Greg’s Ramblings: Guns and Hammer Time

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Greg’s Ramblings, 01/30/13: There is much discussion about gun (and hammer) control this week …

Feinstein Pushes For More Gun Control

There is a lot of talk about gun control lately, brought on by a spate of incidents around the country. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to suggest that some of the “crazy nut-job” shooting incidents are planned to increase public support for gun control laws. Of course, if I actually said that in public, people would think I was crazy.

Now Senator Diane Feinstein and other legislators are introducing gun control laws as fast as they can. Feinstein’s proposed legislation would ban the “sale, manufacture and importation of 158 specifically named military-style firearms” and ammunition magazine that hold more than 10 rounds. Interestingly, it exempts “weapons used by government officials” along with members of law enforcement.

I think there is a place for logical, sensible gun control, but I’m not sure if outlawing guns by the way they look is the way to go. My gun-toting friends (I have them walk around with me at night on the mean streets of Tipp City) tell me that assault weapons are already illegal—the “assault weapons” that people like Senator Feinstein are talking about are regular guns that have been spruced up to look like assault weapons. They still require one pull of the trigger per bullet, if I understand it correctly.

Time to Outlaw Hammers Too?

But a reader sent me an interesting link: Breitbart and Fox News recently reported that, according to annual FBI crime statistics, “the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle.” In 2011, there were 323 murders committed with rifles. In the same year, 496 people were killed with hammers and clubs…

urlCurious, I got on the FBI website and looked up the statistics. First, there were some other frightening numbers for 2011: 12,664 total homicides. Some interesting numbers from the statistics:

  • 8,583 people were killed by firearms — 6,200 handguns, 323 rifles, 356 shotguns and 1,684 unknown weapons. It doesn’t say if these were by criminals or for self-protection, but I have to assume the vast majority of these are crime-related.
  • 1,694 people were killed by knives “or other cutting instruments”
  • 496 were killed by blunt objects – hammers, clubs, etc.
  • 736 were killed with “hands, fists, feet, etc.” — WHAT? There are some crazy people out there.
  • 12 were killed with explosives
  • 2 were “pushed or thrown out [of a] window”
  • 29 were killed by narcotics — remember, these are homicides
  • 853 were killed by “other.” This frightens me because the list is already so specific, I can’t imagine what these homicide methods could be. Killed by attack squirrels? Bored to death? Forced to shop AGAIN at the mall?

The number of homicides from gun violence is staggering as a percentage of total homicides, but the great majority of those homicides are committed with handguns. It seems like outlawing rifles (no matter what they look like) won’t help at all.

And I don’t know about you, but I like having hammers and wouldn’t like it if the federal government outlawed them. How would I pound in all those nails? I guess I’d better run out to Menard’s and stock up on hammers (and clubs – where does one buy a club?) before they start a national hammer registry.

Next Time

Feel free to drop me an email at ramblings@gregenslen.com or use the “Contact Me” page on my website if you’d like to let me know about what you think about gun control. And hopefully I’ll talk to you soon!

4 COMMENTS

  1. Feinstein’s legislation aside from banning the named firearms also bans the production, importation, sale or transfer of all semi-automatics including shotguns and carbines chambered in pistol calibers that have a grip of any kind. Allow that to sink in…

    This legislation also does not include the word “criminal” or imply penalties for criminal intent but instead speaks in sweeping, all inclusive terms (excluding government employees as mentioned in this article). As sweeping as this legislation is I am deeply concerned about its constitutionality as it is in direct conflict with the language and higher court interpretations of the 2nd Amendment including SCOTUS rulings, most notably “Heller vs District of Columbia.”

    As emotional and controversial as the topic of gun control is, any proposed solutions must be lawful and meaningfully effective to garner support. The mere presence of this legislation guarantees conversation in regards to the vastly complex issues of gun crime in the U.S. That is a good start.

  2. Chicago is a ripe example of gun bans in action. Feinstein’s ban would help nothing here. The criminals are mostly using handguns that are illegal to own and buy. Law breakers do not care about laws.

  3. Since guns are used in 68% of homicides, then taxes should be levied on gun and ammunition sales to help pay for school guards and other security officers needed in our society. Like it or not, the gun industry is a net beneficiary of the gun violence in this country. They make the guns used by criminals, the guns bought by law ibiding citizens who feel the need for protection from criminals, and the guns used by the police and other security forces. There is no need to restrict guns, just make the gun indusrty help pay for the protection that we need.

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