In Norman Bleed’s letter, Mr. Bleed uses the term “unregistered handguns.” This is an erroneous term in the state of Illinois. No guns are registered in this state. It is the gun owner who is registered to legally possess a firearm.
In the so-called “thug culture,” anyone possessing a gun who is not a registered firearm owner is breaking the law. Anyone displaying a gun in a threatening manner or recklessly is breaking the law. These people who break the law in this manner could be considered “thugs,” and I assume that this is the kind of accepted behavior prevalent in this “thug culture” to which Mr. Bleed is referring.
It’s hip in this culture to carry a gun, whether legally or not. Where concealed carry is legal (40 states), if a person is legally able to carry a gun, he or she may not let it be seen by others. Should this person show, display or wave it around, they are in direct violation of the law. As in the case of these high-profile multi-million professional athletes, it is cool to have a gun with them and play “gangsta”; after all, they want to be known as “from da hood.” Flaunting it and waving it around might be cool to them, but it’s a crime and is highly dangerous. It puts legal gun owners in a bad light. These idiots deserve whatever punishment is dealt them.
Pro athletes should strive to be role models, not “gangsta hip hop” poster boys. It’s not important to flaunt where you’ve been, but more importantly, where you’re going.
From the Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2010 issue