Do we support the right to arm bears,
Early this morning, October 6,
four members of the Indiana Pacers were involved in what was described
as "a verbal altercation ...that turned into a physical
altercation". This description was given by Sgt. Matthew Mount of
the Indianapolis Police department.
This calm description glosses over the facts. Four Pacers
players--Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels, and Jimmie
Hunter--were inside a strip club, where an arguement began. Even
those of us who have never been inside a strip club know what goes on
there. Woman get naked to loud music while men watch, and pay
money for looks and drinks. Theoretically, they should be too
busy checking out the women to talk, much less argue, about
But someone found a way. The pacers left the club, we are told,
and "other club patrons followed them outside". During this
time, we are told, Jackson was hit in the mouth and someone tried to
run him over with their car. Jackson then pulled out his 9mm
pistol and fired a shot in the air. The police arrived and
restored a semblance of order, and Jackson, who was limping, later was
treated at a hospital. Police reported that Tinsley and Daniels
both had licensed guns in their cars.
So, let me see if I have this straight. Less than a week after
the start of training camp, four players are staying out late at
night--well past midnight--at a strip club, three of them armed and one
carrying his weapon on him.
Putting aside the question of why they're at a strip club to start
with, or why they're out that late, consider the guys we're talking
about. Jackson, the gun toting Guard, is listed as 6'8" and 218
pounds. Tinsley is 6'3" and 183 pounds. Daniels is 6'6"and
200 pounds. Hunter is 6'4" and 187 pounds. They're all
professional athletes. Even if someone gets sufficiently blasted
that they pick a fight with ANY of these guys--never mind ALL of
them--you'd think some kind soul would point out the likelihood of said
person geting squished like a bug on the window of a race
car. Two of these guys had guns in their cars. God
knows that anyone else was carrying.
Yet, for some reason, Jackson felt the need to pack a firearm.
How sad he was proven right. We don't yet know who "started" it,
and it doesn't matter. Did no one learn from what happened LAST
summer in Chicago? Or did they think that Paul Pierce was stabbed
by accident a few seasons back?
You'd think that grown men would not need to be told to be home at a
reasonable hour. That perhaps going to a strip club, and mixing
booze and guns is a bad idea. I don't generally object to the
guys packing heat for personal protection. But I have a SERIOUS
problem when they take said weapon into a place where they will be
drinking. Finally, for the love of Linus and Lucy, these guys,
between them, make enough to request a private room, or
something. Rick Carlisle and Larry Bird might not be fond of the
idea, but I bet they much prefer a private strip joint to last night's
Nobody behaved responsibly. Not the players, and not the other
"club patrons". Do we really HAVE to set a curfew, like they were
back in high school or college? Does Rick Carlisle HAVE to drive
around the city doing bed checks? How much of this idiocy is
prevalent among other teams--including, unfortunately, the Celtics?
If you need to go somewhere armed, DON'T GO. Are these guys
REALLY that stupid? I
know next to nothing about the Pacers players personal lives.
There may be wives or girlfriends reading about these guys in the
paper...or hearing about it from friends and co-workers.
Their families must be thrilled to hear the comments too. If you
want to go to a strip club, there have to be places that cater to a
less violent crowd. If you want to see a woman get naked,
rent a video, watch cable tv, bribe your wife/girlfriend, and make it a
night to remember.
Chrales Barkley once publicly declaimed, "I am NOT a role model".
Fair enough. But is it too much to ask a grown man to ACT like a
grown man? To go places where you don't have to pull a weapon and
fire it after being hit by a car during an arguement? And don't
try the "he only fired a warning shot in the air" with me. People
have been injured and/or killed by such shots. When you draw a weapon,
you are prepared to use it. And nobody
except Steve McGarrett shoots to wound.
We were lucky, all of us. Jackson didn't get seriously hurt or
killed. He didn't shoot anybody. Everyone walked away,
embarrassed but alive. The guy with the car will probably face
charges, but since the odds were he was drunk at the time, he'll
probably get a relatively light sentence. But we're not mourning
the loss of a player, or players.
If you need protection, get a bodyguard, and don't do stupid things
like wander into a place where fights break out. Turn the gun
into the police and relieve yourself of wondering what you'd do if you
ever used it on anyone.
We've all seen some horrific stories in the news lately. Is it
too much to ask we not deliberately add to the stupidity and
misery? Maybe professional atheletes aren't role models...but would it
really kill them to TRY?