Murphy\’s Bye-Laws

Law #4: Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. –H.D. Thoreau

Plaxico Burress is Not a Criminal

Posted by PintofStout on December 5, 2008

If anyone has been within 100 feet of a newspaper, television, or radio wherein professional football is discussed they probably know the story of Plaxico Burress, the New York Giants and former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver who shot himself in the leg with his unregistered handgun last week.  Much of the talk revolves around whether he will receive “special” justice due to his public stature, if he will ever play football again (when he presumably gets out of prison), and what a bone-headed move this was on his part. There are also questions about why he was carrying a gun to begin with instead of leaving his protection to trained professionals, asked in a tone to indicate the disease-like aura that must surround all weapons.  As usual, these are all the wrong questions.  The public is apparently not over the tendency to be easily mislead and distracted away from salient points, like the gullible fool who continues to look where the person is pointing with one hand while the other hand steals his french fries over and over and over and over again.  Sigh.  I guess I can be the one to clear some of this up for the confused and frenzied audience.  I do this for you, gentle reader, because I care.

Was Plaxico foolish or stupid in anything he did that led to the chain of events of last week?  Hell yes, he was!  Carrying a handgun without knowing how to properly handle it and unload it is pretty foolish (The New York Post reports the weapon was fired accidentally while attempting to unload it while fumbling with a glass of wine.)  Other reports I overheard had him carrying the weapon in his pocket and firing it while trying to remove it from his pocket.  I can’t confirm any of these stories, but the general points I took from them had Plaxico drunk in a club and misfiring this dangerous, dangerous weapon in drunken horseplay.  I’m also pretty sure this couldn’t be corroborated either.  So as much as any accident is stupid, yeah he was stupid.  Next time be more careful, you idiot.  But was he stupid for even carrying a gun?  No, not by a long shot.  Everybody’s personal protection is their own business; he was just doing what he thought he needed to.

The other overwhelming tone of reports and talk seems to be the criminality of the whole debacle because the gun was unregistered.  For those saying that bullshit about it being the law and he didn’t have a permit or any of that can take a long walk off a short pier.  Nobody needs a permit to carry a gun, or even carry a gun safely; they need the permit to keep the wolves of the violent government at bay.  The gun could work for this purpose as well, but the odds are really stacked.  See, the thugs of state need no stinking permits.  The criminality is also implied by simply blaming the gang-banger culture.  What?  So because Plaxico Burress is a black man with some attitude it makes him a gangster or a gangster wanna-be; therefore, a criminal?  Give me a break.  Would that mean we should assume the folks saying shit like this ride to their AARP meetings decked out in KKK hoods while licking the windows upon their short bus?  Well…  Back to rationality now, please?

The National Football League does have an anti-gun policy at all their functions and facilities, including those of the individual teams.  Plaxico didn’t shoot himself while in the proximity of those NFL rules to which he is contractually bound.  Nothing has been said about the policy of the club itself regarding weapons either.  Nobody but himself was harmed in the whole incident, which also makes it a victimless non-crime.  Had he or if he did do damage to the building, then he would surely owe them compensation for repairs, but there has also been no report of that.  No, the only trouble Mr. Burress seems to be in is for flaunting the stupid rules of the state; not asking for permission and, surrounding this whole ordeal, not cooperating enough in the inquisition (accusations of a cover up).  And the only things Plaxico is guilty of is fame and carelessness (in the handling, not the possession).  He may even end up breaking down more bad laws in the footsteps of Washington D.C.’s Mr. Heller, if David B. Kopel of the Cato Institute is to be believed, and if Mr. Burress chooses to pursue it that far.  The only real victim in all of this is the American public and their 2nd Amendment.

UPDATE (12-6-08):  More news in this case, as the AP puts out a narrative of the situation.  Apparently he had the weapon, a 40-cal Glock,  in the waistband of his track pants.  Really?  Track pants to a posh, swinging club?  Must be nice to be famous.  Buy a holster Plaxico, and then take this thing as far through the legal system as possible.  Straight to the top, I say.

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