Wednesday, January 13, 2010

High robbery rate gives NBA players reason to carry arms

From John Lott, writing at
Some people ask why a man who stands 6-foot-4, weighs 215 pounds and doesn't have an ounce of fat on him needs to carry a gun.

But Gilbert Arenas is not an anonymous physical specimen. He's a player for the NBA's Washington Wizards. And statistics show that the point guard's fame and recognition make him much more likely than the average man on the street to become the victim of a violent crime.

Arenas, who has no previous criminal record, was indefinitely suspended without pay Wednesday by NBA Commissioner David Stern for bringing unloaded guns into his team's locker room. Federal and local authorities are looking into criminal charges, particularly possible violations of the District of Columbia's strict gun laws.


For some observers, it is hard to comprehend why professional athletes carry guns. The massive size and strength of NBA players would appear to make them unlikely crime victims. But Gary Kleck, a criminology Professor at Florida State University and co-author of "The Great American Gun Debate," says that's hardly the case.

"Athletes in some respects constitute more attractive targets," Kleck says. "They have a high public profile and are known to have wealth and items that can easily be stolen, such as jewelry."

Statistics support Kleck's case. Five NBA players were robbed during the four years from 2005 to 2008 — a rate of 280 per 100,000 people, compared to 145 per 100,000 for the rest of the U.S. population. In other words, the rate that NBA players are robbed was about twice the rate for the rest of the country. ...

Read it here.

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