This whole Plaxico thing just reeks of boneheadedness, which is painful for Heathen Central to admit given our affection for the Giants generally and Plaxico specifically (Burress has been our favorite player for a while, an honor that is predicted predominately on “which productive NFL player on a team we like has the funniest name.” (The runner-up is Atari Bigby in Green Bay)).
Consequently, the light this event shines into Plaxico’s fucktardery is, well, disappointing to us. The entire affair is error on error on error in a chain that could have, at any moment, been broken and thereby prevented the near-certain incarceration endgame.
So, in the order he probably committed them, a brief survey of stupid Plaxico tricks:
“I’ll wear a shit-ton of jewelry worth tens of thousands of dollars to a loud and chaotic night club where snatch-and-run type thefts are easy to perpetrate, and I’ll do this on the off chance that someone around me may of missed the fact that I make a fuckload of money by being one of Eli’s favorite targets, and — oh yes — I caught the winning TD in the Super Bowl last year.” Stupidity rating: 3. Lots of people, especially people who come from below the upper-middle-class, have a tendency to suffer from Wife of Bath syndrome in an effort to show everyone how well they’ve done. Pro athletes are particularly vulnerable, and it’s hard to completely condemn the practice for this reason. However — and I say this as someone dumb enough to have regularly stumbled home drunk from Egan’s wearing my dad’s Rolex — wearing flashy jewelry in a club like that is just silly.
“Because I have to wear such fancy jewelry to illustrate my station in life, I must also carry a gun to protect same.” Stupidity rating: 6. Plax jumps a lot here, since he’s making a bad assumption based on a bad assumption which compounds the whole affair. Carry a gun because you HAVE to go someplace where you don’t feel safe, sure. But creating a situation you perceive as dangerous (wearing the jewels into the club) and then compounding that danger by carrying a gun as well makes you pretty stupid. Better to avoid the danger in the first place, but therein you see how the chain develops.
“I have no reason to bother with registering this firearm.” Stupidity rating: 8. Carrying a loaded gun without a permit in NYC is a felony. Dude, you’re rich as metric FUCK; hire a security service if you need to wear 30 pounds of gold out in public. Carrying just tempts fate, and fate can be a bitch.
“I’m going to pick a gun to carry based on popular culture and not on my specific carry needs.” Stupidity rating: 5+ (see below; this plays into point 6, below). This is inferred, but at least a few reports suggested that Burress was carrying a full-sized pistol; there appears to be no dispute that it was a Glock in .40S&W. All Glocks, even the small ones, are double-stacked — meaning they’re much wider than many more carry-appropriate guns. You can get a 9mm or even .40 that’s far slimmer, and that will fit neatly in one’s pocket; when you’re carrying on the sly, concealability is paramount, and absent a proper carry rig, being able to slip it in your pocket securely is pretty important.
“Wait, you mean you can get carry rigs that work in just about any set of clothes, from inside-the-waistband holsters to full shoulder clutches to fanny-pack setups?” If you’re gonna carry, SECURE THE MOTHERFUCKING PIECE. Plax did NOT do this; he was apparently trying to carry a double-stacked Glock in the waistband of his sweatpants. WTF, man? Stupidity rating: 9.
“I’m gonna go ahead and keep one in the pipe just in case despite lacking a real safety or a real carry rig.” Stupidity rating: 10. Most folks who carry probably DO keep a round in the chamber, but they’re probably using real gun leather, or a pistol with a more affirmative safety mechanism than the Glock has. Plax dropped his gun and, in fumbling for it, pulled the trigger. The Glock’s safety is IN the trigger, which one source of criticism for the pistol’s design. There’s no click-on, click-off safety at all. This means carrying a Glock with a round in the chamber without a secure rig is really, really, really stupid; had he picked a safer gun, a real holster, or carried without a round in the chamber, none of this would have happened. (I.e., if Plax had just dropped the gun and avoided shooting himself or anyone else, nobody would have ever known.)
“Now that I’m at the club, wearing loads of jewelry, and carrying a gun, I’d better go ahead and get drunk.” Stupidity rating: 10. In Texas, by the way, carrying a gun EVEN WITH A PERMIT into a place that makes more than 51% of its money selling booze is also a felony. This is NOT a bad law. Carrying when you’re drunk is a bad, bad idea — no good can come from it.
Plax is going to jail. What he’s really going to jail for is being a fucking idiot, given how many choices he could have made differently in this sequence. “Skip the jewels, so I don’t need the gun” would’ve been a great start, but even “get a real holster” or “carry something with an affirmative safety” or “don’t fucking keep one in the chamber” would’ve also saved his career and kept him out of the loving arms of New York State.