Plaxico is an Idiot

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:

  1. “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.

  2. “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.

  3. “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.

  4. “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.

  5. “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.

  6. “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.)

  7. “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.

22 thoughts on “Plaxico is an Idiot

  1. I agree with pretty much everything there, except for one thing: not all Glocks are double-stacked pistols. The G36 is a sub-compact .45 ACP with a six-round, single-stack magazine. I think that is the only model so configured, though.

  2. Fair enough. Though, given that all the sources I’ve seen state “Glock .40,” it seems like Plax’s gun was double-stacked.

    A 36 might be a nice pistol to have, though. Hint. Hint.

  3. I’d almost dial number 6 and 7 up to an “11”.

    See, it’s one louder.


  4. I thought the .40 S&W was the American firearms industry’s answer to the Glock 9mm. That would suggest that he purchased a gun because it had the words “Glock” and “Smith & Wesson” on it.

    I had one of the first generation Smith & Wesson .40 S&Ws. It was a Glock clone that had too much power for its weight. I felt like I needed one of those carpal tunnel wrist braces after only a box of ammo because it snapped my wrist back every time I fired. Of course, this is coming from the guy who likes to fire .45 Schofield through his Peacemaker. I mean, if your handgun can’t double as a shillelagh in a pinch, what’s it worth?

  5. It’s not a “reply” to the 9mm in any meaningful sense; it’s just a subsequent (and more modern) caliber. 9mm has been around for a long, long time — the Germans used it in WWII.

    In the US, it didn’t really explode until the advent of staggered or double-stacked magazines from Browning and Beretta. It’s still less gun than .45hACP or .357 Magnum, but having 18 rounds can make up for a perceived lack of stopping power, especially if the felt recoil is enough lower to produce gains in control and accuracy. (.357 was sidelined due to its revolver-only status, though .357Sig tries to piggyback on the name — more on that below.)

    That didn’t mean people — especially ballistic size queens — didn’t still want a bigger gun. One attempt, made famous by Miami Vice, was the 10mm Auto. 10mm was and remains a monster caliber, significantly more brutal than .45ACP. The FBI tested it and found that recoil was really a joke, so the 10mm cabal — mostly Bren, who made the famed “Bren Ten” Sonny Crockett used — kinda went down in flames pretty quickly. But people still wanted something else, so in response to the FBI’s requests S&W ended up kinda turning the 10mm into .40S&W. It’s shorter, has a lower load, and consequently much greater controlability while still delivering more downrange power than 9mm (while sacrificing none of the accuracy or low drop of the 9mm).

    Your experience with .40 mirrors my own; Frank has or had an HK USP in .40. As a caliber, it’s known to be extremely “poppy,” especially in modern lightweight polymer pistols like the Smith Sigma you (probably) had, and like Frank’s HK. OTOH, I suspect it’s much more pleasant to shoot from a heavier, all-metal pistol. (I don’t like .45ACP from a plastic gun, either.) (This aspect is why I bought a 9mm as my last gun, since it was certain to spend most of its shooting life at the range where (a) 9mm is cheap as dirt and (b) fun to shoot.)

    So what’s .357Sig? Basically, a 9mm bullet with a .40 case and load. It’s 9mm on steroids, and looks like it (it’s a “necked” cartridge, like a rifle, instead of the clean-cylinder look you see with 99% of pistol rounds).

  6. The .40 S&W was developed as a more tame version of the 10mm auto; which, in turn, was developed because the 9mm was chronically under-powered (at least according to the FBI). The .40 is a pretty high-pressure round (lots of head separation – especially in Glocks – spent cases should be roll-sized before reloading depending on the chamber). It comes in at about half again as powerful as the 9mm. It is also shorter than the 10mm round and uses small pistol primers instead of the large ones employed by the 10mm and the .45 ACP.

    The .40 S&W is a VERY popular for IPSC/USPSA competition. In fact, I would say that 97% or so of those who compete in the Limited Division shoot a .40 S&W (mainly because its small size allows high magazine capacity and the fact that it cycles very quickly (which explains the poppyness Patrick mentioned)).

    Just as an aside, Glock manufactured the first .40 S&W to hit the market.

  7. LOL. Farmer brothers replying in concert. It’s like a game.

    What Frank leaves out is that the reason .40 is so popular in competition is that there’s a division of major vs. minor calibers, and that impacts scoring (i.e., you’ve gotta shoot a big gun to get full credit). 9mm is on the wrong side of that divide (colloquially “Minor”), but .40 is major. (Franks shoots .45ACP, but in the limited-10 category where single-stacked mags aren’t as much of a liability.)

    Wasn’t the USP the first commercial pistol made with .40 in mind? I know Glock was first to market, but that was really a retrofitted 9mm design, correct?

  8. The .357 Sig is a fun round. It does display more recoil than the .40 S&W, though.

    There are two advantages to the Sig round, in my observation:

    1) It has good performance and does come close to mimicing the legendary .357 Mag. with a 125 grain bullet. Though it can over-penetrate.

    2) Its design (bottle necked) gives it a very low stoppage rate, i.e., it doesn’t jam often at all.

