Plaxico Burress has landed on his feet. His former team, the New York Giants, released him when he was convicted for carrying a concealed weapon in the ostensibly gun-free zone of Manhattan. And shooting himself in the leg. After spending a couple of years courtesy of the tapped out taxpayers of the state of New York, he’s back in the NFL catching balls for the New York Jets. Same city, same stadium, different uni. He’s also working on whitewashing his image by flacking for the Brady Campaign. Because that’s what his agent told him would be the quickest path back to those lucrative endorsement contracts, no doubt. Now he’s come clean about what actually happened that fateful night. Not that any of it is really a surprise…
Burress was clubbing and decided to tote a mohaska. While it’s certainly understandable that he’d want the ability to protect himself, he picked the wrong venue. NYC is as restrictive as it gets when it comes to procuring a carry permit. And Burress didn’t have one.
“I had a drink in my left hand,” Burress says. “I’m just walking up the stairs. And, you know, it was dark. And I kind of, you know, missed a step. That’s when I felt my gun … started to slide. I went to grab it … to stop it from falling. Pow.”
“I knew it had went off. I saw the fire, like, come through my jeans.”
Burress tells Gumbel he did not feel the pain immediately.
“I took a couple more steps and my jeans were like — my jeans are wet. And I looked down. I had some Chuck Taylors on and they were — the white was all red. I’m in trouble,” he says.
Pow. The chance of a dropped gun firing are virtually nil. Cocked or not, any modern gun is made in such a way as to make firing as a result of being dropped extremely difficult.
However, there’s one thing you can do that will significantly increase the chances of a negligent discharge when a gun falls – try to catch it. It’s the most natural thing in the world. Something drops, you try to snag it. That’s when you reach down quickly, awkwardly grabbing for anything that will prevent your precious pistol from getting dinged when it contacts the pavement.
That’s also when you’re most likely to come in contact with the trigger, just as Burress did. With negative career and personal freedom implications. Had he let the gun fall to the ground, the likelihood that anyone who was there even knowing what happened is small. But when the gun went off and the slug went through his leg…national news. For which he can also thank the shameless grandstanding and opportunism of America’s favorite nanny mayor Mike Bloomberg.
So do yourself and everyone around you a favor. When you carry, however you carry, use a holster. And if you do drop a gun, for whatever reason, let it fall. Think of those dings and scratches as marks of experience. Because the ER and/or jail are experiences we’re certain you’d rather not share with a highly compensated wide receiver.