The League


What Should the NFL Do About Gun Violence?

What Should the NFL Do About Gun Violence?

In light of Tuesday's shooting of Jaguar's offensive lineman Richard Collier, how big of a problem is gun violence for the NFL, and should the League consider season-long curfews to deal with it?

Posted by Emil Steiner on September 3, 2008 6:00 AM

AussieRules: The striking thing for any of us viewing the American gun debate from the outside is that most of you seem to be completely oblivious to the...

Michael D. Houst: People are really good at cherry-picking things to compare to put gun ownership in the worst light. It's easy to throw out the figure of 20...

OZZIE: What Should the NFL Do About Gun Violence? Easy, shoot back....

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (34)

Jack S. :

Gun violence is a problem for all Americans. Last year (and pretty much every year) 30,000 Americans died from gun shot wounds, the bulk of them intentional.

If we can ban alcohol for 18 to 21 year olds in the name of saving 1,000 lives a year, then we can find a way to reduce gun violence... perhaps MADD needs to become MAGV (mothers against gun violence). If we can spend hundreds of billions in response to a terrorist event that killed 3,000 (which is small compared to the damage wrought by gun violence) then we can certainly find a way as a society to reduce the tragic death toll.

Forget curfews... the answer is in getting rid of guns, perhaps by repealing the second amendment.

Jonah :

Gun violence is a problem for all Americans, but it seems to involve certain segments of the population more than others. In particular young black males especially those in lower socio-economic areas. But even when they manage through hard work to pull themselves out of that pit, a little bit of ghetto often comes with them.

Semina :

Gun violence won't chang unless the culture changes. Jacks has a valid point, how come we engage in all out war when terrorist kill 3,000 and not when 30,000 Americans die of guns every year. We can't seem to help ourselves.

Chris :

The League knows that it reaps huge commercial dividends from a "thug" streak among some players. I think we all pay more money or at least more attention for a glimpse at that dangerous edge that the NFL lifestyle offers. League higher-ups and the rest of us may condemn it publicly, but we tell players what we really want with our wallets. [I agree with Jack S. that redifining the second amendment for the modern era could save lives]

1234563 :

no matter how hard you wash them you cant wash the ghetto out completely. Some stains just need more bleach.

J :

People have to recognize, no matter what you believe the NFL is a job. Just like your job with a higher payout. This means your employer is not your mother. Actions against players (employees) on behavior is only warrented when it violates the contract (employee agreement), violation against the ideals ad goals of the NFL (employer), or violate the law (employers choice to fire). Think of yourself at your job.

If a player, cannot understand or comprehend that there life has changed and they need to re-evaluate their present and future, then the repercussions are loss of contract.

Like the previous post said, sometime you can get the street out of someone, that is their choice and not the NFL's responsibility. If a player can't understand the opportunity in front of them, there are hundreds of players not picked that can fill that slot quick.

HaveULivedIt :

1234563 :
no matter how hard you wash them you cant wash the ghetto out completely. Some stains just need more bleach.
So who are you talking about 1234563? The shooter or the person who got shot.

c. fan :

Abolish the second amendment? That will solve gun violence as much as banning spoons will stop obesity. Jack S is a jack@*s.

The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, which means the Founding Fathers merely wrote down what was universally seen as a pre-existing right.

NFL players just need to be more careful. They can be counseled to avoid late night driving. Maybe they should up armor their rides to avoid getting hit.

Banning guns and making curfew are not the answers. The just need better situational awareness. offers very good defensive training. Maybe NFL players should go there.

Viking6 :

If getting rid of the guns was the answer then Washington DC would have been gun violence free for the last couple of decades -- NOT.

What is needed here is 2 parent families that spend time bringing up their children with good moral, ethical and religious values.

Many of these professional atheletes just don't know what leading a "normal" life means. When you are brought up in an environment where drugs and violence are a normal part of life you have a difficult time converting to what is decent and proper.

