Blog Entry

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Posted on: August 20, 2009 11:45 am
First off, I don't like Plax.  Always thought he was too full of himself, didn't work hard enough.  With his size and skill set, he could've been much, much better than he was, but he was satisfied to take what came easy to him.  Plus, he's thugged out.  It's not a secret, especially now, and all those factors added up to both the Steelers and the Giants giving up on him, although Plaxico made the Giant's decision a little easier.

Plax came to NY and the Giants won a Super Bowl, and he was a hero.  Then, he got hurt the next year, and he was a goat.  Wait, sorry, he didn't get hurt.  He got shot.  Well, he shot himself.  By accident, of course, you'd have to be an idiot to shoot yourself on purpose.  Then again, you'd have to be an idiot to bring an unlicensed gun out with you as a pro athlete.  And carry it yourself.  In your waistband.  While wearing sweatpants.  And then dancing.

Seriously, it does take a leap of intellect to literally go through this thought process:

"We goin' out tonight, I'm gonna get dressed up, real fresh, kick it to some of these women, show them how that NFL money does.  Yeah.  I'm gonna wear sweatpants."

"People be hatin', though.  And I didn't grow up easy.  Now everybody knows I got money, so I have to protect myself.  Athletes get robbed all the time, and I ain't goin' out like that.  I roll deep with my boys, and I can afford private security, but I keep it real.  I'm still me, I'll carry my own gun.  In my waistband.  Of my sweatpants."

"We run this club.  I skip the line, skip security, nobody even checked my gun, I got bottles, VIP, the liquor is flowin', all these women want me, all these men want to be me, I'm gonna go dance.  With my gun.  In my waistband.  Of my sweatpants."

"Yeah, this girl is feelin' me, she love feelin' that big, hard gun pressed up on her.  Yeah, she can work that a...oh snap!  My gun!  It slipped!  I gotta grab it before it hits the floor!  Let me just reach down, without looking, from the outside of my sweatpants, and grab the g...I been shot!  The haters shot me!  From inside my own sweatpants!"

The moral, of course, is don't wear sweatpants. 

I bet you thought I was going to say don't carry a gun, or put the safety on.  Well, Plax is a receiver, he doesn't like safeties.  And like it or not, I understand athletes owning weapons, and nothing about that is illegal.  The gun wasn't hot, it was legally purchased and registered in Florida.  Not registering it in NY is a conceivable oversight, interstate bureaucracy is easy to overlook.  At the very least, it is an understandable slip.  But it takes a damn fool to carry that gun himself, with the safety off, to a nightclub, wearing sweatpants, then dance with it in the ELASTIC waistband of the pants, then reach for it from outside your pants when it slips.  Wow.

But that of course is not the point of this post.  The point is the double standard of his prosecution.  Mayor Bloomberg and DA Morgenthau made very public statements early in the story saying that there won't be a double standard for athletes and that they need to face the mandatory minimums the same as regular folk.  An unlicensed gun is an unlicensed gun, and the law is the law.  Forget that he hurt only himself and gave up his career, his millions, and his reputation.  It was an unregistered weapon and the law is the law.

Fair enough.  Athletes have been getting away with things that we normal folk would be jailed for as long as anyone can remember, and public sentiment was sick of it, so now times they are a changin'. 

But just a few days before Plax pled guilty and got a two year prison term, another story broke in NYC, a heroic, seemingly unrelated story.  Four men were robbing a restaurant supply store in Spanish Harlem that does a lot of cash business.  The cashier was being pistol whipped by one of the robbers when the elderly owner of the store came from the back with an old shotgun and begged the men to just walk away.  The shotgun hadn't been fired in decades.  The man didn't want to hurt anyone.  But the robbers didn't leave.  They threatened the man and his employee, and the owner shot them, killing two.  One of the dead robbers had a rap sheet a mile long.  The owner saved his employee's life, according to the employee, who proceeded to kick the dead men and curse them out (he even kicked over candles that were lit for the dead the next day).

The man is a hero.  Even after, he wished that it hadn't happened, and regretted that a mother and father are now without a son.  He wished they had just walked away, he was remorseful, and he will live with his actions, however justified, for the rest of his life.  It was self-defense, clearly, and no charges were filed against the man.

Here's the hypocrisy, and it's not a stretch.  The shotgun was unregistered, unlicensed, and illegal, and it killed two people.  According to the rhetoric, the law is the law, an illegal weapon fired is an illegal weapon fired, and mandatory minimums are mandatory minimums.  Bloomberg and Morgenthau's hands are tied.  The law is dispassionate, and charges must be filed.

