A judge’s momentous gun-rights ruling comes with a side of coronavirus vaccine misinformation

The true extent of coronavirus vaccine misinformation is something that, like all misinformation, is difficult to gauge. Many Americans — particularly Republicans — are declining the vaccine, but plenty of them are doing so because of a perceived lack of necessity. From there, various theories abound, including about what’s in the vaccines and potential side effects. But when it comes to epitomizing how much such misinformation has penetrated our society, it’s difficult to do better than this: a federal judge inserting a baseless claim about vaccine deaths in a completely unrelated opinion. U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez’s ruling striking down what is known as an assault weapons ban in California is a momentous one, which, as The Washington Post’s Timothy Bella and Rachel Siegel write , could reverberate. Such rulings cue up the possibility that the newly conservative-dominated Supreme Court might eventually decide to take up the case — a possibility which could bear on future gun-rights cases. Benitez’s ruling was hailed by gun-rights supporters not just because of that, but because of the detailed case he laid out, which echoes many of their most popular arguments about the banning of guns such as AR-15s. Benitez labeled the ban a “failed experiment.” He provocatively suggested such guns were necessary for militias, citing his birth country of Cuba and the revolution there. He likened the guns to Swiss army knives and compared the numbers of deaths caused by rifles and knives. But Benitez perhaps inadvertently undermined his arguments by […]

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