I read your Editorial Page today and saw where the FBI Annual Crime Statistics for 2011 shows there were 496 hammer murders in the U.S. After reading about this criminal outrage, I realize the problem is hammers; everyone owns one or two. My neighbor has a fully automatic Jack Hammer hidden in his barn that he bought at a Hammer Show without a background check!

We need “common sense” and effective Hammer Control. Of course, the National Hammer Association will make a hue and cry opposing effective hammer control legislation. The NHA will dupe carpenters, building contractors and hardware store owners into thinking they should actively oppose effective hammer controls. We must make these folks realize that by giving up some freedom, they will be contributing to greater public safety. If just one life is saved, it will be worth pursuing. I think Vice President Biden should call a White House conference on this matter.

We need a public hammer turn-in or buy-back program to get hammers off the streets. We may make a few exceptions for carpenters, contractors, etc., who can show a need to possess a hammer. Licensing procedures must be rigid. There will be the necessary background checks, hammer owner fingerprinting, photographs of owner and hammers and a closing of the Hammer Show loophole. Naturally, Congress must immediately ban all short-handled.

Ron Benjamin