I’m not a “gun guy.’’ Up until recently, I’d never so much as held one. (On Memorial Day, , he opened up his safe and I held in my shaking hands various pieces of his arsenal and was scared spitless.) I’ve never shot at a target nor shot myself in the thigh. I am terribly disturbed by Marquis Daniels’ suicidal tattoo and I am therefore completely unqualified to comment on Plaxico Burress’ non-Applebee’s self-shooting.
Therefore, I’ll leave the overseeing of discourse to my friend Peter King and to ex-Mav Marquis Daniels’ friend Don the Gun Dealer:
First to Peter’s this week for Sports Illustrated. Spread through the piece, like blood spotting through sweatpants, are Peter’s various takes on Plax. Here are three such thoughts:
1.The amazing thing … is that Antonio Pierce never mentioned Plaxico Burress all day Sunday. "I was around him a lot today,'' Tuck, one of the defensive leaders, said from the Giants' winning bus after the game. "I wanted to be there for him if he needed me, and he was fine all day.''The question now is not whether Burress will miss more time -- he'll never suit up for the Giants again -- but whether Pierce, the defensive signal-caller, will miss any because of his involvement with disposing of Burress' gun Saturday morning.
2.“There's a huge paranoia that occurs when you carry a gun ... You just have your hand on your gun. That just drove me crazy. After two years, I just threw it over the highway when I was driving home one night because it was eating me up inside.’’ – former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley.
3.“Trouble just follows him,’’ says Ronde Barber (of Burress).
If I may respond:
*Peter, was Pierce really supposed to enter the Giants’ defensive huddle, lean over toward Tuck’s earhole, and whisper, “Holy shit, Plax is in trouble!’’ or “Hey, let’s all pray for Plax’’?
*Antonio is an “amazing’’ leader and teammate and wait. … what? Pierce is the guy who disposed of Plax’ gun? Hey, maybe that’s why Pierce didn’t spend Sunday on the field worrying about Burress legal issues; he’s got legal worries of his own. Maybe he didn't say anything all day because he was aware that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law.
*What an excellent and responsible series of genius strokes from Marcellus: Buy a gun. Be paranoid. Keep your hand on it. … when you are at the clubs, or driving your car, whatever. … and then, when you start to freak out over it, or creep out over it. … be super-responsible by throwing it out the window of your moving vehicle. Brilliant.
*Trouble does NOT “follow’’ people who carry loaded guns tucked into the waistband of their sweatpants. “Trouble’’ did not volunteer to be unregistered. “Trouble’’ did not allegedly mix in alcohol. “Trouble’’ was brought along on the trip against its own will. Kicking and screaming. Wanting no part of your stupid sweatpants waistband.
Now to a fascinating slice of NBA life, as described by the proprietor of “Don’s Guns’’ in Indianapolis, where Marquis Daniels and Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley and all the “fellas’’ like to hang. From an Indy radio show, as
Don: “…An athlete has to be careful making all that money. They still are young guys, they wanna go out and chase the girls. But the thing they don't understand is...around all these clubs there's a lot of tough guys, a lot of guys got out of the joint, a lot of ex-boxers around and you know, it's sort of, hey you know, you get a few drinks in and ... "you want to see me go kick his ass." That's what happens. … The fellas were over looking at the girls and some guy just took him on. And it's funny because all those guys had just left the gun range (at Don's store). Everyone of 'em had a gun. Every one of 'em is an excellent shot. And they had their guns in the car, but they're in the bar and some guy walks over and whacks that guy (Jackson). …
“All those Pacers come in the gun store. All the Colts come in the gun store. … And they are a sitting target, but I don't know why they don't know that.’’
Again, if I may respond in my infinite ignorance:
*Are there not “clubs’’ in NBA/NFL cities that allow a guy to “chase the girls’’ without also encountering ex-cons and ex-boxers? That’s why I eat at Sonic.
*Every player on the Pacers is “an excellent shot’’? I’ll skip the basketball-related joke here to instead ponder the odds: How incredible it is that every player on the Pacers is an experienced and steady hand when it comes to firearms! Color me skeptical.
*Let’s say you are a “sitting target.’’ Meaning that you are Stephen Jackson or Plaxico Burress and once in awhile at the club you simply cannot pull yourself away from, some malevolent ex-boxer wants to hassle you. Over a girl, or whatever. If you are Stephen Jackson or Plaxico Burress, is it really your masterplan to remove your loaded pistol from your sweatpants waistband and shoot the offending bar patron? Really?
I’m really stuck on this one. While I’m sure the NRA has some method of proving that gun owners do more than nervously shoot each others’ spouses when they come in the house late, kill their loved ones when drunk and angry, and blow off their own fingers during cleanings, the vision of Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson and Tank Johnson and Plaxico Burress and Marquis Daniels as gun-totin’ crimefighters would be amusing it if weren’t so frightening.
The photo at top is of one of Quisy’s many tattoos. It depicts a man blowing his own head off by pulling the trigger on a shotgun with his toe. Daniels, the former Mav, got the tat when he was 15. He once said it was a statement on “surviving adversity’’ or something.
I’m not a gun guy. I’ve somehow survived a modicum of adversity without my toe on a trigger. I’m terribly ignorant, I guess. I feel so sheltered. So deprived. So robbed of my rights. … to prove my machismo by killing an ex-boxer. … or to shoot myself in the thigh.