Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When the Joke Goes Too Far

NBA Wizard players Javaris Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas (pictured) were clowning around after arguing about a card game and talking dirt to each other.At one point they said they'd shoot each other. As a joke, before practice, Arenas laid out some of his guns on the locker bench in front of Crittenton's locker and left a note to pick one.

At the end of it all, the Wizards and Arenas reported the incident because Arenas had brought his weapons across the stateline from Virginia to Washington, D.C. Charges were filed and Arenas plead guilty.

Today, The Washington Post reports:

In a scathing 61-page memo, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh wrote that his office is seeking jail time primarily because Arenas initially provided inconsistent stories about why he had the guns in the locker room and that he never showed any remorse for his actions.

"The defendant's conduct since the time of the incident establishes that he has shown little genuine remorse for anything other than how this incident may affect his career," Kavanaugh wrote.

"If any other individual without fame, power and the wealth of this defendant, brought four firearms into the District for the purpose of a similar confrontation," the prosecutor wrote, "the government would seek their incarceration and the court would almost certainly give it."
Kavanaugh and the U.S. government have taken this joke too far; they look more ridiculous than the silly antics of some wealthy and spoiled NBA players. 

Maybe the problem here is the criminalization of taking firearms across statelines. It may be stupid. It maybe wrong. But it shouldn't be a felony.

Kavanaugh shows bias and prosecutorial  stupidity, arrogantly saying Arenas should spend three months in jail because he happens to be wealthy and famous.