Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Marvin, His Bar, and His Gun

When I turned Mike and Mike in the Morning on as I was getting ready for work today, I heard veteran ESPN reporter and resident Phillyophile Sal Paolantonio go on and on about the shooting outside the garage and down the street from a bar that Colts WR Marvin Harrison owns.

What bugged me about the story is two-fold:

1) Paolantonio, whose reporting I normally respect, harped on the type of gun Harrison handed-in for the investigation: a custom made Belgian pistol designed to 'kill cops.' This is an assertion Paolantonio made because it reportedly is so powerful its ammo can go through many layers of Kevlar at 50m. Granted, the gun may be particularly powerful, but for some reason I don't think there are a bunch of police-hating Belgian gun designers plotting to perfect "cop-killer" weapons.

2) Paolantonio then began to speculate as to why Harrison, a multi-millionaire and probable future Hall of Famer (provided he's not taken down in this or another scandal of some kind) , would bother to run a bar, a garage and car wash in his very violent neighborhood back in Philadelphia. It was unfathomable to this man, who lives and breathes life in Philly, that a native son would own businesses where he was raised. Apparently Sal believes that NFL players should stick to filming United Way ads and volunteering in their adopted communities instead of providing people needed jobs and desired services where they grew up.

I don't know enough about the story to say whether Marvin is guilty of a crime or not. Looking over some reports, it looks like the weapon--while legal and registered--was not in the place it was supposed to have been (Harrison's home). And if there was any impropriety, God knows the NFL will act swiftly and, in all probability, harshly against the star receiver. But those issues are for the courts and the NFL to decide.

In the meantime, Sal and co. should stick to reporting more of Donovan McNabb's whiny dramathon and the success of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs than criticizing an unaccused man for owning a legal firearm and running legitimate businesses in his hometown.


Anonymous said...

This is likely the weapon in question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-seveN

I didn't hear the details of the incident -- was Harrison arrested for brandishing/firing his weapon?

If he did fire, it was most likely due to the fact that he feared for his life. If Harrison is prosecuted we should ask: Would the State rather his gun to be in its "legal" location (his home) and Harrison dead at his bar?

JPB said...

No, Harrison hasn't even been named as a suspect, although police have determined that it was, indeed, his weapon that fired the six bullets in question -- resulting in two minor injuries.

Harrison's agent says he wasn't at the scene, and no one has yet claimed he was the shooter.

It isn't so much that I think Harrison should be completely excused in all this, but that Paolantonio harped on perfectly legitimate -- and some may say honorable -- citizen functions: providing jobs and services to a community in addition to protection of his own property or life via legal firearm.

JPB said...

sorry, three minor injuries.

Sam said...

Whoooo!!!!!!! Goooo FLYERS!!!