Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress is preparing to serve two years in New York state penitentiary after agreeing today to plead guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Which I guess means he tried to possess the weapon in criminal fashion, but failed to do so criminally enough.
Let me just get right to the guts of this story. If Burress serves the entirety of his prison sentence, he will have spent more time in jail than Michael Vick (18 months) and Donte Stallworth (24 days) combined. So what do you get when you add one genocidal dog killer with a vehicular homicidal drunk? Apparently you get a guy who shoots himself in the leg in a victimless crime.
Let’s not overlook the fact that unlike thousands of crimes that take place in America on a daily basis, Burress’s criminal act had no victim. There was potential for a victim, yes, and there were laws broken in that Burress had no right to be toting a firearm. But outside of hurting his own damn self, Burress caused no discernable harm to anyone else.
Okay, so you say there was potential for a crime with other victims had Burress used his gun maliciously. Fact is, you can’t assume intent of a crime unless one is committed. If you could, every man on this earth would be guilty for having a penis. Effing rapists.
So where does that leave Burress?
He apparently had no intention of causing harm with his firearm, and simply suffered an unfortunate lapse in judgment by carrying his pistol in the first place.
And yet it seems like prosecutors and media members alike have taken Burress to task under the assumption that he was destined to hurt others with this possession of his. Ultimately, maybe that would have happened, who knows. But it didn’t happen on the night in question, and so it’s not fair of us to judge unjustly.
I get that every state has their own laws regarding, among other things, firearms. And I realize that any state can penalize someone to the fullest extent of those laws. But what kind of message does it send when killers, rapists, and abusers — in general, criminals out to cause harm to others — are being removed from society for a shorter period of time than a bonehead who can’t properly secure his trigger?
It’s wrong and it’s messed up.
Sorry, New York, but you have got to get your s*** together on this one. Plaxico Burress deserves punishment for a crime that he committed, that we cannot deny. But two years in a state institution, having his life funded by taxpayers, and his right to freedom stripped for 730 consecutive days? The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Free Plaxico.