One evening he decides to go nightclubbing, and he decides to stick his Glock pistol in his sweatpants for protection, or perhaps just from habit. He may have carried the pistol into New York City illegally before, or he may not have. The fact is, he decides to carry it this night.
While drinking at a midtown Manhattan nightclub, the loose pistol becomes disengaged from it's unholstered perch inside his waist band. He makes a quick grab for it, lest it clatters to the floor revealing his indiscretion. His finger disengages the trigger safety on the Glock, and his autonomic hand grasp compresses the trigger. A shot is fired.
No innocent people are hurt, but the young man carrying the illegal pistol in his sweatpants in a Manhattan nightclub is shot in the thigh. His friends rush him to the hospital, where he lies about his identity and the particulars of his injury to avoid prosecution. Later, he is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. In the municipality where the negligent discharge outed his criminal activity, a minimum prison sentence of three and a half years is imposed if convicted.
If the young man were Antonio Torres or Joseph Schmoe, he would be crying out in a wilderness of ambivalence. When the young man is Plaxico Burress, the gunshot wound is not reported by hospital staff , as is required by law. The media begins picking at the juicy carcass of a "news story." Suddenly, a lot of people become upset and start wringing their hands because a star receiver for the New York Giants cooling his heels in a prison cell doesn't help the scoreboard at half time.
Bleeding and humbled after the 1:50 AM shooting, Burress was assisted into teammate Antonio Pierce's black Cadillac Escalade. The pair tried to find a hospital that would admit them without contacting the authorities. At 2:04 AM, Burress arrived at New York Presbyterian Hospital, checking in under an assumed name. Burress claimed he was shot at Applebee's. He was released at 1:00 PM. Although Burress spent nearly 11 hours at the hospital, police were never notified of the gunshot wound.
Making excuses, Burress states he carried the Glock into the Latin nightclub because he was afraid that the flashy bling he wore would get him jacked up. New York Mayor Bloomberg has stressed that laws were broken, and there will be no preferential treatment. "It's pretty hard to argue the guy didn't have a gun and that it wasn't loaded," Mayor Bloomberg said, "You've got bullet holes in and out to show that it was there." In fact, a lot of gun owners are using this as an example of how draconian the New York gun laws are. They want to apply the Heller decision to this act of "poor judgement."
The landmark Heller decision does not apply. For once Bloomberg is right. Plaxico Burress knowingly violated the law. This was not an act of civil disobedience. Plaxico Burress did not have to go to the Manhattan nightclub. If he decided to go, he did not need to carry a gun. Being a wealthy athlete, he had more options than many people. He could have hired bodyguards to protect him and his bling. Instead, he chose to play the role of the thug and carry his gat in his sags and go clubbin'. He is not a victim. He knowingly and willfully violated the law, no matter how unjust that law is. Plaxico Burress was an arrogant athlete who thought he was special, that the law did not apply to him, that he was beyond, if not above the law.
If gun owners and second amendment advocates support his cause for preferential treatment in a court of law, they are fools. Plaxico Burress is not one of us. He never was, and he never wanted to be. Lawful gun owners and concealed carriers do not seek preferential treatment. They obey the laws of the municipalities they enter. I do not like Mayor Bloomberg, and I believe the gun laws of New York City are draconian and unconstitutional. But....... Bloomberg is right. There is little reasonable, unbiased doubt regarding what occurred here. The law was violated, again and again. If we are to expect the law to be applied justly when it is to our benefit, we can not bend the law when the man who caught the winning touchdown in the 2008 Super Bowl violates it. The law is simply the law, and it applies to Plaxico Burress.
Labels: Idiots With Guns