Chele Fernandez :

This is not an NFL problem. This is a culture problem. Respect for life and for others should be taught at home and when it's not, these are the results. Don't blame the NFL, blame the breakdown of the family.

rfkreston :

Once again someone (Jack S.) has raised the inevitable "to solve the violence problem ban the tools (guns)" argument. Assuming it would be effective it would be a completely impractical solution to implement. Only the law abiding would turn in existing guns -- the very people who should be able to freely own them. The perpetrators of violence would hide their guns, there would be an underground manufacturing setup to meet criminal demand (we can't stop drugs by the ton, what makes anyone think we can stop guns from being made by organized crime?). And law enforcement would be faced with yet another impossible law to enforce. And guns would still be available to those who want to use them for evil while those who want to defend themselves are disarmed and defenseless.

Anyone who thinks there will be a cop available johnny on the spot when they get carjacked had better think again. How big a police force do you think you have? Only about half the department are "on the street" and a large number of them are busy enforcing traffic laws.

Crime and violence are societal and personal failures. If one wants to fix violence, fix its causes and punish its perpetrators severely. It has little chance of success as it infringes heavily on personal freedoms, but it has better odds than does banning guns (as a 30 year ban in the District showed. Criminals could always get guns from other criminals who got them legally or illegally. Only the good folks were actually banned from ownership. The bad guys not weren't stopped, they didn't care.)

Knock off the tired rhetoric, Jack, it doesn't wash.

Akmzrazor :

The difference is that the 3,000 was one mass murder by one enemy. The 30,000 can be contributed to at least 25,000 seperate unrelated crimes.

WH :

Jack S

Repealing the Second Amendment (which, as recently proclaimed by the Supreme Court, protects an individual's right to bear arms) is dangerous for two reasons.

First, banning guns will only ensure the disarming of law abiding, responsible citizens. In other words, a ban will ensure that scofflaws, criminals, and thugs (those for whom adherance to the law isn't a concern) would be the only ones armed. If only criminals and thugs are armed, ordinary citizens will both be defenseless and pose no deterence to violent crime.

Second, an unarmed citizenry is a vulnerable citizenry. The Framers enshrined the right to bear arms in the Second Amemdment because they understood the horrors that a tyrannical government can vest upon its own citizens (e.g. Soviet Russia, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or Pinochet's Chile). Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one; its foolishness to assume that because the American government has not yet attempted to victimize its own people that it will never attempt to do so.

Willie :

Jack S. Is not only a Jack A$$ but a lier, 30,000 americans a year, yea right, I dont even remember when 30,000 americans were killed in a war in one year. On average, there is about 45 people killed a year in each state in america from gun violence, you do the math 50 states times 45 = 2250. please stop stretching the truth to pad your cause. 10 times more kids die in swiming pools and bath tubs each year, lets outlaw them.

Jimbo :

The solution is simple but the NFL would never do it. FIRE the player and assist law enforcement with prosecuting the bum to the full extent of the law. Many places of employment would fire a person for commiting a felony. The NFL not only condones but encourages criminal behavior by these bums in order to earn ratings $$$ and video game $$$.

sid :

I think we should keep the gun in the street and at home. Without them people would have no jobs,no money.

MoMoney :

Im in the wrong business. I should be making millions by now. Gun dealers,Funeral HOmes

Jerry, VA :

Guns are a right in America garuanteed by the constatution. If you take them away then take away the free speech too and the courts of laws and order.
The NFL needs to police itself. They oughta have zero tolerance policies for gun offenders. 1 strike and you are out. That way players no what the rules are and those that do not get wats coming to them.

common sense :

Please enforce the gun law that when a person committs a crime using a gun, they get extra prision time. This law is overturned by easy parole and bleeding hearts. Most people against guns live in communities that are gated and protected against intruders, or segregated from crimminals by distance and wealth. Give the honest man a fighting chance against crimimals.

DBPro :

Some of you watch too much television and use terms too loosely. What makes someone ghetto? Especially when something happens to you - while you're minding your business... You keep using the term 'thugs' and the biggest 'thug' doesn't even fit YOUR description of a thug. He's an older white male, in $3000 suits and he lives on Penn. Ave. in Washington DC. -
Get somewhat CLOSE to a clue!

