This will be be about gun control.
From an article on the same subject in NRA's First Freedom digital edition (which I don't think I can link to for non-members), I get this article on American Spectator, "Split Wide and Dis-Armed". I follow football somewhat; more than some, less than others, but I'm sure many people have heard of the ex-New York Giant Plaxico Burress. Plaxico is the guy who famously shot himself in the thigh when a Glock he was carrying illegally, without a holster, slid down his pants and he grabbed it. In a New York City nightclub.
The short version is that Plaxico spent two of his most productive (salary-wise) seasons as an NFL pro in prison for being stupid. And he has followed up that stupidity by being stupid again.
One might think that this injustice would spark the former Steeler and Giant to lay down $1,000 for a National Rifle Association lifetime membership. Instead, after losing the bulk of a $35 million contract, endorsement deals, and nearly two years of his life behind bars, Burress, perversely, has joined forces with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.(from the American Spectator article) While I would suggest that instead of a life membership in the NRA, he spend that thousand dollars on some training in how to be safe with a handgun, that isn't what this story is about.
Just three days before Burress's unfortunate incident in a Manhattan nightclub, fellow Giant wide receiver Steve Smith had been robbed at gunpoint. In recent years, gun wielding assailants have murdered unarmed NFL players Fred Lane, Darrent Williams, Steve McNair, and Sean Taylor.
Sean Taylor was a 24 year old Free Safety for the Washington Redskins, from the University of Miami. Sean had been involved with stupidity with a firearm also, and as part of his plea bargain, surrendered his right to a firearm. Sean didn't shoot himself, or anyone else, but he lost his temper and pulled his gun when his life wasn't in danger. This is mild stupidity compared to Burress, but it cost him his life:
Taylor had been accused of brandishing a gun, making threats and initiating a street fight on June 1 of last year with a group of people he believed were responsible for the theft of his two all-terrain vehicles out of a neighbor's driveway. After Taylor retreated from the fight, his blue GMC Yukon Denali was sprayed with gunfire while it was parked in a neighbor's driveway.As Flynn says (back to American Spectator):
No charges were filed in the shooting incident, but Taylor was charged days later with one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony assault with a weapon. The felony charge was tripled in January with the addition of two additional victims to the case, raising the maximum prison time he faced from 16 to 46 years. The three felony charges each carried a minimum three-year sentence.
The court-ordered revocation of Taylor's Second Amendment rights, along with the inevitable media-frenzy that vilifies athletes who carry protection, literally made him a cliché: the man armed with a knife at a gun fight. Wielding a machete to fend off home invaders, Taylor, just 24 and one of the most promising defensive players in the NFL, lost his life 18 months after he lost his gun rights.Football is a rough sport played by rough men who frequently come from bad neighborhoods. Their wealth makes them a target for anyone after money, and their status as "stars" makes them targets for anyone who thinks beating up a star will improve their reputation (called "cred" in da hood). The types of people who think this probably think it doubles their cred if they kill the big, bad football star. You can add State Prosecutors to the mix of people think damaging a football star gives them cred.
"At worst, [Taylor] got into a fight confronting the thieves who had stolen his property." Sharpstein and his wife, Janice Burton Sharpstein, argued since they joined Taylor's defense team in February that the charges were overblown and that Taylor had been singled out by a publicity-hungry prosecutor. That prosecutor, Mike Grieco, gave up the case in April after Sharpstein discovered Grieco had links to media reports of the Taylor case on a personal Web site that detailed his exploits as a Miami Beach disc jockey (emphasis added)In my book prosecutor Grieco and anyone who insisted Sean Taylor give up his right to self defense as a condition for letting him continue to
This isn't going to end any time soon. NFL Players will continue to attract the dregs of society, and more people need to respect their need to defend themselves.
Taylor's free-safety successor at the University of Miami enjoyed a happier fate. Brandon Meriweather survived a South Florida gun attack by returning fire. Though a college teammate endured a gunshot wound, Meriweather emerged unscathed as the cowardly burglars turned tail. High fives to Brandon, right? Not exactly. The media viciously attacked him and his draft-day stock dipped.Let's hope no one ends up putting a toe tag on Mr. Burress for bringing a fist to a gunfight.
Sports media are buying the post-prison anti-gun makeover of Burress as a sign of maturity. It's really a sign of stupidity. Advertising one's unarmed status isn't a good idea. It will win him plaudits from the likes of Brady Center President Paul Helmke, who said that the former Super Bowl star "has learned directly, and painfully, about the risks of gun ownership." But there is a greater risk than owning a gun. That's the risk Plaxico Burress takes by making such a public proclamation of not owning one.