Our main man Dan’s already called for a ban on axes, what with axe-wielding madman wielding axes against the police. His ironic point: banning weapons doesn’t reduce violent crime. In terms of guns, the more difficult you make it for Americans to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms (in the name of public safety no less), the easier it is for criminals to predate on disarmed citizens. Equally, the more you ban weapons that can be used in self-defense, the more you ban weapons that can be used for self-defense. Students of slippery slopes need only look at the U.K.’s draconian knife laws. Or New York City, where any knife that can be opened with gravity (not gravitas) is illegal. Speaking of the City That Never Sleeps, there’s now a call for a ban on machetes . . .
Just last month, a deranged thug pulled out a machete he had stashed in an umbrella, and hacked away at another man at a Bronx taco joint, cops said.
It wasn’t some urban anomaly — the gory incident is one of at least 24 incidents involving machetes over the past five years, The New York Post found.
“They’re cheap to buy and easy to get,” one law-enforcement source said of the 1- to 2-foot-long knives. “And with the easing off of stop-and-frisk, if guys are not getting patted down as much, they might be more brazen and carry them in their jacket or hide them in their pants.”
In the city, machetes — agricultural tools used to clear brush or crack open a coconut — are wielded by lunatics, crooks and gangbangers such as the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, to intimidate rivals. They’re even used by store owners to defend their businesses.
Nice how they slipped that self-defense thing in, eh? Anyway, here we go . . .
Possessing a switchblade or gravity knife — considered weapons in the state penal code — can land a person in jail, but carrying a machete in public would likely only result in a ticket, according to Eugene O’Donnell, a law and police-studies professor at John Jay College. “You get a ticket on the grounds that the blade is more than 4 inches,” which is a city administrative-code violation, O’Donnell said. A violator would have to show up at court and face a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail or a few hundred dollars fine.
The slap on the wrist is troublesome, he said.
“It’s a loophole that is very favorable to a person with prior criminal history who would presumably know to pick weapons that are not prohibited,” he said. “It’s certainly cause for concern because of the brutal injuries you can cause someone. It really should be looked at.”
And after a spate of machete attacks in 2008, then-Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna talked about a citywide machete ban, but the legislation never came to pass. Reyna, now the deputy Brooklyn borough president, told The Post the blades should not be sold to anyone under 21 years old.
“The opportunity to restrict the volume of machetes on the streets of New York City is important,” she said. “There’s a responsibility behind using such a tool.”
As for the previously mentioned idea of owning and using a machete for self-defense (in a city where a law-abiding citizen has a better chance of dating Barbara Palvin than getting a concealed carry permit) . . .
Machetes can offer a good defense too — after Hurricane Sandy, some Coney Island residents, such as Roberto Aviles, used their trusty blades to defend their homes against looters when the power went out.
“Machetes come from our country — Puerto Rico,” Aviles, 77 said. “People from there use them a lot. It’s like a souvenir there. They use it to cut the sugar cane.”
“I don’t use it for anything anymore,” he said. “I put it away.”
No one messed with him in the tense weeks after Sandy, but he’s not giving his machete all the credit.
“When people want to do something to you, nothing will scare them.”
And if you can’t scare them, you better do something to stop them, right? That’s just plain common sense! [h/t DD]