"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife." –Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, 1821
I may have found an endless supply of Thomas Jefferson quotes. He wrote a lot. What he’s saying here is that it’s time to clean out the barn. But today I want to write about basketball in the news.
I guess if you’re in the NBA you fly a lot, and it gets boring on the plane. Sometimes they play poker. They also have pretty good incomes, so they can bet a lot on their hands. What I’m getting is that one player allowed another player a debt of $100,000. How very Obamalike.
In a subsequent argument over the debt, in a locker room, inside an arena where basketball is normally played in front of thousands of fans, i. e., the publick, the two players drew guns on each other. No one was shot, but somehow the story got out of the locker room and into your living room. A few issues have been brought to bear.
One is whether or not it is permissible for anyone to bring a gun into an arena. Jefferson would say yes.
One that hasn’t been dragged out yet is a fragment of existing law called "brandishing a firearm." I’d speculate that if you draw it, wave it around, point it at someone, and argue with them about a debt of $100,000, that might be called brandishing. There may have been no actual intent to fire, but brandishing is enough to normally get law enforcement all excited and investigating, and if you keep it up they might even drop you.
Over here is the issue of range safety, which is kind of inappropriate in a locker room, in an arena, among the publick. Range safety says you don’t brandish and point at somebody. That’s just not polite. It kinda violates the range rules and you can get kicked off the range, if there’s anyone there who’s in charge of the range. Range safety pretty much says the only direction you point is downrange with the intent to fire. So both players would be subject to being kicked off the range.
One of them has been suspended for joking about the incident. For every game he misses, he loses $147,000 in pay. No word on the other one. I’m not even sure which one owes the money to the other one but the whole thing is stupid if you ask me. We might even have a means to deal with stupid. For brandishing, and for violating range safety, I think both of these idiots should get an expense-paid tour of Afghanistan in green clothes. That would certainly get the right message across, and maybe even help clean up the Taliban.