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Next Post has the 411 on Delonte West’s gun bust—straight from the shooting guard’s mouth. Well, as told to writer Tzvi Twersky, who has his own unique perspective on the bi-polar b-baller’s ballistic brouhaha. “Delonte West is an avid outdoorsman, likes to hunt and fish in the backwoods of Virginia, but that’s not really why he owned the guns. Like many nouveau riche athletes, he had hammers because he could afford them. The same way money buys cars and clothes and comfort, it also buys guns. It’s the American way.” Hammers. Guns. Apple Pie. Gotcha. “After the ’09 season ended with his Cavaliers getting knocked out by the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals, West returned home to Maryland and set about finding a good place to store the weapons, which he saw more as collector’s items. He chose the recording studio . . .

Everything was fine—the guns remained safely hidden—until, on the night of September 17, feeling unusually tired, West went to his bedroom pretty early, took his nightly dose of Seroquel (a drug that treats bipolar disorder) and got in bed. Shortly after falling asleep, he was startled awake by shouting.

“Ma Dukes came running upstairs into my room, cursing me, saying she wanted all these MFers out of my house,” recalls West. “I came to like, What’s going on? I was already on my Seroquel trip. A few of my cats had found some stuff in the studio and they were living the whole gangsta life thing—guns in the air and this and that,” continues West. “And I said, ‘Oh my God. What the fuck are y’all doin’ in here? Y’all got to go. Momma ain’t on that. Kids are running around upstairs. It’s time to go.’”

Gassed up from the commotion, West decided it would be prudent for him to relocate the guns to an empty house he owned nearby. So, with his other vehicles blocked in by guests’ cars, and expecting it to be a short trip, he haphazardly loaded up his Can-Am [three-wheeled motorcycle] and placed the weapons in a Velcro-type of bag—“not a desperado, hardcase, gun-shooting-out-the-side type case”—and set off.

“I’m on the Beltway, cruisin’,” West says, voice high, emotional and inimitable. “Soon I start realizing I’m dozing in and out. I open my eyes and I went from this lane to that. I’m swervin’, and by the time I wake up, I’m about three exits past my exit.

“There’s this truck flying beside me—” West pauses; this next part is crucial—“and I’m scared to death. So I seen an officer coming up and I try to flag him down. I pull up next to him. He slows down and I get up in front of him. I tell the officer I’m not functioning well and I’m transporting weapons… The rest of the story is what it is.

“I’m not proud of it,” concludes West, “but it looks way worse than it was.”

To paraphrase Phineas and Ferb, “No. No it doesn’t.”

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  1. I’m normally not a fan of gun control, for Mr. West I might make a huge exception. I would love to see the reactions from the po-lice on the side of the beltway.

  2. He was stopped carrying his heaters in a guitar case, but at least he didn’t go all El Mariachi on the officer’s a$$. He copped to traffic and weapons charges and was sentenced to wear a bracelet, unsupervised probation and 40 hours of “community service.” Which is the same sentence you or I would catch in Maryland, right?

  3. Manic depression and gun ownership are incompatible. I’m definitely for any laws that require a mental health check before being allowed to buy or keep guns. One day, he’s going to go off his meds. I’ve seen it happen a number of times. I’ve seen people get hurt. It can get wild and violent without guns, let alone with them.

    • I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 25 years ago, have been on seroquel for ten of those and have owned guns for 25 years with nary a problem. Not even a traffic ticket in the last 14 years. “Thanks” for your willingness to sign away my rights.

    • You don’t want to start down that path too far because someone in power could find a doctor to say that if you want to own a gun than your crazy so you’re also disqualified.

      • The current law, as it should be, states that only those who have been involuntarily committed by a judge for mental reasons shall be denied which I agree with. These are the folks that actively refuse help to get better. The mentally ill are only dangerous when they personally refuse help, get improper help or slip through the cracks. There are an untold many us bipolar (4.4% to total population by a 2011 CNN study) that at the first sign of trouble voluntarily make weapons safe, lock them up and commit themselves to a safe place to get treatment in order to get better, myself included. I’ve never been a bad guy but when I feel myself slipping to appease concerns from all my friends and family my collection is locked up tight and the keys given to someone I trust. If that isn’t the pinnacle responsibility I don’t know what is. Outside INvoluntarily committed mental felons I don’t see a ban against any psychologically related group as having any merit.

        I’ll close with the statement that Mental Illness is the most misunderstood, bigoted and maligned class of citizens today and its a damn shame.

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