FanDuel - WFBC

October 26, 2006

The only guns NBA players should have are these (kiss biceps now): With David Stern's announcement comes the chatter.

posted by gradys_kitchen to basketball at 09:01 AM - 33 comments

Not sure what to make of this if anything, but it is interesting that the league would address this with the union. Who will be the first to brandish their NRA card and come to the aid of the defenseless players?

posted by gradys_kitchen at 09:04 AM on October 26

"It's a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically" As someone in favor of gun laws, even I don't agree with this. Correlation != causation, David.

posted by yerfatma at 09:07 AM on October 26

My main concern when many of these gun-related issues arise are some of the other details of the situations. When the Pacer players had their problems, they were at a (or coming out of a) strip club. Not having anything, in general, against strip clubs, but I'm always left wondering if these players are exercising good judgment at even being at these establishments. It's their right, granted, but seeing as how they're wealthy and high-profile, it only increases the chances of them being targeted for trouble. Add a firearm to the mix, and the problems skyrocket. I'm not sure, however, that there's any easy solution. The culture many of these athletes come from is often full of recreational (or worse) drug use, high crime, individuals owning and carrying weapons (either for protection or to possibly ensure nobody fucks with them) and hanging out in clubs/strip clubs. When these athletes all of a sudden have more money than they ever imagined, they don't have the perspective, often, to all of a sudden start avoiding these places or situations. They are now the high-rollers that can afford the guns, weed, top-shelf liquor, etc., that was always looked at as being high-status where they grew up. I admire Stern for wanting to do this, but it will turn into another mess like steroids in some sports. Guys will continue to do things until they get caught, then it's up to the league as how they plan on dealing with the offenders.

posted by dyams at 09:32 AM on October 26

From the article: "It's one that was raised recently when Indiana's Stephen Jackson shot a gun in the air at least five times outside an Indianapolis strip club on Oct. 6." I didn't know this. Shooting a gun in the air kills somebody more often than people realize. It happens every year wherever morons celebrate an occasion by firing off a few rounds. Some poor shmucks find themselves on the wrong end of gravity and random chance.

posted by rcade at 09:36 AM on October 26

It probably wasn't the smartest thing Stephen Jackson ever did in his life, but Stern's statement about guns has to be viewed in the context of image cleanup in the wake of the Pacers-Pistons brawl two years ago. Before this issue goes too much further, might I remind Mr. Stern about the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Second Amendment.....

posted by NerfballPro at 09:45 AM on October 26

These players, the union, whatever, can fall back on the Second Amendment all they want, and you're right, they can, legally, carry guns. But the right of any employer is to give the boot to any of these individuals who turn around and feel the need to start shooting off these guns in any reckless fashion they wish. A disagreement or problem arising between individuals at a strip club, for instance, doesn't seem like a responsible option to settle a dispute.

posted by dyams at 09:52 AM on October 26

Good point, dyams. But I really don't think it'll make a difference whether there's an actual no-gun clause ratified in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. Likely the best way to keep the players honest is to hold them to the laws of the land and handle violations of those laws on a case basis. All major sports here have done that for years, it works, why fix what ain't broken?

posted by NerfballPro at 10:51 AM on October 26

Shooting a gun in the air kills somebody more often than people realize. This happened quite often in Kuwait City (circa Gulf War I). After all the Kuwaitis came back home, you had to stay indoors all the time, because those silly bastards celebrated by firing machine guns in the air all damn day and night. You'd be minding your own business, and a hail of bullets would just come falling out of the sky. It got to the point that when you heard gunfire, you didn't even try to ascertain where it came from; you boogied to the nearest doorway or overhang, just to be protected. Hey, thanks, guys! Welcome home! Dumbasses.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:06 AM on October 26

Maybe stupid question: Is it legal to make an employment rule that, outside of actual job-related acitivites, one's not allowed to carry any kind of firearm? If a player were to challenge such a rule were it inacted in the future, could it hold up in court? I ask this because unlike the riding a bike clauses, the right to carry a firearm is actually covered by the Constitution.