    Several agencies have adopted it. If I’m not mistaken, the Texas State Police were one of the first. I know the Secret Service uses it now as well as the similarly trained and qualified Canton, MS police department. Heh.

  9. Didn’t you have a .357? Or am I misremembering?

    Over-penetration can be addressed with bullet choice, though, right?

    Canton: LOL. Also: Federal Air Marshals. Wikipedia says Texas DPS was the first.

  10. Yes, the HK USP was built around the .40 S&W. Mine was a USP Compact with a stainless slide. I was a great gun, good feel, etc., etc. I also never shot it because it was more of a point of aim shot than a 6 o’clock hold (like I like). It got sold.

    I also sold the .357 Sig. Mine was a Sig Pro model which is the lower line version of Sig Sauer pistols. It was a full size gun and I enjoyed it as well. However, I never shot it either and it got sold to fund part of the purchase of the TLE II. The idea was to make my carry/home protetion pistol as close to my competition gun as possible. Mission accomplished.

    Also, Glock wasn’t reworking a 9mm frame when it introduced the .40 S&W. It had already worked up a pistol chambered for 10mm Auto and reworked that, I think. The 10mm and .45 ACP (and, I assume, the .45 GAP) Glocks are all on a slightly larger frame than the base Model 17 frame.

    Over-penetration can be controlled with bullet selection but not stopped, as it were. You want rapid expansion without loosing weight. Most law enforcement types are using Gold Dot or something else with a bonded jacket or Ranger T or Federal HST, etc. They’re all good.

  11. And Mr. Farmer(s) leaves me behind, once again, in the technology department. :)

    Yes, I did have the Sigma, but I much prefer my .45ACP. Actually, I take that back: I prefer firing my .45ACP, but I LOVE shooting the Peacemaker. Someday, when I’m retired, I’m going to go for that record where the guy fires his single action revolver, unloads, reloads, and empties the revolver again into his target in under three seconds.

    “My very first pistol was a cap’n’ball Colt/ Shoots fast as lightning but it loads a might slow…”

  12. This place is better than my favorite website! (Ok my second favorite, my favorite is

    Nine is fine.

  13. 9’s awesome at the range, but it’s also a 106-year-old cartridge. Modern metallurgy has allowed us to create better, or at least more lethal, calibers like .40SW and .357Sig — though some contend the lumbering mass of .45ACP is better than either, but at the cost of round bulk, recoil, and reduced trajectory flatness.

    When are we shooting? We keep talking about it…

  14. 9 has taken care of lots and lots of evil doers. YOu just got to hit what you are aiming at. The .40 was invented because the FBI can’t shoot. :-)

    I am going to use the “I need more stopping power” rationale though when I plunking down money for my .40. :-)

  15. Well, sure it has; it’s 100+ years old, though for most of that time it’s been used BY evildoers (well, Germans anyway). OTOH, .40SW isn’t even 20 yet. .357Sig is younger than that.

    A 9 is a great thing for the range, but if you’re gonna keep one around loaded, you gotta be supercareful about cartridges. It’s fast and light and will go through sheetrock like a hot knife through butter.

    Sadly, I can’t use the “more stopping power” argument at my house, as I also already own a .45ACP. ;)

  16. No, no, no, not “more stopping power;” the line is, “I’m a collector.”

    Old boxes of comic books? “It’s part of my collection.”

    Big pile of Star Wars memorabilia? “I’m a collector.”

    New model handgun? “I’m working on a collection, and I need a representative sample in this caliber.” The trick is saying it with a straight face. Alternatively, you could actually believe that you are a collector, and then hoard things.

  17. Yeah, that’s it. That is why I need a M9A1 (9mm)and a Sig Sauer P239 (.357 Sig). That would round out my “caliber collection” of pistols/revolvers that fire .38 caliber bullets!

  18. I have three barrels and two different mags for my pistol. SIG .357, S&W .40, and 9 mm. SIG.357 is by far the most satisfying to shoot. The .40 is the most accurate in my particular pistol, though the 9 is by far the most economical at the range. For personal defense I keep the .40 S&W hollow points for accuracy and pop.

  19. “I’m a collector” it!

    Is this a Glock lovin’ or a glock hatin’ crowd? I admit to loving them. Anybody got any impressions on the G36? I got permission for another plinker as my wife wants the G19 as “hers” and that’s fine by me because she’s totally amazingly hot when she shoots it. In fact we should stop talking about guns and talk about how hot women with guns are.

    I think I’ll stop by Top Gun on my home tonight. Woohoo!

  20. I don’t mind Glocks at all. I’d probably have bought one when I got my Steyr but for the fact that my then-girlfriend had a 19 (I think it was a 19; that’s the middle-sized 9, right? Smaller than a 17 but not as small as a 26) and I didn’t feel the need to duplicate.

    For carry, I don’t think I’d go Glock for the reasons I cited in the post — no affirmative safety means you have fewer good carry options. (A Glock with a 1911-style grip safety would be appealing to me, though.) For regular shootin’ they’re hard to beat — very fault-tolerant well-made pistols with plenty of aftermarket support should you need it.

    As for the 36 specifically, I might be worried about felt recoil with .45ACP in a polymer gun.