August 29, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 19

Should we ban hammers?

Guest Commentary

In Brockton, Mass., about 30 minutes from where I live, someone beat a 74-year-old man to death with a hammer.

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Oddly (or maybe not), I have some experience with hammer attacks. I’ve helped cover two of them in the last 10 years — one fatal, one not.

The best thing about a hammer killing is not the tearing screams of the victim, though you’d think it would be. It’s not the impressive “splatter factor” caused when the skull is smashed by a claw hammer (especially true if you use the claw end). It’s not even the once-in-a-lifetime chance to look into someone’s brain, gray and s...

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