Perhaps unsatisfied with the slow progress Democrats have made in their quest to take guns away from Americans, New York State Senator Tony Avella wants to now take machetes off the market. Citing recent attacks, the Queens politician said, “The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy.”
The “crazy” thing is that he will probably get his wish. New York is a haven for these kinds of laws. Already, switchblades and gravity knives are banned under state law, so it won’t take much effort to throw the machete in with the others.
Avella was inspired to draft the bill after a Long Island teenager was murdered by a man who purchased his instrument of death – a machete – on Craigslist. The victim’s mother, Greta Price, blamed the easy access for the death of her son. “He’d still be alive today if it wasn’t for a machete.”
It never feels good to rebuke a grieving parent, but what else can you do? What if her son’s killer had chosen to use a shower curtain rod to bludgeon him to death? What if he had run him down in a car? What if he had tied a plastic bag around his head? If you want to kill someone, there are a million and one ways to do it.
Last year, photographer Ed James created a creepy art exhibit comprising ten of the strangest murder weapons used in real life crimes. Among the photographs were a pair of stilettos used by a Texas woman to stab her boyfriend to death, an electric guitar used in a 2012 murder, and a jar of pickles used by an Ohio teenager to kill his 55-year-old victim. Should shoes, guitars, and pickles also be outlawed?
People were killing each other long before the machete was invented. Ever since the first primitive man clubbed another with a stick, humans have settled their differences with violence. It doesn’t matter if the weapon of choice is a machete, a gun, or a jar of Vlasics, the answer to violence is not to outlaw the instrument.
Try as you might, you’re not going to make America 100 percent safe. It isn’t possible. You could outlaw cars, guns, airplanes, knives, sledding, crumb-rubber playing fields, football, alcohol, and everything else you can think of and people will still die. They will still get hurt. They will still find ways to kill each other. Except, instead of doing so due to conflict or psychosis or greed, they will do so out of sheer boredom. Life isn’t about eliminating every possible threat to your safety, and it sure as hell isn’t about letting the government do it for you. Why so many people leap at the chance to trade freedom for (the illusion of) security, I’ll never know.