posted by jmd82 at 11:30 AM on October 26

Is it legal to make an employment rule that, outside of actual job-related acitivites, one's not allowed to carry any kind of firearm? I don't think they can take away the person's right to carry a firearm (except during employment), but how they act or the situations they find themselves in when they decide to discharge the weapon can give an employer reason to terminate that employee. Like Stern said, someone owning a gun to protect their home or family is one thing. Winning an argument for shooting a gun (or someone) during any other situation is going to be a hard one to win. And no, I'm not talking about hunting, target shooting, trapshooting, etc.

posted by dyams at 12:05 PM on October 26

Stern said: "I would favor being able to have a firearm to protect your home. Period." Yeah, because you never know when you might need to whack the limo driver.

posted by tselson at 12:23 PM on October 26

There's a little more detail on specifics of the Pacer fight here. The Indianapolis Star used to have a link up to the police report itself but it appears to be pay-content now. I think its particularly important that in several different versions of the events he fired the gun two times, one before and one after he was struck by the vehicle. This would seem to give the federal charge against him some teeth. Regarding gun ownership, the only direct quote I can detect from the first article is this one: "He added that walking the streets carrying guns was "dangerous for our players," but said there has been no further discussion with the union about strengthening the policy." Seems pretty clear to me Stern is just voicing his opinion - what's the big deal?

posted by chmurray at 12:26 PM on October 26

I am not an expert on this, but... Simply because a right is granted in the Constitution does not necessarily mean that a private employer has to condone your exercise of that right in a way they do not approve of. For example, I have the right to free speech, but say certain things in my office and I'm sure to get fired. That doesn't mean my employer is taking away my rights -- the Bill of Rights prevents the government from taking action against me, it doesn't necessarily apply to the terms of my employment. There are some companies who now refuse to hire cigarette smokers on the principle that it blows up their health care costs. Even if you're only smoking in off hours, if they find out, they will fire you. They're within their rights to do this as a private employer. If you oppose the policy, you have the right to quit. I suspect, therefore, that the NBA can enact anti-gun policies if they so choose.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:30 PM on October 26

They might be able to stop it by making it part of the policy against reckless or dangerous behavior. Most players have a clause of that type in their contract. I don't know that it would stand up in court but it would probably be the best chance they would have. I myself support gun laws, but not making them illegal. I think that there should be laws regulating the use and possesion of guns but I also believe as a law abiding citizen that you should be able to own and carry a gun IF you do so legally. I think we are missing something here though. Even in the states that do allow you to carry concealed weapons it is still illegal to carry them anywhere alchohol is sold or consumed. if they had guns in any type of bar strip bar or otherwise they were breaking the law (correct me if I am wrong but isn't that a FEDERAL law?). That seems like something that could easily justify action of some sort by law enforcment and the NBA.

posted by T.C. at 12:34 PM on October 26

An employer can fire an employee for pretty much any reason or no reason (in most states), except for a few protected ones, race, religion, etc. The NRA was trying to get a bill enacted in Florida that would prohibit employers or property owners from preventing guns being on their premises (even if they were in locked cars).

posted by bperk at 12:40 PM on October 26

venicemenice - I don't know if that would fly. The comparison seems right however there was a case last year in Arizona where a property owner (he owned several shopping malls if i remember correctly) tried to ban legally carried guns on his property. The courts ruled that he could in fact ban them but if he did so he would then become liable for the saftey of everyone there. Since that could have ended up costing him much more he decided not to ban guns on the property. I have also read about enployers firing employees for smoking and getting away with it however I truely do not believe any employer should be able to dictate what you can do with your own time, as long as what your doing is not illegal then it is none of there business. Just my opinion on that one however :)

posted by T.C. at 12:41 PM on October 26

It is covered in the second amendment that any citizen has the right to bear arms. I myself have a permit to carry a handgun. Laws vary from state to state. A lot of people who oppose firearms seem to always blame the gun,not the person. These idiots, athletes included, don't realize that shooting a gun up in the air that the bullet has to fall somewhere once it's shot. I wonder what kind of courses,if any, that people like Jackson have taken in the use of handguns, or any firearm that is a deadly weapon when put in the wrong hands. I think that there should be some kind of clause in their contract that prevents that individual from using a gun during the season. They've got plenty of time in the off season to screw around with their weapons. They main concern should be to play the sport they're being paid to play. Never mind playing with guns.