C@milo :

first off befor e we go jumping on these individuals in the league lets make sure that our grammar is correct!!! JERRY!!

truthfully, i beleive that these players should have a right to protect themselves. as everyone(general public) has the right to protect themselves. remeber folks these individuals are multi-millionaires and have alot of worth, when they visit the local rec center or they visit the neighborhoods, they could be looked at as targets. now obviously the representation that some of the young me that belong to the league have set isnt that of a positive and unified organization. as young men they feel as if the society has placed targets on them, why wouldnt they protect themselves. lets look at the tragedy of Sean Taylor as an example, targeted for no other reason but for robbery...lets look at the quote from one of the leagues top defensive lineman, Michael Strahan ''The culture has definitely changed,'' Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, an 11-year veteran, said. ''It's probably true that more players own guns now than when I first came into the league. That's because it doesn't feel safe being an athlete in public anymore.

''I am much more worried about aggressive people than I have ever been. Because of our salaries and the exposure we receive, fans feel like they have a right to physically challenge you.''

Lets not judge these player for their actions, obviously the league has not taken the necessary steps to finalize the security risk surrounding the league. lets try to understand our brothers, and lets form solutions to the problem, not aggrevation and Criticism.

Anonymous :

Frankly, the NRA and its small band of gun fetishists are to blame. They're the ones who insist any amount of gun control is unacceptable and violates the Second Amendment. As a result, anybody--criminal, mentally ill, drug/substance abuser--can get virtually any firearm they desire.

This small minority's solution is to introduce *more* guns to the problem. Thus, still more criminals and those who have no business near firearms will find a more bountiful supply.

I have to laugh when I read those comments stating guns are what separate us from the horrors of Stalin's Russia or the like. Iraq probably had more firearms per capita than the US, yet they suffered under Saddam for decades.

Jim_Maryland :

WILLIE - Just want to point out that the 45 per state is a fairly low figure. I'm near Baltimore MD and the figures for the city alone I believe fall in the 200 range per year. This Wiki link ( isn't very complete, but it probably is a good representation of the number of gun related deaths for a year. It certainly isn't near Jack S's number.

Removing guns doesn't solve the problem as others pointed out. Removing guns will only remove it from legal law abiding citizens. Fixing the underlying problem that leads people to crime would be the best solution.

Matt W :

I get so fed up with this subject, because for every person that says they cant stomach any more gun crime, we have two more that cant stomach capital punishment.

Whats the difference between a drive by and a bomb? Hmmm? We call one an act of terrorism, and the other we write off as gun violence.

We need to get over our two faced morality and our double standard. Kill the killers. Kill the terrorists.

PaulR in NY :


Insist they use knives. Ray Lewis can show everyone how!

unknown :


Pronunciation: \ˈge-(ˌ)tō\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ghettos also ghettoes
Etymology: Italian, from Venetian dialect ghèto island where Jews were forced to live, literally, foundry (located on the island), from ghetàr to cast, from Latin jactare to throw — more at jet
Date: 1611
1: a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live
2: a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure
3 a: an isolated group b: a situation that resembles a ghetto especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity

Matt W :

Frankly, the NRA and its small band of gun fetishists are to blame. They're the ones who insist any amount of gun control is unacceptable and violates the Second Amendment. As a result, anybody--criminal, mentally ill, drug/substance abuser--can get virtually any firearm they desire.

I have to laugh when I read those comments stating guns are what separate us from the horrors of Stalin's Russia or the like. Iraq probably had more firearms per capita than the US, yet they suffered under Saddam for decades.

Let me take this in order.

First, the NRA does NOT recognize the 2nd Amendment as granting unfettered access to firearms. In fact, most of the major gun bills on record required NRA support to pass, they did so.

Second, Iraqs per capita gun ratio? Do you have any facts to bring to the table here? Or are you just shooting from the hip like your other comment?

