Seasoned journalists hold two things to be true: 1. Journalists put their biases aside. 2. That's baloney.
A case in point: Here at SLMag, we have great affection for gun-rights lobbyist Clark Aposhian. In our dealings with him, he's been open, smart, willing to answer questions without the usual right-wing sarcasm and, most importantly, he gives good quote.
So we've got a message for Aposhian. GET A NEW LAWYER.
If you follow gun news at all, you know that Aposhian has been point man in not only expanding Utah gun rights, but he got many lawmakers during the last session to consider laws to fend off stricter federal laws. Well played, indeed, Clark.
Then the cordite hit the fan when Aposhian's ex-wife, with whom he is in a custody dispute, filed a complaint against him after he allegedly threatened her car and frightened their daughter on Memorial Day by driving his army truck into her driveway. Beyond being a felon, a fugitive of justice or having renounced your U.S. citizenship nothing can block your ownership of a firearm quicker than domestic violence allegations.
Now, Aposhian, who has had to give up his 300 guns at least until the complaint is settled, is fighting for his livelihood as a lobbyist and gun instructor.
It must have seemed like a good idea to pick lawyer Mitch Vilos to argue the case. Vilos is an authority on Utah's gun laws, he literally wrote the book on it.
Unfortunately, Vilos is also an over-the-top right winger who gets all Constitutional, instead of handling the matter at hand.
One thing any lawyer (or defendant) knows is you don't want to piss off the judge. Vilos accomplished that when he filed a motion arguing the court lacks the authority to restrict his client’s Second Amendment rights. Worse, Vilos wrote part of his motion in all uppercase letters. In the age of emails, any 8-year-old knows that amounts to yelling. Anyone with a IQ equal to the size of their hatband knows you don't yell at judges.
Holladay Justice Court Judge Augustus Chin denied the request and laid into Vilos for disrespecting the bench and “venting.”
Vilos responded to the judge with a strange apology: “Perhaps I spend too much time in my man cave.”
Vilos also has, somewhat mendaciously, argued that Aposhian cannot properly do his job as a concealed-weapon permit instructor without a handgun. Again, unfortunately, Chin knows that under Utah law, trainees not only do not have to ever fire a weapon, but that a real gun does not even have to be in the same room during training. A toy gun (seriously) can be substituted.