We are a "Make my day" nation

Ask 1,000 people what they think about guns and you’ll probably get as many different answers. Maybe that’s why guns make so many people so nervous so often.

Gilbert Arenas, an exciting star player for the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team, is on a hot seat because he brought handguns into his team’s locker room. He dug a deeper hole when he made light of the incident and seemed not to be apologetic. Arenas is in a pickle for several reasons, especially because the NBA is ever anxious about the image of its players, the league’s marketable commodity. The NBA brass tries to dampen impressions that the NBA is filled with thugs. Now here’s Arenas, drawing pistols inside the arena.

Arenas faces suspension by the NBA. Plus, Washington, D.C., has strict gun laws, and police are investigating. Teammate Javaris Crittenton was involved in the gun incident too, and the Washington Post reported that Crittenton even chambered a round in his pistol, according to witnesses.

Everyone knows that criminals use guns to aid in their crimes, which of course makes all of us nervous. No one wants criminals to be allowed to pack heat. The Second Amendment provides our right to bear arms, but it’s fairly universally agreed that gun-violence criminals forfeit the absolute right to carry guns. So it is that knuckleheads such as Arenas and Crittenton, not criminals, are the biggest problem for responsible gun owners. They make people nervous. Who wants to be around anyone waving a handgun in a public place?

Karl Malone, the retired Utah Jazz basketball legend, blasted Areneas in a Sports Illustrated piece this week. But Malone, a hunter and National Rifle Association member, also defended guns and gun owners in general. Even so, Malone exhibited some of the inconsistencies and contradictions that come out during any gun controversy. He said, for instance, he’d never think of bringing one of his firearms into the arena; but he said he would never go out in his car without his concealed-carry weapon.

OK, I wouldn’t want to be near Malone with his sidearm either in an arena or near his car. Personally, the location doesn’t make much difference to me. My attitude is, please keep your guns away from me, concealed in your jacket or waving it around in a basketball arena. The Arenas case makes a caricature of the issue, but the everyday fact of the country’s gun-packing trend has been there to examine all along.

We also had an interesting gunplay story this week in Ogden. Ruben Valadez of Ogden held a burglar at gunpoint in his home until the police arrived. He later posed for a Standard-Examiner photographer, holding the pistol he had trained on the suspected burglar. Valadez seems to represent an image of what Second Amendment and NRA advocates would want to promote: A law-abiding homeowner using a firearm to defend his property. Still, the image of the homeowner with his gun in a photo in the paper made some readers uncomfortable.

We’ve become a “Make my day, punk” nation.

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13 Responses to We are a "Make my day" nation

  1. Jo Ann Brown says:

    OK Clint Eastwood – it not that bad.

    I hate to hear the story but it doesn’t remove it from the fact that it is reality. I am closer to concluding that “You can’t fix stupid!”

    Critenton has been suspended indefinitely. This is a loss of income. Because we are a nation of spenders inspite of the recent recession, he probably will feel this in 3 months or less.

  2. Hindi jokes says:

    really great post, i enjoyed it.

  3. 230therapy says:

    The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment (abbreviated “2A”) to the Constitution does not apply to state action. This is a key point because Washington DC is not a state and is Federal territory. The 2A therefore directly applies to the keeping and bearing of arms in DC. The mere possession of the handgun by Arenas is not illegal and DC’s laws blatently violate the 2A. The Heller decision of 2008 did not address possession outside the home (in fact, it was a terrible decision since it ignores the “shall not be infringed” part of the 2A). Yet, it should be very obvious by reading the 2A that the it acknowledges the right to the possession and carry of weapons.

    However, Arenas and Crittenden both committed a crime by pointing a weapon at another person outside of a justified self-defense situation. Neither should be prosecuted for possession, but instead be prosecuted for battery and endangerment. Furthermore, if the NBA contract both players signed contains a “no weapons” provision, they should face trespassing (or whatever the equivalent is in DC) charges, as well as NBA sanctions, for violating their employers’ policies.

    I certainly don’t expect the silly author to understand anything regarding rights. He’ll just continue to whine about guns. The truly sad part is that he has no understanding that the limiting of one amendment’s rights affects all the others. He is weakening his freedom of speech, religion, privacy and so forth because his words are encouraging government to pass more laws that further restrict rights.

  4. laytonian says:


    When the Bill of Rights was ratified, “arms” were muskets and were not further defined.

    I consider a nuclear bomb to be my “arms”, and would like to carry one at all times. I’m sure you’ll uphold my right to be armed.

    You can’t have it both ways. You’re saying that Arenas and Crittenton were bound by their contracts regarding guns in the workplace…but what’s your feeling on the lawsuit against AOL, for enforcing their own rule about guns on their property?

    Frankly, I liked what Malone said….he was more rational than most. ..especially when he stated that there were a thousand bad reasons to have a gun in an arena, and not one good reason.

