I love the National Basketball Association. How can one not love the NBA? The best athletes in the world competing in a game that requires great physicality, supreme hand-eye coordination, unbelievable conditioning and endurance, uncanny vision and, most importantly, a high gaming IQ.
You may laugh at me for claiming that the NBA has the best athletes but ask yourself this, how many NFL players can play in the NBA versus how many NBA players can play in the NFL (LeBron would dominate in the NFL)? Or, put another way, how many former tight ends in the NFL were basketball players who couldn’t make in the NBA (e.g. Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates)?
In any event, I digress. To continue with my initial point, watching 7-footers leap around the court with the grace and poise of Russian ballerinas, all while attempting to shoot a round ball into a hoop 18-inches in diameter is quite riveting and awe-inspiring. Think about it. There are six-plus billion people in this world — less than 500 can play at a high level on an NBA court. To me, that’s amazing!
All that to say, I was disappointed to see that the NBA has sold out to the Bloomberg machine. Seriously disappointed. Now I know that deep down the players that appeared in the PSA’s directed by Spike Lee are well-intentioned and ignorant to the minutia of the gun debate, but still, it sucks that Everytown for Gun Safety got these high-profile, global superstars to give a tacit pitch for rolling back the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“I heard over the summer about a shooting that killed a three-year-old girl, and I immediately thought of my three-year-old daughter Riley,” said Steph Curry, a guard for the Golden State Warriors, last year’s NBA champions.
“Then I learned the horrible statistic that every day 88 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are injured,” he continued. “We’ve come together as a country to solve problems before – gun violence should be no different.”
We point this out a lot on GunsAmerica, but that 88 stat includes suicides, which make up two-thirds of all gun deaths. The real figure is more like 30 people a day are killed by other people with guns. And of those 30, a significant percentage are gang and/or drug related.
Regardless, we can all concede that the figures are too high and that more can be done to reduce gun violence. The question, of course, is how we should go about doing it. Going after the supply is entirely stupid. That’s what anti-gunners want to do. Limit supply and availability. Make it increasingly difficult for any and all to own firearms. We’ve tried that approach before, not only with guns but drugs and alcohol. Both Prohibition and the War on Drugs backfired in extremely profound ways.
Needless to say, gun control won’t work either. So what then? Attack the illegal demand for guns. That’s the obvious way to solve gun-related violence. But no one in the anti-gun crowd seems to want to do it. You don’t hear that being thrown around in these PSAs. Instead, it’s just more of the same ambiguously stated claptrap about “doing more” and “coming together” and “raising awareness” and “common-sense solutions” and “consensus” and “growing movement ” — all of which are a dog whistle for civil disarmament.
“Athletes, law enforcement, gun violence survivors, moms, community leaders, and millions of Americans all know the impact of gun violence on our country,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety.
“We’re proud to join with the NBA, these NBA stars, and Spike Lee to highlight stories of gun violence in America and bring people together to address the problem. This partnership shows the wide range of people who are willing to speak up and be a part of our growing movement.”
Sadly, the NBA players can’t see through the B.S. They want to make a difference. They want to do the right thing. But by jumping into bed with Bloomberg they are only contributing to the loss of a precious and increasingly necessary civil right.