Obviously, if charges had been filed, the media and the people of NYC would have gone nuts.  A judge would've laughed at the case, and a jury obviously would have aquitted faster than Breet Favre changes his mind.  But the rhetoric stands.  The law is the law.  An unregistered weapon is an unregistered weapon.

Plax wasn't denied a lesser plea deal because of the law but because of public opinion.  Because he needed to be made an example of.  Because politicians lie, hiding behind public opinion and crafted, manipulative rhetoric.  I like Bloomberg.  I don't like Plax.  But really, his life is ruined, his career is over, and he shot himself.  The punishment fits the crime.  Give the man a few months in jail and let him go forward in shame. 

Common sense has disappeared from the American lexicon, replaced by bureaucracy and intransigence.  The law is there to prevent future crime as much as to punish past offense, maybe more so, and I can't imagine anyone having learned the consequences of his actions more than Plax. 
Category: NFL

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2009 11:43 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

One more note, no one's mentioning that this is an unregistered gun he bought from who knows where. 

Plex has millions of dollars, if he needs to protect himself, by a legal gun and register it.  Then get a permit to carry it. 

He can do whatever he wants, he's a grown man.  But if you don't want to do this the right way, there's a penalty that comes with it.  Everyone gets this same penalty in NY.

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: August 21, 2009 11:42 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Once again anyone not knowing him and the sitiuation is a idiot everybody forgets about his teamate who got rob at gun point by is own driver the week before.  Yeah he carried a illegal gun that was register in another state not NYC that was his mistake not registering the gun in NYC most of these players fear for their lives the way the media puts them out there he should have had some protection, so until you walk in their shoes you should not judge them what if was you how would you feel. 

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2009 11:36 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Violation of the strict N.Y. city gun laws come with an automatic two-year prison sentence.  Plex pleaded guilty and got it.  It sounds kind of harsh, but unfortunately the law is what it is.

This shows us once again that being a rich successful athlete is both a privilege and a blessing that only one in a million people will ever experience.  If you don't  appreciate it (and act like you don't), you could lose it all overnight.

Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: August 21, 2009 10:28 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

#1 your story about the store owner - the guy is a hero and no charges should be filed. Why there were even candles outside the shop is beyond me the thugs deserved what they got. As a side note that was a clear cut case of self defense, he was a business owner with a credible threat, and shotguns and rifles are viewed differently with regard to fire arms laws (largely because people don't walk around with them in their sweat pants!!!!).

#2 Plax didn't get screwed any more than Mike Vick did.
 a- For starters while athletes feel like they may be targets, I would argue if you think you're a likely target maybe you shouldn't hit the club. Maybe you shouldn't hit the club in your Bentley with a blinged out watch and chains etc, you can dress nice while not advertising I have 100k worth of jewlery on me. When you do that you make yourself a target and that goes for anyone athlete or civilian. He's a well known football player, he's not going to have any problem getting women whether he's "iced out" or not. For less money than he's probably dropping that night at the club he could have hired an off duty cop, or personal security to carry instead of him.

b- If you are going to carry a concealed weapon you have several duties. 1- Know the  local/state laws with regard to fire arms and how they apply to you. Even if his expired Florida permit wasn't expired NY, NJ, MD, DC all do not recognize permits issued by other states. The 4 most widely recognized permits FL, VA, UT, NH, all do not cover any of those states!!! When he got the permit he had a duty to know the information that was provided with it. Based on being a celebrity and a possible target for crime he likely could have gotten a legal concealed carry permit but I'm betting he didn't even bother to pursue one in NJ or NY if he had and was denied it would be one more reason to know he shouldn't have had the weapon on him. 2 - Secure the firearm in a safe manner. For $40  he could have purchased a inside the waist holster that would have not only kept the gun at his waist (even in his sweat pants which was beyond stupid) but would have kept the weapon from discharging had it come loose (the weapon firing was a big part of the legal case against him). Plax either ignored or didn't know the state gun laws and didn't secure his weapon in a safe manner which endangered everyone around him both issues are 100% HIS FAULT.

#3 The court system didn't screw Plax. He got the same sentence that any civilian would have gotten for the same actions. If I were carrying a unregistered, unlicensed fire arm which discharged in a public dwelling injuring myself and nearly injuring someone else (his bullet almost hit a bouncer) I have zero doubt as to whether I would be serving jail time.  The gun laws in NY are tough, it's well known they're tough, DC & MD are two of the other states on the East Coast with tough laws. The laws are in place to keep any clown who owns a gun from carrying it into the club, getting drunk and not exercising the type of good judgement the store owner above did, before using them. Just because you're carrying a gun doesn't mean that you have the right to draw the weapon because someone disrespected you. THe gun laws are tough because it lets the state lock up guys that really deserve long prison terms such as people committing armed robbery, drug trafficing, and gang related crimes, etc.  If Plax had a NY permit he would have had to answer some questions about the weapon going off but he would have probably gotten off with a "slap on the wrist".

