Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FREE PLAXICO BURRESS - and the hell with Bloomberg and ESPN

Johnny Kramer has published an excellent article at LRC about the persecution of Plaxico Burress. Considering that we are in the midst of the greatest theft of wealth and plunder in human history, the corporate bailouts, a government induced and prolonged depression and horrendous gang crime caused by prohibition, this is a rather bizarre event upon which to focus the 24 hour news hysteria. We now have the despicable and evil Mayor Bloomberg calling for Plaxico's blood while being cheered on by the numbnuts on ESPN:

"Bloomberg has made his war on illegal guns a signature issue. He also had harsh words for the hospital where Burress was treated, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He said hospital management should be charged for failing to report the incident, and that the hospital workers involved should be fired.

"'It is just an outrage that the hospital didn't do what they are legally required to do,' he said. 'It's a lame excuse that they didn't know – this is a world-class hospital in a city where we all know what goes on in the streets of our city, and we all should be working together to get guns off the streets.'

Unfortunately for Plaxico, this sounds like the perfect storm of people who, on general principles, would want his hide: racist red-staters and the fascist church ladies of the left.

[UPDATE] Reason has an excellent article here on Plaxico:

But Burress' teammate Steve Smith also lives in the public domain. Several days before the mishap at the club, Smith was robbed at gunpoint outside of his home in Clifton, New Jersey. Former Giants teammate and current NBC commentator Tiki Barber discussed the two crimes on Sunday Night Football, explaining that Burress' foolish act may have been rational, if not completely appropriate, given the dangers that NFL players such as Smith have faced.Looking back at recent gun-related tragedies that have struck the NFL, Barber continued, "We all remember [slain Denver Broncos cornerback] Derrent Willams from a couple of years ago and even last year, and ironically [Washington Redskins safety] Sean Taylor was honored at this game, and he was [fatally] attacked at his home. A lot of people believe that if [Taylor] had a gun, he wouldn't be dead right now." Barber failed to mention an attack earlier this year which left Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier paraplegic and without his left leg due to amputation.

Such an oversight is understandable given the surprisingly high number of similar incidents, but even those numbers are not enough to convince longtime NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas that protecting oneself with a handgun may be a rational decision. After Barber finished recalling the recently murdered NFL players, Costas launched into a harangue against the ludicrous notion of self-defense, demanding that Tiki provide a singular instance where a player had saved his own life or averted disaster with a handgun. While Barber agreed with Costas that Burress' actions were
irresponsible, he insisted that guns are common to many players, given the violent circumstances he described and the violent neighborhoods many of the NFL's athletes grew up in. They really do rely on guns for self-defense, Barber argued. And it doesn't take any great leap of logic to understand why these athletes don't broadcast the fact.

Such an admission in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, or Chicago—all cities with NFL franchises—could land a player in jail, in addition to the fines and suspensions handed down by the league (not to mention local politicians publicly chiding them as if they were irresponsible children). Leaving aside the wisdom of Burress's actions, the criminal penalty he faces, if convicted, is inflexible and unfair. No judge in the state of New York, no matter what evidence is given, no matter how sympathetic the judge may be to a man whose teammate had a gun pointed at his head less than a week before, no matter what damage lengthy incarceration may do to the man's career, family, and reputation, will be able to lessen the sentence accompanying a guilty verdict.

Tiki should have slapped that that little weenie Costas in the face.

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