LINKS: The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas | Truth About It.net

LINKS: The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas

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Updated: June 4, 2010

Daniel Wattenberg writes a very insightful piece, “The Persecution of Gilbert Arenas: How gun prohibitionists and an image-conscious NBA scapegoated a basketball star,” at Reason.com. He covers the entire gun saga and the surrounding implications, such as …

D.C. gun laws after the Heller decision:

Taken at face value, the Supreme Court’s ruling opened the door to a broad, though not unlimited, right to carry handguns in the District of Columbia, inside and outside the home. And why would Arenas have taken it any other way? Like many of us, he had probably heard or read something about the widely publicized Heller decision—and little or nothing about the inside-page story of the D.C. government’s response. Now there may be a broad public understanding of the District’s new gun rules. But if so, that’s largely thanks to Arenas’ own highly publicized arrest and prosecution.

Overzealous prosecutors:

In the prosecution’s theory of the case, Arenas was the Wizards’ alpha male, bent on preserving his supremacy against all rivals. Accordingly, his actions in the locker room were part of a dangerous, darkly motivated plan to intimidate an upstart benchwarmer. In stubbornly insisting the incident was no more than a “misguided prank,” the prosecutors claimed, Arenas was refusing to own up to the seriousness of his crime. Because the act was premeditated, they argued, it must not have been a prank—as if the two concepts are mutually exclusive.

That damn Peter Vecsey:

Not merely inaccurate, Vecsey’s coverage was taunting, the rhetorical equivalent of bear-baiting. In a particularly provocative passage, he gratuitously floated a scenario—betting on NBA games—that would have triggered the lifetime ban he thought Arenas deserved.

The whole piece is a good recap and a must-read.

No matter what you think of Gilbert Arenas, he was, as Wattenberg suggests, a scapegoat … on some level. But it’s not to say Arenas didn’t deservedly suffer the consequences of his own immature actions.

The remainder of the season suspension was much too harsh. At the same time, I can’t exactly blame David Stern for making an example out of Arenas for, A) failing to comprehend the perception of his actions outside his own little sheltered world, and B) failing to keeping a separate perspective on the irresponsible ridiculousness of Peter Vecsey.

Oh, and then there’s that whole ‘I got the guns out of the house because of my kids’ lie.

But in the end, no part of the ordeal, as overblown as it was by today’s media world, is a reason to deduce that Arenas is a poisonous cancer. He is human. Humans make mistakes. Humans, good, genuine guys like Arenas, can mature for the better (I hope).

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