliet Williams tweeted about the ruling Thursday afternoon, many readers must have thought it was a joke (HT Instapundit):


Though the tweet wasn't a joke, the ruling is a sick joke on the rule of law, a tragic victory for gun-control zealots, and yet another reason why citizens' respect for the law and politicians is eroding .

The AP's Thanawala nonetheless presented the court's ruling as presumptively acceptable:


Plaintiffs didn't "argue" that the technology doesn't exist. They factually asserted that it doesn't exist, and the court agreed.

Thanawala's and AP's treatment is particularly galling, given that the wire service has recently given in to leftist pressure to characterize certain statements made by President Donald Trump in supposedly objective dispatches as presumptively false, even though their veracity is either a matter of opinion or open to dispute.

Here's an example of that posture seen in AP's June 20 coverage of Trump's executive order halting illegal-immigrant family separations:


On Sunday, during an interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace, former Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson acknowledged ("I freely admit") that the Obama administration had "a" policy to separate illegally immigrating families. So all AP had to defend its underlined contention that Trump has "falsely blamed" Democrats is the meaning of "the." Given Trump's actual mid-June statements on the subject, the AP's contention about them — notably not quoted — is highly debatable and no place in a supposedly objective report.

This new obsession with labeling statements as false in supposedly objective dispatches is apparently a Trump-only enterprise. No such labeling is seen in these three paragraphs from Thanawala's story:


The court ruled that currently "complying with the statute is impossible." As an officer of the court, Xavier Becerra is required to concede that already objectively factual point. Therefore, he lied. But the AP wouldn't characterize his false statement as false.

There should be little debate about the result of the ruling, assuming it survives appeals.

The state's legislature has weaponized the law to achieve authoritarian goals, in this case curtailing new gun sales. The California Supreme Court has given this tactic its carte blanche endorsement. The state's politicians can now potentially legislate any disfavored business, industry, enterprise or even social or fraternal group out of existence, or at least out of functioning in the state, simply by imposing requirements which cannot possibly be met. Whether impossibility is a defense if charged with failing to accomplish the impossible is left to the tender mercies of the legal system:


How not comforting.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.