So, I listen to ESPN Radio pretty much every morning on my drive in to work – the Mike and Mike show is quite often funny, smart, and does help me stay up to date on the water-cooler conversation topics so that I can blend in better with my coworkers. Plus, I like team sports.
Now, this morning, I tuned to the radio over to my local ESPN affiliate (AM 1070 The Fan) and I hear these two guys talking about Plaxico Burress’ negligent discharge, and the topic of guns in the NFL in general. Then, Mike Greenburg says something that shocked me – apparently some NFL insider said that they estimate that 75% of NFL players “carry” (their words, not mine) guns. Not “own” or “keep at home”, but “carry”. Now I do somewhat doubt the veracity of that statistic, but whatever, we’ll run with it. The part of that conversation that killed me is where both anchors seemed to be in agreement that NFL players shouldn’t carry guns, because they’re big musclebound guys, and should be able to “take care of themselves”.
It’s nice to see that the meathead mentality is alive and well. I used to know some guys who played college football, who just couldn’t understand why I’d want to carry a gun, because there was this mentality that if you couldn’t “fight” with your muscles/bare hands, that somehow you weren’t worthy of self-defense. It’s funny that some things never change. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though that the meathead school of thought continues past college and into adulthood.
To get back to that 75% number, I am 100% in favor of professional athletes carrying and owning firearms…with the caveat that they are held to the exact same legal standards that you and I would be held to. If, as a professional athlete, you want to own a gun, you had better follow every single teeny legal detail, right down to dotting all the “i’s” and crossing your “t’s”. Because when you don’t, it gets in the news. And then I have to people on Sportscenter, who are completely ignorant on firearms issues offering up opinions about who should be “allowed” to carry a gun.
So remember that, professional athletes. You’re in the public spotlight, so it’s incumbent on you to remember that you’re not just an ambassador for yourself, but for all gun owners. So don’t do stupid things like carry illegal, forget the four rules, etc.