Plaxico

What is it about pro athletes getting in trouble that makes people stupid? On the one hand, it seems like you’ve got people who think it doesn’t really count when they do things, and on the other you’re sure to have the guys who want to come down hard on the rich 20-something who gets paid millions to do something every fat, middle aged male who ever won a varsity letter is convinced they could do if only they’d gotten a better hand in the genetic lottery. I mean, I don’t think Plaxico Burress ought to get off easier than any other idiot who takes a gun into a club, but do we really need the mayor of New York City grandstanding about it?

From a political standpoint, I think this is a really good example of why right-wing gun arguments don’t make any sense. I saw a reader on, I believe, Andrew Sullivan’s blog wondering why the NRA hadn’t spoken up in defense of Plax, and while I understand that they’re implying the NRA is racist I think the answer is simply that no one outside of the biggest gun nuts out there would even take that half seriously, and the NRA would lose a hell of a lot of credibility. Clubs are relatively small, crowded places full of intoxicated people who do dumb things, either by choice or by mistake. And in that sort of setting, even an accidental discharge of a gun could cause some random customer serious injury, or worse. Normal people can understand that there are huge public safety issues involved with guns and places where alcohol is served, and most people will accept limits to their 2nd amendment rights in situations with such clear saftey risks. After all, you don’t have to be Ted Bundy to kill someone with a gun if you’re drunk, you ust have to make the sort of clumsy mistake every one of us who’s ever been intoxicated has made.

It’s just a shame it has to be something so obvious to get the gun money out of the discussion.