Sunday, December 07, 2008

On the whole Plaxico Burress mess.

Xavier has a post up with his take on Plaxico Burress. While I agree that Plaxico is a complete idiot, and a thug, I have to disagree with the overall thrust of the post, which seems to be that we should let him hang (figuratively) for what he did, and that he should not be allowed to use the Heller decision to challenge the law he's being charged under. I urge you to read his post, and my comment, which I'm also posting here because it sums up my position fairly well.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on this one, Xavier. If you believe the law he broke is unconstitutional, then his motivation, knowledge, intent, recklessness, stupidity, and arrogance should all be irrelevant. He has the same right to challenge the law on Constitutional grounds as anyone else. His money simply gives him a better ability to do so, and his fame is what brought it to our attention. Right or not, that is the way it is.

Heller does apply, not because it applies to him, or to the situation, but because it applies to the law that he is being charged under. If New York's law equates to a de facto ban on handguns, it is unconstitutional under Heller, and a persons reasons and intent are irrelevant. Even if he was carrying it so that he could go kill someone later, he still should be able to challenge the law in question. An unconstitutional law should be challenged at every possible opportunity.

Is Plaxico Burress an ideal person to be doing this? No. Is he one of us? Heck no. Should he be charged with other crimes? Yes, he should be charged with criminal negligence, reckless endangerment, making false statements to police, and (if it's in New York's laws) carrying a firearm while intoxicated. He's an idiot, and it's only blind luck that no on else was injured or killed.

You said "If he decided to go, he did not need to carry a gun." Since when is need supposed to be a requirement to exercise one's Second Amendment rights? Since when is the lack of ability to hire bodyguards, or the lack of "other options" supposed to be a requirement to exercise one's Second Amendment rights?

It is not about "bend[ing] the law unjust when the man who caught the winning touchdown in the 2008 Super Bowl violates it" or for getting him "preferential treatment in a court of law." It's about striking down an unconstitutional law. To paraphrase your own conclusion, "The Constitution is simply the Constitution, and it applies to New York City."
*Please note that the "stupidity" label for this post is for Plaxico Burress's stupidity, not Xavier. I have nothing but respect for Xavier, and I don't think he's stupid, or even being stupid in his post.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I don't understand why Burress folded so quickly on this issue either.

I'd have foought it tooth and nail with every delaying tactic at my disposal, if only to keep playing in the NFL and earing bocu $$$.

Who knows if he'll make any team when he is released?