The Need For Ban On Assault Hammers

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

In Concerning Guns, Hammers and Violence, I discussed no less than ten instances of deaths, maiming and injury with hammers on men, women, children and animals.  Continuing with this theme, we should note that David Gotshall, a homeless veteran, was beaten and lost an eye to hammer-inflicted injuries.  Kansas is the scene of another crime with a hammer.

Sgt. Scott Brunow said police were called to Wesley Medical Center a little before 9 p.m. Friday where the 44-year-old man, who has Down syndrome, was being treated for a number of injuries, including broken fingers and a hematoma to his head.  Brunow said the victim had been beaten with several tools, including a hammer, pliers and a screwdriver.

In Lake Worth, Florida, a woman was recently beaten with a hammer by her boyfriend because she recommended that he go to the polls and vote.  At the end of July there was a hammer attack in Manhattan Park.

A Spanish tourist was bashed in the head with a hammer by a well-dressed Brooklyn man inside Manhattan’s City Hall Park Monday afternoon, police sources said.

Hugo Alejandre, 31, who is from Barcelona, was sitting on a bench in the downtown park near Murray Street and Broadway when he was targeted him in an unprovoked attack shortly after 3 p.m., the sources said.

Clad in a suit, John Yoos, 43, of Crown Heights, struck Alejandre with the claw part of the hammer on the left side of his head, just above his eye, police said. The blow fractured his skull.

Alejandre also suffered defensive wounds to his arms and hands, police said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center and later listed in stable condition, officials said.

Witnesses to the horrifying assault held Yoos until police officers arrived to place him under arrest, cops said.

Police recovered the hammer and charged Yoos with first-degree assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, authorities said.

A hammer surely is a weapon, and a terrifying one at that.  In Texas a 13 year old boy used a hammer to beat his mother.  Sure, a hammer has been used to stop a rapist recently, too.  But the fact that a hammer can be used for good is no excuse to ignore the horrible violence that can be perpetrated with such a horrible weapon.

I have previously called for increased controls on hammers.  “Given the easy availability of hammers – I can go to Home Depot, Lowes, or even Walmart and purchase a hammer with no background check whatsoever – I am calling for the increased regulation of carpentry tools.  Given the outrage of hammers and the fact that anyone can purchase them just about anywhere, what reasonable person could oppose such a thing?”

If you cannot see your way clear to support this effort for the violence perpetrated against adults, then do it for the children.  Think of the children.  I am also calling for even more stringent controls on assault hammers, or those hammers that have certain features that make them more amenable to use against humans (such as no-slip rubber grips, ripping claws, extra heavy heads, etc.).

Do you want to see more people die at the hands of assault hammers?

  • Burk

    Very funny. But handguns and military rifles have one purpose in life, which is to kill other humans. That seems like something we might not necessarily need to have around in civilian life. We can probably make to without them, as we go about our mundane business of building houses, growing food, etc.

    You might have more appropriately made a metaphor of bombs.. the need for a ban on high-yield munitions. You know they can be used for hunting. Deer are quite conveniently “taken” by them. Sometimes whole herds at at time. But those granola-crazies… they think that red-blooded christian american males may not always handle bombs with the kind of mental discipline consistent with preventing supposedly unnecessary tragedies. How absurd!

  • Herschel Smith

    I’m supremely disappointed Burk. You don’t care about the children, do you? Why won’t you support my campaign? Think of the children.

  • Jose

    I think it’s OK for people to have hammers up to 16 oz., for work and recreation, as long as they are properly regulated.

    But Dead Blow and Claw Hammers have no purpose other than to harm people, and should be restricted to officials from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Especially the 23 oz Hammers.

  • Mr. Baker

    So… Burk – in this world – What defines the “purpose” of an item? Is it the use for which the inventor/designer intended, and solely that? This question is important for two reasons – firstly, man has, for most of time, used the same set of tools to both feed himself (and his family) and defend himself (and his family). It’s only been very recently, and only in certain parts of the world, wherein both of these tasks are primarily performed by others. And – as we have seens in times of crisis – this luxury is only applicable with the presence of enforceable law-abiding order. In other words, as long as we all agree, there is no need to feed or protect oneself. During those “best of times” society at large has little needs, and many wants. At that point, discussions abound on the topic of of where that line really is. But when the fragile nature of this peaceful balance comes to light – during things like riots and hurricanes… We learn the true nature of “man in need” very quickly.

    In this relative, and fabricated, safety, then it’s become true that the very tools we have used to feed and protect (our weapons) have become less required for that purpose. So we, as humans, have found other things to use them for, such as sport. However, it’s easily said that there are far more vehicles used to kill people than guns, so should we then redefine a vehicle as a deadly weapon? If the net effect is that guns are more available, but people choose cars instead, doesn’t that make the case?

    If the “only purpose” of these guns is to kill people, then why is it that there is less than a .1% chance that any gun legally purchased in the USA will be used to even fire a shot with that intention, and a better than 90% chance of it being fired many times for a very different reason like non-lethal target shooting?

    I guess the real question then is… Does “design intent” trump “actual usage” or is it the other way around?

    On top of that, have we become so arrogant and entitled that, as a country, we have stooped to the attitude of kings – that we are far too important to risk our life or limb to defend defend our own home and property, so let’s let others do it for us? Is it ok that we ask a police officer, who has volunteered to take on the awesome responsibility of law enforcement, to also take on the 100% risk for our own home and safety? Do we not, as a country of peers, bear equal or greater responsibility for our own safety and that of our own loved ones? Even if you do feel this way, is it wise? Consider the events in the wake of Katrina, wherein society broke down, and those same police officers wisely chose their own personal responsibilities to their families instead of the needs of the public.

    I am a proud American. I am willing to to accept the responsibilities that come with the freedom I enjoy as a citizen of these United States. Anyone who wants to enjoy the freedom, but delegate the responsibilities is an eliteist. Anyone who takes on the responsibilities of their freedom without the most effective tools available is not as intelligent as they may think. Anyone who thinks that structured, organized, law-abiding society is guaranteed is clearly not paying attention to the facts.

    Kudos to Mr. Smith for placing the conversation right where it needs to be. Guns are like any other tool (such as hammers) – they can be very appropriate for their task, they can be used for good or evil, they have the ability to construct and assist or to kill and destroy, and they are extremely effective when in the hands of a skilled user.

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  • paxf

    I know this is a very old discussion, but you’ve made a critical (if subtle) error. Handguns and rifles are most certainly not made for murder. That’s illegal, rare, and harshly prosecuted.

    They’re made and sold for sport and for self-defense.

    That’s how they’re overwhelmingly used too, with very, very few exceptions. We prosecute those vigorously (and assault-hammer cases too).

You are currently reading "The Need For Ban On Assault Hammers", entry #8932 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published August 19th, 2012 by Herschel Smith.

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