Jocks with Glocks
Guns and sports don't mix unless you're hunting game or splattering your opponent's helmet with paintball bullets. That means for all other athletics, the only guns present should be on a player´s biceps. A professional athlete can be any kid's idol and role model, but if a gun possession charges are filed against them, it can change a person's whole perspective and attitude towards him or her, especially an adolescent's.
Professional athletes may have relationship problems, drinking issues, or even money issues, but all that is left behind when they are found to have a gun in their possession.
Guns are something that can alter – or end – a person's life with a single pull of the trigger. Marital problems can be solved in time and a person can stop drinking if they commit to it, but a lost life can never be replaced.
While possession in any circumstance is looked down upon in our society, in sports it's unacceptable, because it puts a role model and vital athletes' lives at risk.
Some athletes claim to strap heat for only personal and home protection, but history has shown that even these able-bodied superstars are too immature to handle a weapon.
NBA standout Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards is a perfect example of a highly skilled and successful athlete who handles a concealed weapon like an arrogant street thug.
Arenas crossed the line last December when he brought guns into the Wizard's locker room.
Not only did he bring four lethal weapons into a professional NBA institution, he proceeded to share his toys with teammate Javaris Crittenton after ‘playfully' aiming them at him and other players.
To make matters worse, he thought it was funny. He made the media and Wizards organization even more infuriated for his subsequent actions when he attempted to make light of this episode, sarcastically commenting: "I wanted to rob banks, I want to be a bank robber on weekend."
To add even more insult to injury, before his eminent suspension, he was also caught on camera in the pre-game warm-ups jokingly shooting teammates in a circle with his hands mimicking guns.
Everybody knew Gilbert Arenas as a shooter, especially behind the three-point line where he would hound defenders on the perimeter. But he took his "role" too literally when he brought lethal weapons to his job.
Some would probably take pleasure if he accidentally shot himself for being so careless with a gun, as did NFL's Plaxico Burress, but thankfully no muliti-million dollar athletes were harmed.
Even without injuries, his image was damaged permanently it seems, and the association even took banners of Arenas down from the Wizards' playing complex.
While the gun incident led to loss of money, credibility, and playing time for Arenas, not all was lost in Washington. Gilbert Arenas was placed in a halfway house for 30 days and did ample of community service afterwards, a less-than-ideal situation for an athlete conditioning himself.
The lesson to be learned here is that no matter who you are or how important you may be, when a gun is involved you can lose everything you have in a split second.
The argument that athletes need guns to protect their families and monstrous wealth is diminished when they abuse the right to conceal them.
Their elevated status in society does not grant them permission to carelessly travel with and play with firearms; it in fact should prevent them from acting like the adolescents that look up to them.
Let's hope that all professionals alike will learn from the stupidity of actions carried out by immature athletes like Arenas, whose only target this season should be the hoop.