Until more details come from this case I’m going to hold my opinion on this matter for a later date. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t more cases like Felton’s that have transpired in the past.
Athletes such as Gilbert Arenas, Plaxico Burress, Aaron Henandez, and Jayson Williams all have interesting gun-toting stories.
Jayson Williams was an under the radar NBA player who retired in 2000 after leg surgery required him to have a plate and 5 screws in his leg. Well he was an under the radar NBA player until 2002 when he accidently shot and killed his hired limo driver Costas Christofi.
Williams was giving a tour of his mansion and while showing the tour group his gun collection he picked up a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun, the gun accidently went off striking Christofi in the chest and killing him.
Williams avoided the reckless manslaughter charge but was charged with 4 counts of covering up the shooting and was sentenced to 5 years in jail with parole in 18 months in Feb. 2010 and was released April 2012.
Not only was Williams not responsible enough to make sure that the safety on his gun was on, but he tried to cover up the shooting which we all can agree only makes matters worse.
As horrible as the Williams shooting was, at least this was an unfortunate mistake Williams made inside his own home, not that it makes the situation better but in the case of Plaxico Burress he brought an unregistered (in New York) glock pistol into a New York City night club back in 2008.
The non-holstered gun began to slide down his pant leg and in an attempt to grab it he pulled the trigger which resulted in him shooting himself in the leg. During the trial, police searched Burress’ home and found a 9mm handgun, a rifle and ammunition for both firearms.
Burress was sentenced to 2 years in jail in Sept. 2009 and was released June 2011. After his release he had stints in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets but was never more than a mediocre receiver for both teams.
He wasted two productive years of his footballing career due to him not using his head correctly.
Was Plaxico planning on using the gun on someone other than himself on that night? I highly doubt it.
He was a public figure in a dangerous city and felt the need to protect himself. But that accident basically cost him what could’ve been an illustrious career.
Those are just 2 cases where gun enthused athletes have made mistakes which brought a bad light onto athletes everywhere.
I’m sure there are more athletes that own firearms whether for protection or collection that are doomed to follow in the footsteps of Williams and Burress.
We can only hope that it doesn’t result in any more injuries to themselves or others.
In a non-violent case back in 2009, Gilbert Arenas actually brought 4 guns into the locker room with him while he was playing with the Washington Wizards.
There is no knowing how many times he’s done that prior to the incident, which led to a standoff between him and then teammate, Javaris Crittenton. Arenas and Crittenton got into an altercation over a gambling debt, which during an interview with USA in 2012, Arenas opens up about the incident and said he wasn’t even involved in the original argument.
He was actually standing up for then teammate JaVale Mcgee.
Why the guns were brought out is a moot point, the real question is why were guns brought into the equation to begin with? And why on Earth did he have so many?
The 3x all-star’s career was basically over after that incident bouncing from the Wizards, to the Orlando Magic, then to the Memphis Grizzlies and last year played in China after not being able to find a suitor in the NBA.
The Arenas case is very similar to Delonte West’s back in 2009. West was stopped by police for an illegal lane change while riding his motorcycle. Upon being pulled over, West admittedly told the officer he was carrying a gun in his waistband.
The officer then proceeded to call for back up and after the search of the vehicle, a total of 3 guns were found, a Beretta 9mm in West’s waistband, a Ruger .357 magnum strapped to his leg and a shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back.
While carrying that much firepower you would expect the owner to be more careful while driving and to at least make legal lane changes and to not cut off police officers.
Some athletes don’t feel as if they need the protection a gun can bring.
On September 25, 2000, then Boston Celtics Small Forward Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back and had a bottle smashed over his head while at a night club in Boston.
Pierce had to undergo surgery to repair the damage done to his lung and nevertheless was able to compete the next season playing all 82 games not inhibited by injuries suffered during the incident.
Pierce now considers himself a target and is licensed to carry a gun, but instead hires a bodyguard to accompany him when he goes out. While Pierce is exceptionally lucky to have made it out alive, former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor unfortunately wasn’t as lucky.
In November of 2007, Taylor’s home was broken into for the 2nd time in 8 days.
The first time Taylor was gone, however the second time Taylor was asleep in his home when intruders broke in and he suffered a gunshot wound to his upper leg which hit and severed his femoral artery causing substantial blood loss and putting him in a coma which eventually led to his death.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety and Taylor’s best friend Ryan Clark was quoted in USA Today saying, “If Sean had a gun, he’d probably be alive today.He chose not to own one.” Clark went on to say, “I choose not to own one. But guys (athletes) are targets and they have their families and they have guns in their homes, they want to protect themselves and they have the right to.”
Clark is absolutely correct. Athletes today are targets and have the right and need to protect themselves.
But what athletes need to realize is that just because they’re famous, that doesn’t mean they’re above the law. Safety is paramount for everyone, but they have the means to pay for people to protect them without them having to take matters into their own hands.
They need to be smart and responsible, as should every other gun owner throughout the world.
Gun control is an extremely controversial topic in this country, everyone has a stance, and everyone has a belief. When this topic was presented to me I felt honored to be able to put together a piece such as this. As a writer I will hold my beliefs on gun control to myself and let the public debate it out.