On August 2, Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze managed the twin feat of offering self-defense advice that surpassed Vice President Joseph Biden's in its ignorance, while simultaneously making MSNBC's Chris Matthews seem like a voice of reason on the topic.
While a guest on Matthews' Hardball, the host discussed with Glaze whether he would consider an attacker wielding an ax handle as armed for the purpose of gauging whether the person's victim should have the right to defend himself or herself with a gun, resulting in the following exchange:
Matthews: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
Glaze: Well, not with a gun.
Matthews: No, would you call him -- well, I call him armed.
Glaze: Well, I have a word for him, I have a word for him. I grew up in Colorado where my dad was a gun dealer, and a guy who shoots somebody who has anything other than a gun when they could have done something else like talk or fight with their fists --
Matthews: Well, how do you talk to a guy with an ax handle? How do you talk to a guy with an ax handle?
Glaze: Well, you fight him. You run away. You deescalate the situation. I mean, that`s the way it was.
Glaze's response betrays Michael Bloomberg and MAIG's radical vision of a society devoid of nearly all lawful self-defense. The right to use a gun in self-defense in circumstances like the one Matthews and Glaze discuss is not at all controversial, as it would likely be legal in all 50 states (dependent on the exact individual circumstances), and is an extension of one of our most long-respected natural rights.
Several recent cases make this point clear, such as this robbery and beating in New Castle, Del., an assault on a couple in Holt, Fla., and an attack on a high school coach in Monterey, Calif. The classification of an ax handle or other blunt object as a deadly weapon is well-earned, as evidenced by a 2012 ax handle beating in Tarpon Springs, Fla. in which a homeless man suffered life-threatening injuries and his attacker was charged with attempted murder.
In the face of cases like these, it is ludicrous to argue that an attacker armed with an ax handle could not create the reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily harm that in all 50 states would justify self-defense with a firearm or some other type of weapon. Indeed, the FBI's own statistics demonstrate that year after year, more people are murdered with "[b]lunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)" than with either rifles or shotguns (including the rifles and shotguns the gun prohibition movement falsely characterizes as "assault weapons").
Also, Glaze's feigned tough-guy attitude neglects the part of population that isn't capable of fist-fighting or running from an ax-wielding attacker. The elderly, disabled, women facing larger male attackers, and others less capable of physically defending themselves might not be able to afford to test their physical prowess against a violent, armed criminal.
Further, the Hardball exchange begs the question of what weapon, other than a firearm, a cornered victim would have to face in order to use a gun defensively in Glaze and Bloomberg's ideal world. Would it be OK to shoot an attacker wielding a tire iron? What about a baseball bat, machete, crossbow, or car? Since Glaze and his billionaire boss are attempting to rewrite the self-defense and gun laws of the entire country, Americans might like to know.