In summary Plax put himself in this position, athletes should be held to the exact same standard or the law as any civilian, he knew he was breaking the law because he tried to cover up his actions which shows intent, he endangered others, he like Mike Vick actually got off lighter than he could have. Sure Plax used bad judgement, made a mistake, but doesn't a drunk driver essentially make a "mistake" by driving drunk?? Didn't the 4 thugs that tried to rob the store owner you mentioned essentially used "bad judgement"??  Like Vick, Plax knew what he was doing, he got caught, he willfully broke the law and now he has to do the time. I don't take any pleasure in what happened to the guy, but he hasn't been wronged by anyone but himself.

I am a gun owner, I have a concealed carry permit, I know where I can or can't carry my weapon and if I can't... I don't. I have never drawn the weapon, or even shown someone that I have it on my person, and would never do so unless there were a threat on the life of myself or another person, that's how it's supposed to work.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: August 21, 2009 10:23 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

I agree with elsousio's argument.

America has doubled its number of prison cells since the 1970's, and prosecutors are filling them - often with sensationalism, not common sense or fairness in mind.  Like the 17-yr old Georgia boy, with no criminal record and hopes for college, sentenced to 12 yrs for have consensual oral sex with a 15-yr old girl.

Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2009 8:26 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Please fire Doyel and hire this guy full time. Excellent writing. Doyel? Garbage. And I'm a writer. I know good writing.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2009 2:41 am

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Well, Plax is a receiver, he doesn't like safeties.

I agree with the main thrust of the blog: Plaxico had to be made an example of, and self-defense is practically virtuous, even when people are killed as a result.

Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: August 20, 2009 11:08 pm

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

I can understand why Plaxico would own a gun. Wealthy person with a celebrity status that may be subjected to robbery. However, the gun should have stayed where it was permitted to be, Florida. Also, if the permit expired it should have been renewed. Or he should have gotten a permit for New York. Secondly, there was no need for him to bring a loaded gun into a crowded night club. Was he trying to protect himself from someone trying to snatch his chain he chooses to flaunt. Is the price of that chain worth mistakenly taking an innocent person's life? I don't think so. There was no need for that gun to be there, and the sweatpants circumsdtance is irrelevant. In comparison to Vick and Stallworth, his sentencing does seem a little stiff. However, bhe committed a stupid crime that should never have occured. A lot of people have done time for something they should not have done or was a mistake or a one time bad judgment, however they served their sentence. Plaxico should to. And he should learn to respect firearms and their potential danger. He will probably serve a little more than half his sentence. He then should be allowed back into the NFL, however he deserves to serve the time for his crime.

Since: Jul 31, 2009
Posted on: August 20, 2009 10:18 pm

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

No this article is completely wrong.  When comparing these two cases, common sense has been used in both.  Firstly, Burress took a loaded handgun into a nightclub (crowded, I am assuming) and stuffs it in his pants.  Clearly this is a dangerous situation.  He is lucky he didn't injure someone in addition to himself.  Also the handgun was not registered.  The gun discharged among all these innocent people.  It is common sense that the Burress has the book thrown at him.  He could have gotten 3 1/2 years; his plea agreement gets him two.  Sounds fair to me and completely within common sense.

Secondly in the other example, a shot gun is used in a self-defense.  The right to bare arms is provided within our Bill of Rights, and that is exactly what this case is--end of discussion--no crime committed.  You also can not compare the two weapons.  I am not an expert in gun laws, but I do believe that handguns must be registered everywhere.  The same is not true with rifles and shotguns.  They do not need to be registered in all areas.  The DA uses simple common sense in this case and does not persue charges. 

"Common sense has disappeared form the American lexicon"?  Maybe so, but not in these two cases.  The DA used common sense in both these cases when deciding how to press charges.  And in fact, the cases were handled properly.  The argument of the article is not correct according to popular opinoin or according to the law.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2009 6:54 pm

Plaxico's Double Standard (the other one)

Buress is an idiot and anyone,I mean anyone who says he got shafted is also an IDIOT>No excuses, no nothing,I lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and have seen the worst and best in people.He did not get shafted he got a JUdge who was not going PlAY.DOn't act the fool and make it something it was not,he screwed up,got stupid and had someone read him the riot act...  

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