Tuesday, May 15, 2007

STOP! Hammer Time!

(The following is based on a real event, which I link to after, but it has been highly fictionalized and exaggerated to prove a point. -Yuri)

Beaverton, OR- A 56 year old woman was randomly attacked in the Beaverton, OR Fred Meyer store by a hammer wielding psychopath.

Beaverton Police Sergeant Paul Wandell confirmed that the attack happened around noon at the Fred Meyer store located at the Beaverton Town Square. Details are still sketchy, but the victim has been identified as Sharon Weil, and the hammerman as 65 year old Eric Osterholme.

Witnesses said the hammerman hit Weil in the head with a hammer and then threw it into the next isle before walking away. Police arrested him at the scene on attempted murder charges.

Police have recovered the hammer, a Stanley roofing model with a high grip capacity, texturized rubber handle and nail claw shroud.

Police have tracked the hammer to the hardware store where it was purchased by the suspect. They say that the hardware store did nothing wrong, and that Osterholme had passed a federally mandated background check at the time of purchase. While Osterholme does have mental health issues, apparently they were not entered into the system because he was being treated on an out patient basis.

Shortly after the incident, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced an executive order closing the "psycho-hammer" loophole. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy appeared on nation wide television and stressed that the Assault Hammer Ban should not have been allowed to sunset, and that her new Assault Hammer Ban would have prevented this tragedy. Her new bill would ban Assault Hammers as well as "claw shrouds". When asked by the news commentator several times what a "claw shroud" was, she evaded the question, but was finally forced to admit she had no idea what they were. She made a feeble attempt to answer by saying "..the thing that goes up???" to which the commentator said simply "No, it's not."

Sarah Brady and The Brady Campaign wasted no time in milking the incident to try and raise a little cash. They immediately fired off a letter to their supporters asking how this senseless tragedy could have been averted. Their answer of course was to give them more money, to stem the flow of "hammer violence." Part of their email read, "Everyday in America, thousands of thumbs are painfully mashed, including many childrens. We can stop these painful and senseless 'accidents'. Remember, if it saves just one thumb..."

As the facts in this case continue to come to light, one thing is certain. The debate in this country over the average citizens right to keep and bear hammers will become even more heated. With the anti-hammer camp continuing to insist that hammers should only be available to licensed carpenters, and the pro side insisting that every American citizen has the God given right to own a hammer.

-Yuri Orlov, Reporting.

Here are the links as promised: