There's not a lot to expound upon here. Seriously, for the first time in a long time I'm feeling a shortage of words. Psych! No I'm not.
If you don't know the story, Plaxico Burress, wideout for the New York Giants - what's up with criminally stupid wide receivers in the National Football League? - shot himself through the leg over the weekend in a New York nightclub.
Burress had an illegal handgun tucked into the waistband of his jeans - never a smart thing to do if you're fond of your penis. As he walked from the dance floor to a VIP section of the club, the gun slipped down his pants leg and he fumbled for it. Luckily Burress had missed his scheduled appointment for earlier that evening to jump on a trampoline with live grenades in his pockets.
Anyway, during the fumble the gun went off and sent a bullet into Burress' thigh.
In related news, we now know that Burress' catching skills extend beyond footballs...and if he ends up in prison, which seems to be a strong possibility, he could be catching even more.
But I digress. Regardless of Burress' explanation for the gun - that he was wearing expensive jewelry and needed to protect himself (so leave the jewelry at home!), New York's laws governing illegal handgun possession and the penalties for such possession seem pretty airtight: mandatory jail time, 3-and-a-half years minimum, as I recall.
I'll bet he doesn't do more than a year though, if that much. My money says six months.
Whatever. The act of shooting himself, however dumb and however much an accident, isn't Burress' worst offense here. His possession of an illegal handgun...in a crowded nightclub, where the bullet that struck him could have gone stray and killed someone else, may not have been his worst offense.
His worst offense is broader and more general in nature.
You've heard "to whom much is given much is required?"
Plaxico Burress has worked hard in football to earn his position and status. But the extraordinary rewards he's reaped - fame and fortune - are where the figurative "given" part comes in.
So by comparison he has not met his requirements.
And by the way, let's draw a new line in the sand today. Every time something like this happens - a dumb but relatively harmless (except when he's dancing with a gun in his pants) celebrity does something stupid - so many of us are quick to jump to the celeb's defense with an argument like "yes, it's dumb, but so-and-so's actions were dumber, and he didn't get in half as much trouble."
How about today we agree Plaxico Burress is dumb as dirt, no buts about it. That admission doesn't let other bad actors off the hook. It actually tells future bad actors that they'd better not gamble on getting the benefit of the doubt.
As for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's outrage over Burress' self-shooting and his demand that the book be thrown at Burress, Bloomberg should practice what he preaches: He said Burress shouldn't get special treatment because he's a celeb. True. So Bloomberg shouldn't pay special attention to this case, because Burress is a celeb. Yeah yeah, athletes as role models. Whatever. If all the city's gun crimes are bad, Bloomberg shouldn't wait for a celeb to mishandle a gun or for a cute little girl in pigtails to be caught by a stray bullet or for any "high profile" gun crime to occur before demanding that illegal shooters be punished "to the full extent of the law." He's right about stiff punishments. Burress could've killed someone with his "accident." But to prove his outrage crosses the board and isn't just pulled out on special occasions, Bloomberg should make it a point to get publicly, visibly angry next time and every time some Average Joe with no fame or money is shot in NYC for no good reason.