Is it profiling to suggest that people who play defensive tackle in the NFL are unlikely to be candidates for the MacArthur Fellows Program? If these highly paid athletes were even somewhat cerebral before they started butting heads with 300-pound competitors I imagine they lost of some of that intellectual firepower after a season or two. I make this point in reference to former Chicago Bears player Terry “Tank” Johnson. According to buffalonews.com, the eminently indictable Mr. Johnson offered some distinctly dopey Bob Costas-compatible advice to rookie players at 2013 NFL Rookie Symposium. Copies of Plato’s work by the same name may have been a bit thin on the ground, but Tank had plenty to say about “firearms, guns, gats, straps, all that stuff.” Hang on. This is good . . .
Johnson, the Chicago Bears’ second-round draft choice in 2004, was arrested multiple times for unlicensed weapons.
“The main thing that caused me those troubles, coming from Phoenix and moving to Chicago,” Johnson said, “was bringing a car full of my guns, thinking it was going to be sweet like it was in Phoenix, where you can buy an AK-47 at Circle K.”
While on probation in December 2006, authorities found in Johnson’s home six guns, including a loaded AR-15 assault rifle hanging from his bedpost.
To Johnson’s credit, he didn’t blame his problems on ignorance of Illinois’ gun regulations.
I’m not quite sure what to do with that statement. Is the writer stating that Tank was or was not ignorant of the law? Note: we are talking about Chicago here. And leaving a loaded AR-15 “assault rifle” hanging from the bedpost certainly puts Tank in the running for our Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day. Anyway . . .
“While you’re playing in the NFL, you do not need a firearm for any reason,” Johnson said. “The NFL does a great job of putting these resources around you where you don’t need a firearm.”
Resources like . . . armed guards? Wait for it . . .
“Having a gun is not going to help you when that moment comes if you’re not trained on how to use that gun.”
Although not discussed today, Johnson was with bodyguard William Posey when Posey was shot to death at a Chicago nightclub. It happened the same week as the raid on Johnson’s home, where Posey also was arrested.
The NFL suspended Johnson in 2007. A condition of his reinstatement involved not owning any guns as long as he was an active player.
Johnson told a story about how he wished he was armed when he confronted two men burglarizing his car.
“At this point, I’m terrified,” Johnson said. “If I had my gun, I would have been ready. It would have gone down, whatever. It was fixing to gown down.”
Johnson said he went to purchase a Glock .40 the next day, but while he was waiting in line decided to call NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who told him, “Tank, put the gun down.” The NFL offered to put security detail at Johnson’s house instead.
“If you have a firearm handy, sometimes that can compound your troubles,” Johnson said. “Somebody could piss you off, and you could look over and see your gun and think ‘Oh, I’m just going to scare them.’ That alone can put you in jail for a long time.”
Yup. Just thinking about scaring someone with a gun is a crime in Chicago. Which means Tank has just committed a gun crime. D’oh!