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Plaxico Burress: Second Amendment Martyr

Illustration for article titled Plaxico Burress: Second Amendment Martyr

Well, here's a new take on the Plaxico situation. "Policy analyst" David Kopel has an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, arguing that Plaxico Burress has been wronged. Not because he faces three-and-a-half years in Attica for what is essentially a victimless crime. (If you're not counting his leg as a victim.) No, it's because he thinks New York City's handgun law is unconstitutional.


You see, Burress used to have a gun permit—in Florida—but he lives in New Jersey, so even if he wanted to register his gun in New York City, he can't. The city doesn't allow handgun permits to non-residents and refuses to honor concealed carry permits issued by other states.

Also, according to Kopel, "In New York City, carry permits are issued, but to applicants with some form of political clout rather than on the basis of his or her need for protection." I don't know what that means, but he doesn't elaborate (assuming Burress lived in NYC, wouldn't he have the necessary clout to obtain one?) and then admits that New Jersey gives out even fewer permits than New York, so this whole discussion is pointless, because under no circumstances would Plaxico Burress ever be allowed to carry a handgun in Mike Bloomberg's New York. And this is bad for America.

It appears that he put the unholstered gun in the waistband of his sweatpants, and when it slipped, he grabbed for it, accidentally hitting the trigger. To make matters worse, according to press accounts, he was seen drinking and may have been consuming alcohol — which all firearms safety training (including the class he would have been required to take for his Florida permit) absolutely forbids for people handling guns. And of course Mr. Burress's handgun should have been holstered to prevent unintentional movement of the trigger. Fortunately, his negligent discharge did not harm anyone else. [Emphasis added]


See? Just because Plaxico passed a firearm safety class in Florida and then violated every single rule of firearm safety in the span of thirty seconds before shooting himself in the leg in a public space, why should the government be able to deny him his right to defend himself? New York City is violating the constitution (maybe), so they should be forced to violate the constitution and do whatever New Jersey tells them to even though Jersey would never tell them to do that in the first place.

That seems somehow ... off. But what do I know? I'm just a blogger.

Free Plaxico Burress [WSJ]

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