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WASHINGTON --- Paul Helmke, President of the Brady
Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement today about
Washington Wizards basketball player Gilbert Arenas:
“If Gilbert Arenas brought firearms into the District of
Columbia and stored them at the Verizon Center sports arena in violation of the
law, he should be taken from the basketball court to a courtroom. If found guilty, he should be punished to the
full extent of the law, including jail time if appropriate.
“If the facts that have been reported in the media are
accurate, Mr. Arenas violated the most fundamental rule of responsible gun
owners: treat every gun as if it were loaded.
Guns are not toys, and should not be treated as a joke.
“Too many cities with National Basketball Association
franchises - cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Indianapolis,
Orlando, Chicago and Washington D.C. - also have profound gun violence
problems. In a city where children die
in drive-by shootings, an NBA player who is reckless with firearms is far from
a role model. America’s athletic
community can and should use its clout and prestige to push for desperately
needed positive reforms to address our nation’s horrific gun violence problem.”