Most of the players interviewed know that they have the right to protect themselves and their families, and that is why they ignore the NBA commissioner's "pleas" to not own or carry firearms.
"We're grown men. We protect our families. We protect our homes," said Knicks guard Larry Hughes, who isn't licensed to own a gun. "Whatever the case may be, whoever is bearing arms, I hope everything is done, you know, legally, but you have that right."This sentiment seems to be the norm amongst the players.
Well, except this one:
"The trouble it caused?" "There's no doubt. . . [it attracts violence]?" Stephen Jackson would know about how a gun could take over your mind and make you do stupid things like attract violence: he's the guy who fired his gun in the air five times in "self defense" at a nightclub.
Jackson said he stopped carrying a gun after the trouble it caused.
"I have the sense that this is an environment that's come out of a lot of the kids' past," Jackson said. "Not only that, they've had situations that have happened in their own personal lives that makes them feel that it warrants it, but my message is it attracts violence. There's no doubt about it, and the violence that happens around guns is death usually."
Pardon me for disregarding all of the advice that comes out of his mouth.
Some more fun stuff here from Knicks president Donnie Walsh:
"You don't need them, and if you have them, you have a better chance of something happening then if you don't have them."Really? Do you care to back this up with some fact? I doubt that you can considering your team hails from the great New York City where guns are practically illegal to own and prevented from being carried by all but criminals.
Thinking about this for a moment, I'm hard pressed to name more than three people that I personally know who do not carry a gun, and I've never known anyone who has had something happen to them over carrying one. That's personal experience based on fact, but not really a qualifier for this post. No doubt Walsh has experienced, or know someone who has, violence at the end of a gun; but in NYC, what can you expect? There is no legitimate gun ownership there, so I gather that his voice carries little weight.
T.J. Ford seems to be the best voice of reason in this article; and of course he would be the guy raised in Texas and playing for the Indiana Pacers, so he at least is associated with two states known for a solid gun culture:
But Ford says, "You can't tell somebody how to protect their family."That's it. Simple, ain't it? All the rules and regulations in the world will not stop a reasonable man, or woman, from protecting their family.
The NBA needs to get with the program and stop barring players from exercising their rights. If they act like idiots, then let them face the penalty for it.
*Just found this. Arenas has released his statement about the guns in the Verizon Center, as well as his defense on what happened. A snippet:
It would seem that he's not quite the idiot that I, or anyone else, may have thought. Bringing them out for some sort of joke or intimidation factor wasn't smart, but if he didn't point them at anyone it wasn't reckless either. Perhaps this is another example of the press blowing things out of proportion. Also, this might be an example of how DC's convoluted gun laws have negatively impacted someone's life.
As I have said before, I had kept the four unloaded handguns in my house in Virginia, but then moved them over to my locker at the Verizon Center to keep them away from my young kids. I brought them without any ammunition into the District of Columbia, mistakenly believing that the recent change in the DC gun laws allowed a person to store unloaded guns in the District.
On Monday, December 21st, I took the unloaded guns out in a misguided effort to play a joke on a teammate. Contrary to some press accounts, I never threatened or assaulted anyone with the guns and never pointed them at anyone.