Train Your Clients To Use Firearms?

Plaxico Burress

Professional firearm training is important for individuals that constantly find themselves in positions where their lives are in danger.  That is why it is understandable that all American diplomats get such training before starting their work in foreign countries.  There have been many attacks/planned attacks on American embassies overseas.  But what about professional athletes?  Are their lives so threatened that professional firearm training should be suggested to them?  Apparently, there is a market to train said athletes, even though up to this point, no athletes have signed up for the service.

Blackwater Worldwide has four locations within the United States; however, the athlete training program will take place in April at its Moyock, North Carolina compound.  The company cites the Plaxico incident and Sean Taylor’s death as reasons why the program is necessary for professional athletes.  I am not sure how Taylor’s death is applicable.  And yes, if Plaxico knew how to handle a gun correctly, he might have not shot himself.  But should professional athletes be carrying guns at all, especially if they have bodyguards with them?

Blackwater is a trusted company in the professional firearm training and safety community, but I am just not so sure that making the trip to Moyock, NC for a session is necessarily worth it for a player.  Additionally, I am not positive that I believe we should be promoting that athletes carry firearms on their person all the time.  In the heat of the moment, no matter what kind of training you have, you could use bad judgment and let the gun off in a club.  Why have that additional responsibility in your pocket?

“I don’t see any negative in learning more,” said Bob Myers, a sports agent with Los Angeles-based WMG, who estimated that up to half of the 14 NBA players he represents have guns and has at times suggested they seek out training in how to safely use and store them. “I certainly don’t think you can get enough training in that respect.”

I’ll agree with Bob that if your client is already carrying a gun around, you might as well promote this program to him.  But if your client has no intention of ever carrying around a gun for protection, I am not sure that pitching Blackwater to him is a great idea.

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  • Jonathan Woodard


    Interesting post. I strongly concur with your statement about athletes carrying firearms in the first place (or “promoting” them to, at least). I also wanted to see what your opinion was, as well as others in this community, on the possibly irony of Blackwater promoting ideas like gun safety, responsible training, and solid judgement with respect to firearms.

    Blackwater doesn’t exactly have the most impeccable resume. As hired “contractors”, they have earned a reputation that is notorious for aggressive and unprovoked violence. Without going into detail, please see:
    2. Atban v. Blackwater
    3. Helvenston et al v. Blackwater

    If an athlete absolutely insists on carrying a weapon (for whatever the case may be), is a company like Blackwater the right person for the job? More importantly, if you were representing a player, would this type of relationship (Player + Blackwater) have any negative risks involved (ex: public perception, etc)? After all, “image” is huge in this industry.

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