posted by Ghastly1 at 01:01 PM on October 26

The NBA is the gangsta rap of the sportsworld. It holds no interest to me. I'm offended by its persistent lack of character. Gimme ESPN classic and re-runs of the Celtics, 76ers, and Lakers of by-gone days.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 01:04 PM on October 26

(correct me if I am wrong but isn't that a FEDERAL law?). No it's not. Most of those types of rules are left to the States. Indiana, it seems, only prohibits carrying a gun onto school property and riverboat casinos. Oh, and you'll need to leave it locked in your car while attending the State Fair. (pg 12)

posted by tselson at 01:11 PM on October 26

For example, I have the right to free speech, but say certain things in my office and I'm sure to get fired. That doesn't mean my employer is taking away my rights -- the Bill of Rights prevents the government from taking action against me, it doesn't necessarily apply to the terms of my employment. I don't think that's done on the job is what's at issue. The problem is regulating rights outside of the workplace. The courts ruled that he could in fact ban them but if he did so he would then become liable for the saftey of everyone there. Since that could have ended up costing him much more he decided not to ban guns on the property. Interesting. I would if this would have any effect on carrying firearms into stadiums? One might be able to argue the situations are analogous and if you're unable to carry firearms into a stadium, then they're held liable for my safety, or is this already the case? I find this all very interesting!

posted by jmd82 at 02:17 PM on October 26

There are some companies who now refuse to hire cigarette smokers on the principle that it blows up their health care costs. Even if you're only smoking in off hours, if they find out, they will fire you. They're within their rights to do this as a private employer. If you oppose the policy, you have the right to quit. Ooooo - this one will get letigious. Because dollars to donuts, fat people cost just as much. Can you imagine the lawsuit parade if companies starting firing people for being too fat? Nuh uh - I don't think this one is as clear cut as you are describing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:21 PM on October 26

Can you imagine the lawsuit parade if companies starting firing people for being too fat? Nuh uh - I don't think this one is as clear cut as you are describing. They aren't a protected class. There are studies that show that obese people make less money and such. Morbidly obese people can sometimes qualify under the ADA, generally if it is related to a physiological condition. I don't think that's done on the job is what's at issue. The problem is regulating rights outside of the workplace. This happens too. Employers do fire employees who say the wrong thing outside of work, especially if it makes the news.

posted by bperk at 03:11 PM on October 26

Because dollars to donuts, fat people cost just as much. So many possibilities ... I resemble that remark! We do not ... unless you hold your retreats where there aren't any buffets. Then we cost wayyyy more. I was going to argue, but you said donuts and I got distracted.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:17 PM on October 26

David Stern has no business telling people what to do on thier own time.as long as they are not breaking the law he should mind his own.he should worry about the players having a problem with the new ball.I think its funny that a lawyer decides what ball is better,and now want to infringe on peoples constitotional rights.I think iy would be wise for all pro athletes to have a professional body guard.that way if someone starts trouble it can be handled without them catching a case.a 6'-6" 300 pound man has a way of settling differences without a gun.sometimes before they start.

posted by mars1 at 06:59 PM on October 26

Fraze, you crack me up. As for the smoking reference- an employer in fact has to pay higher health insurance for an employee who smokes. It is fully within our rights to hire only non smokers and to fire those that breach the policy. That being said, it would be a problem legally if the smoking question never was brought up at an interview, then the employee was fired for smoking, or if the policy was enacted after employment. The big problem is the Union. Since most private companies are not unionized the employer makes the rules and can justify them most of the time. However, with a union involved things need to be more defined and all of the grey area is going to be challenged. Besides, whatever happened to that good old American strip club where we could all get $5 table dances, beers were $4.00, shots for $5.00, all the dancers looked like Demi Moore and we all got along without guns?

