Thursday, October 12, 2006

Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers was jailed today for firing shots from his gun during a fracas at a strip club last week. What ends up happening to him and how that affects the Pacers remains to be seen, but my question is, why did he have a gun with him in the first place? To me, it seems like that if you are casually carrying around a weapon, you are going to find trouble. Jackson claims self-defense in his role in the fight, and while I don't know how legitimate that claim is, the fact remains he bears responsibility for putting himself in the situation he found himself in. If Jackson thinks he can brand himself as the innocent victim in this case, he's crazy.

Doesn't it seem like anyone who carries around a gun for "self-defense" reasons always ends up getting in situations where he needs to use it? How many people are there in the world that walk around unarmed - and nothing ever happens to them? You walk around with a gun, and trouble is going to find you.

And I also wonder what Jackson's definition of self-defense really is. We don't have any visuals or any real clear accounts of everything that transpired at the strip club, but we do have another incident to look back on - the famous brawl in the stands at the end of the Pistons-Pacers game a couple of years ago. Jackson was one of the main figures in that mess, famously (and without much hesitation) jumping in the stands with Ron Artest to fight the fans. Maybe the players would argue otherwise, but I can't believe that Jackson could claim self-defense in that situation either - that was rage coming out to fruition. I seriously doubt that any of the fans at the game that day would have posed much of a phsyical threat to Jackson, a world-class athlete.

So if his perception of what "self-defense" really is skewed, as I would argue that it is, then I think you have to say that he has an aggressive personality, a quick temper, and to be sure, questionable judgement. In any case, Jackson should be held responsible for his actions at the strip club, regardless of whether he was the instigator. Maybe that'll send some sort of messge that it's not ok to carry a weapon around with you just like you would your wallet.

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