  5. Mark Shenefelt says:

    230therapy, yes, I can see legislators and congressmen lining up feverishly to pass gun-control laws after reading my post. [rolls eyes]

    Read the post against and point where I advocate any laws “further restricting rights,” including passage of gun control laws.

    Speaking of whining, you sound like the typical NRA hack who rushes in to shout down any discussion of a gun incident and its repercussions.

  6. Well says:

    You seem to have a problem understanding the BOR. You state The Second Amendment provides our right to bear arms… That is incorrect. The 2nd AOA and the whole BOR restricts the government from acting against already established rights. The BOR does not provide, grant or give anything.

  7. Dovie says:

    I was in the army, we own guns. My feeling is that pro-gun folks are digging their own grave by defending any and all public display and/or use of weapons. What week goes by without an angry white divorcing male barricading himself in his home or an accidental shooting? Not very many.

    These guys think the gun makes the man and that they are making a statement. Small men. That’s all this is, because there is no rational reason to carry a gun around all the time. It is obvious that an innocent bystander, a child, or an ex-wife is much more likely to be shot than anything else.

    But it’s the new boys club and they will get the wink and nod that we used to give drunk drivers. For awhile, until their own idiocy finally backfires.

  8. Bill says:

    While I read articles like this every day, I never read articles about idiots getting in car chases with the police, which are far more dangerous. Did these two mental deficients act stupidly? Absolutely. So do a lot of people every day.

    Dovie, just because you are a coward doesn’t make the rest of us cowards too. You are so wrong about this subject I am surprised you made such an imbecilic statement in public. There is a very good reason to carry a gun in public, it’s called refusing to be a victim you moron. The only thing obvious is your room temperature IQ.

  9. ctrentelman says:

    The problem is, while it is possible to legislate gun ownership, and to protest it, it is impossible to legislate good sense, good manners, or intelligent action.

    own a gun? Fine. I own a lovely black powder rifle, a black powder pistol, and a couple of other odd things that use black powder I made from kits. They are all locked up.

    Mr Arenas can own all the guns he wants, but he was a complete idiot for taking them to the locker room and waving them around. He was a double idiot for playing games about them later on — typical “I’m a rich basketball player I can do anything I want” attitude. No sympathy for the guy.

    People who scream about their gun rights and then say its their right to carry them around, everywhere, in public, are not exercising their rights. They’re being bullies, forcing others to put up with their bad behavior.

    They’re also idiots, asking to get shot.

    In this day and age, when whackos go into places with guns and shoot people at random, if I see someone carrying a gun, what am I supposed to assume? Presumably, I’m supposed to assume that that person is a well-trained responsible member of the NRA who’se only carrying that gun in case a nut case comes along.

    So how do you spot the nut case? Or do you assume anyone with a gun is a nut case and shoot first?

  10. flatlander100 says:

    Ah, from Bill, an illustration of what passes for reason on the right in these parts. Note his assumption that anyone who dares to disagree with him and who chooses not to walk around armed all the time is “a coward” and a “moron.”

    That’s what “conservatism” has come to in Utah.

    But hardly surprising. The “conservative” stand in Utah on dealing with terrorism is now, apparently, according to John Reynold’s recent Guest Commentary the SE editors thought deserved prominent space, this cringing whimper: “I’m afraid! I’m afraid! But we can be safe, completely safe, and never be afraid of terrorists again, if only we’d torture more prisoners. Do it! Do it!”

    Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater and Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling over in their graves.

  11. Dovie says:

    Constitutional rights are not absolute and the Supreme Court spends alot of time determining the balance. You have a right to own guns, others have a right to expect to be safe in public. The right to own a gun at home is not in question: packing in public is.

    Since the odds are infinitely greater that the packer will shoot an innocent or himself than a criminal, the correct balancing of these rights is with the public.

    You can’t own nuclear weapons for the same reason: the public’s interest is greater than yours.

  12. Jim in Houston says:

    \So how do you spot the nut case? Or do you assume anyone with a gun is a nut case and shoot first?\

    The answer to this is so simply that I initially thought it was a rhetorical question. But perhaps you are confused about use of force laws.

    The simplest answer is that it depends upon what the gun carrier is DOING with the gun, not whether he is actually bearing a gun. SHEESH!

  13. Dovie says:

    That is what I said, Jim in Houston. Right NOW, packing is OK based on your argument. Right wing idiots are ruining it for themselves because of what gets done with those guns. The odds aren’t even close. You do a lot more damage than good.

    When the balance tips, you only have yourselves to blame, because cleverly standing around with a shoulder holster within shooting distance of the President of the US is not a wise way to demonstrate your “right” to do whatever you want.

    What gets done with the guns is so obviously disproportionately unfavorable, it is logical the law will adjust. I said idiots are ruining their own game and the rest of you are also cutting your own throats by defending them. I.e., it would be less of an issue if you could behave discreetly and professionally, instead of taking the “rights for nuts” and “look at me, I’ve got a gun and you can’t stop me” approach.

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