posted by urall cloolis at 07:26 PM on October 26

As for the smoking reference- an employer in fact has to pay higher health insurance for an employee who smokes. It is fully within our rights to hire only non smokers and to fire those that breach the policy. That's awful simplified if you ask me. As a smoker, my employer forces me to contribute more to the group benefits. I simply pay more for my insurance and therefore do not have to make the seemingly ridiculous choice of smoking or working. Seeing the number of cigarette smokers in the US, I wonder if others may have similar options. I also am interested at the cultural idea behind "quit smoking or get fired" - how something so formerly seen as okay has now become such a touchstone for basically condoned ostracizing. It's not so much that some employers would do this - it's that other people think its a great idea because smokers are awful people and deserve it. There's nothing particularly good about smoking, I don't defend it. But it is interesting to see how we react to it now. And for damn sure fat people are bigger taxers of health care. There's way more of 'em.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:22 PM on October 26

The issue at the center of this should be the fact that Jackson has been charged with a FELONY!!! The gun is not the issue, the strip club is not the issue, it is the IDIOT who committed a FELONY with the gun at the strip club. How about having a policy that addresses the commission of a FELONY. Something like; If you commit a FELONY of any kind you are fired!!! Don't felons belong in prison and not in the NBA.

posted by Familyman at 07:22 AM on October 27

That's awful simplified if you ask me. Well, no doubt this issue will be fully litigated in coming years, but for now, in many US states, companies have the right to fire smokers. Usually, smokers get free access to quitting programs, but if they can't quit, they get the axe. It's enforced with drug tests looking for nicotine. I first heard this reported on NPR, but here's the tale of a landscaper who was fired for smoking in his off-hours. The reason I brought this up, of course, was not to say that this is right or just (I think it's bogus) but simply to disprove the claim that your employer can only fire you for breaches of company policy committed during work hours. Thus, David Stern can enact certain policies that NBA players would have to abide by 24/7/365. He runs the league, so he doesn't have to "mind his own".

posted by Venicemenace at 08:39 AM on October 27

Familyman, you know the difference between one person doing something wrong and an industry-wide amendment of policy, right? No one is saying Stephen Jackson didn't commit a crime. (Well, his lawyers are, but -- no one in this thread.) Agreed: the gun is not the issue, the strip club is not the issue, but you know what? Stephen Jackson isn't the issue either. The issue is whether David Stern, as powerful as he is, can institute a policy whereby he can dictate players' conduct away from the game. Here's the thing: some people, for example, like going to clubs. I sure do. (Strip clubs, not so much, but follow me for a second.) Now, if I was making 3 million a year, and I went to a club, there's a heightened possibility of someone wanting to shake me down, either for my bling or the bragging rights or whatever. Now, there are ways to defend yourself, but in many places, guns talk louder than anything else. That's why you see so many NBA players, rappers, former Little Rascals, big-shot 60's record producers, etc. carrying them. I don't wanna swear it, but it's something that I've heard, that a gun in the first act always goes off in the third. Though sometimes, it's the fastest way out of a bad situation.

posted by chicobangs at 09:00 AM on October 27

I've heard guns kill people. But then I heard rappers do. In a documentary on BBC2. So I called my cable company to report a problem.

posted by yerfatma at 09:29 AM on October 27

Am I missing something here? Don't get me wrong, because I enjoy the occasional visit to a good gentleman's club, but firing a weapon outside said club? I know as a public face (representative) of my company, I would be canned in a New York minute. I feel the same way about this as I do the many drunk driving charges against wealthy athletes and actors. Once you get to a certain income level, doesn't it make sense to hire someone to drive for you? Hell if I could afford it, I'd do it every day, not just when I went out to get schnockered. He can hire a bodyguard to protect his bling and street cred too.

posted by hawkguy at 10:09 AM on October 27

I know as a public face (representative) of my company, I would be canned in a New York minute. You guys need to get unionized.

posted by bperk at 12:25 PM on October 27

They could pull a Stephen Jackson and take out a gun.

posted by yachts360 at 06:06 PM on October 27

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