On second thought, save it, because it doesn't matter. Maybe the Iraqis were armed to the teeth and chose not to overthrow Saddam. How is the insurgency doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan these days? Last time I checked, it was tying up a large portion of the worlds premier fighting force.

Chuckle all you want, but dont turn your back on 80 million American gun owners.

Steve_VA :

To Matt M., Anonymous and others who want to take pot-shots at the NRA. First, the NRA does not support the right for felons to own side-arms. It does not support people who use side-arm in an innapropriate manner.

The ignorance shown by you and all of the othe rabid anti-firearms people has lead to the crime in DC and Maryland going out of control, when compared to Virginia, which allows for CCW (Carry Concealed Weapons) permits.

As far as Jack S. is concerned, banning alcohol for 18-20 year olds just had driven the booze problem behind closed doors instead of in a bar or a venue where it is sold. If you want a perfect example where side-arms are banned, look towards Mexico. Gee, isn't that crime I see along the border?


If you repeal the 2nd amendment, the 1st and 4th amendment will soon follow. The 2nd amendment was put in place to protect the rest of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.


crackd :

Like most people have already stated removing guns from law abiding citizens is not the answer. Criminals are just that for a reason....they don't respect the law and will go to any lengths to whatever they wish.

In 2005 there were 31,000 related gun deaths. 55% were suicides....more power to them. 40% were homicides and i'm sure if you took a poll none (or very very few) of them were obtained legally. If they don't use guns they'll just use something else like knives where in England they have a surge of violence using knives.

Why don't you go to the root of the problem and that is the people. Better education and more aggressive laws to deter criminals!!

Anonymous :

To Matt W:

Actually, the NRA does support allowing felons to own guns. And since they oppose any restrictions on private gun sales, they are, in fact, allowing firearms to be purchased by felons, the mentally disabled and others.

WRT Iraq:

AussieRules :

The striking thing for any of us viewing the American gun debate from the outside is that most of you seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that it's a uniquely American problem. Look around the OECD at rates of gun violence, not to mention all violent crime. One of these countries is not like the other ones. Yet despite the strange arguments from your gun lobby, people in the rest of the developed world enjoy all the freedoms you cherish, plus the freedom to walk city streets at night. Some gun nut suggested that a "surge" in violent crime in the UK is in any way comparable to the ongoing levels of violent crime in the US: preposterous.

Michael D. Houst :

People are really good at cherry-picking things to compare to put gun ownership in the worst light. It's easy to throw out the figure of 20,714 firearm fatalities and 79,400 firearm injuries annually for the period of 1993 through 1998.

How about we contrast that with the 41,611 fatal auto accidents and 3.4 million auto accident injuries annually for the same period? Maybe we should ban all cars and save a lot of lives that way.

Let's pick the year 2002 from

Causes of death for that year:

(1) Diseases of the heart, heart attack (mainly) 28.5%
(2) Malignant neoplasms, cancer 22.8%
(3) Cerebrovascular disease, stroke 6.7%
(4) Chronic lower respiratory disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis 5.1%
(5) Unintentional injuries, accidents (I think this includes auto accidents) 4.4%
(6) Diabetes mellitus, diabetes 3.0%
(7) Influenza and pneumonia, flu & pneumonia 2.7%
(8) Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimer's senility 2.4%
(9) Nephritis and Nephrosis, kidney disease 1.7%
(10) Septicemia, systemic infection 1.4%
(11) Intentional self-harm, suicide 1.3%
(12) Chronic Liver/Cirrhosis, liver disease 1.1%
(13) Essential Hypertension, high blood pressure 0.8%
(14) Assault, homicide 0.7%
(15) All other causes, other 17.4%

You know what? Even if we lump ALL of the suicides in the with homicides, you have a 98.0% probability of dying from something other than a gunshot. The chances of dying BY ACCIDENT are 4 times greater than being shot to death.

People who want to ban, or severely restrict firearm ownership do NOT understand the role firearms play in environmental/wildlife management, control of our government, pre-training for the Department of Defense, and crime prevention.


What Should the NFL Do About Gun Violence?

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