Gun Control Debate Misses a Key Fact: Hammers and Clubs Are the Real Threat

The tragedies of the past couple of years have forced us to take a good look inward at our own social conscience. As Americans, we live under the assumption that our lives are safe, our rights protected, and that we can walk around with the peace of mind that we will not be under threat from a hammer attack. But it appears our safety is nothing but an illusion. Annual FBI crime statistics show that more people are killed by hammers and clubs than by shotguns and rifles. In order for our society to be safe, we must stop the harbingers of mass destruction that have perpetuated the idea that sledgehammers are acceptable. We must end the idolization of people like Gallagher, Thor, and Mario the Plumber; and until we do this, the safety of all Americans is at stake. 

The word "sledgehammer" came from the Anglo Saxon, "slaegan," which means "to strike violently." Given its etymology, there are logical and physical reasons why we should ban sledgehammers. A traditional nail hammer handle has a length of 13 to 18 inches, and has a head that ranges in weight from .63 to 2 lbs. A sledgehammer expands this to a destructive 1.8 to over 3 feet long, with a the head weighing anywhere from 10 to 20 lbs.

Because the handle of the sledgehammer is longer, it is inherently more dangerous. In order to make it more in line with the nail hammer, we should set the handle to an arbitrary 1.25 feet to prevent the inertia of swinging the hammer from being as strong. There should be no attached parts like grips on the hammer. As another safeguard, only construction workers who have no history of mental illness should be able to wield these hammers.

But these steps are not enough. We must get to the cultural root of the violence, which becomes highly sensationalized in the American media while rates consistently decline

Historically, Gallagher, whose real name is Leo Anthony Gallagher, has been nothing more than the Kermit Gosnell of watermelons. He has shown his hatred of the fruit and his support for the aggressive use of hammers over his entire 40-year career. His act has systematically murdered over 63,000 watermelons in a grotesque display of carnage that knows no restraint, inspiring generations of Americans to smash the fruit on a summer day in their driveway. This must be stopped. Gallagher is an example of everything that is wrong with our society. We cannot sit by and let the depicted murder of a demographic continue. Gallagher has been backed by the NWA (National Watermelon Association), and they even hosted his "Last Smash" earlier this year. Organizations like the NWA are not good for America. They promote the idea that violence is acceptable by allowing Gallagher to have a platform to spread his destructive message. 

With the success of The Avengers, America has become accustomed to the idea that it's acceptable to use hammers, but only if you are a Nordic God who speaks with a British accent. When kids buy Thor action figures, they are indoctrinated with the idea that using weapons to defend yourself and good people is a proper use of a large hammer. In an interview with ScreenRant.com, Chris Hemsworth, or Thor, dismissed the idea that the hammer Mjölnir, is a weapon, stating, "What would you call it? Weapon. No, its incredible."

When our superheroes become advocates for a problem larger than shotgun and rifle violence, we have lost our way. Hemsworth has also advocated being a widower and drunkard by appearing as Eric the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman. Celebrities like this should be called out on their portrayals of fictional characters, because fiction in movies is inspirational to people. We can’t let these ideas be perpetuated in Hollywood and delivered to our children so casually.

And then there is Mario, the seemingly innocent Italian plumber from Japan whose lifelong crusade to stop the maniacal Donkey Kong from capturing a Princess. While he originally used his hammer for self-defense against a barrage of barrels, he later took his weapon to games like Super Smash Brothers, where he knocked his frenemies into the sky, taking away one of their lives. Much like his fellow mustachioed compatriot Gallagher, Mario has promoted the use of hammers throughout his entire career. Even though his quest has been noble, the cavalier attitude about smashing mushrooms, turtles, and giant monkeys displays a fear of the other that Americans who favor equality should disavow. 

Emotions run high when there is a crisis of conscience. The real reason we want to ban the sledgehammer is because we fear that if we don’t, the tragedies in the news will become our own. It’s always difficult to watch these events unfold on a television screen or in 140 characters, but we must continue the fight to  make our children safe by enacting "common sense" proposals to prevent things like this from happening again. In the beginning of America, the Founders didn’t envision a world where people could senselessly use hammers and other club objects to kill people. There aren’t many homes built with non-power tools these days, so who really needs a sledgehammer but the government when they do things like build our roads?

Let’s do the right thing and make our country safer by passing common sense sledgehammer legislation immediately.

Editor's note: this is satire, that plays off real data.