Someone told me last night that hammers kill more people than automatic weapons. Being a bleeding heart liberal on the far left side of the scale, I found that hard to believe, so I decided to check it out.
And I found a site written by Brett Breitbart that claims just that, and cites the FBI as its source.
It links to a (from what I can tell) legitimate FBI site.
I won’t argue that the line that says “rifles” (348 murders) does include fewer murders in 2009 than the line that says “hammers [and other blunt objects]” (611 murders). But, as usual, there’s more to the story–like, the line that says “Firearms, type not stated”–which is a whopping 1,834. And when it says “rifle,” does this mean hunting rifle? Assault weapon type rifle? Where does an AR-15 fall in this categorization of deadly weapons (to name the one that’s gotten a lot of bad press lately)? Or a modified AR-15, which is apparently pretty easy to do?
I haven’t gone through the entire FBI site to figure out their classification–life is way too short for that–but I think it begs the question.
Assault weapons in general (and by this I mean the ones that are designed or modified to shoot many rounds) are there for a sole purpose: to kill other human beings. Plural human beings. (If you need more than three bullets to kill a human or a deer, sign up for marksmanship training at your local firearms center or go get your vision checked.) Seriously, can you think of any other reason to have one? My friend, who is an ardent gun rights advocate, also said his/her children have them because they’re “cool.” Huh? Cool? Sorry, buddy–tie dye is cool. Jerry Garcia is cool. Assault weapons are so not cool.
Hammers are designed to create something, to build something. I suspect (though I freely admit I haven’t verified this) that most murders with a hammer are crimes of opportunity and/or passion. Maybe those who use assault rifles are too, though I think that’s a weaker argument. If I see someone waltzing down the street with a hammer in his or her hand and a mean look on his or her face, my internal alarm bells hover around 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. Someone waltzing down the street with an assault weapon, even if he’s smiling? Duck and cover, folks, the scale’s gone off the top.
And the argument that people have guns to protect them from a government gone awry? Let’s assume for a moment that it’s even possible these days…that the government has decided that our little section of Georgia needs some serious disciplining. Heck, make it the whole state of Georgia. Washington feels we’re just way out of control and it’s time to send in the military, to make an example out of us so the other 49 states fall into line. You really think the entire state could defend itself against the might of the U.S. military? Just cut off our Internet and see how long we’d last. Close the Atlanta airport, stop the gas pipelines. We’d be fighting each other tooth and nail before too long, and the government could just wait and let us knock each other off. I don’t argue that otherwise intelligent people believe the malarky about government conspiracies to kill off those who don’t agree with them, but I question the sources of their information. And while this opens up a whole new can of worms, I think this conspiracy nonsense was planted and is fed and watered by NRA-type groups who make a profit off of selling weapons. If I want to sell a product, I first have to create a need for that product. The NRA has done just that, and too many sheep have bought into it. (I mean no disrespect. We’re all sheep in some fashion. There are very few true individuals.)
Because we can’t win a war, is that a reason not to fight it, if we believe it is right to do so? Of course not. But fighting someone else’s war that’s been fomented for financial and political motives? You’re just trading one master for another.
People keep assault weapons for one reason: Fear. Fear of government, fear of burglars, fear of other humans. (And don’t try that argument that you have it for protection or for love…those are covers. Yes, you care about and want to protect your loved ones, but it’s based on fear of what might get them.) Face those fears–find the facts (not the opinions)–and see if they hold up.
Do you need fourteen different weapons to protect yourself against an armed burglar (never mind the fact that the weapons should be locked up when not in actual use)? Unless you live in a war zone, one should be plenty.
There’s always a possibility that I’m the one who doesn’t get it. Feel free to enlighten me. But in the meantime, if there really is a government conspiracy, could someone please tell me about it? I’m always the last to know things.