When it comes to controversial topics in the media and in everyday life, not many can ruffle as many feathers as firearms. In the hands of some people they are useful tools for defense, hunting and recreation, and in the hands of others, they are nightmarish murder implements. It really does depend on the person using them. Most of the world has gone soft, and more and more people are relinquishing their firearms due to government regulation and other pressures. Here in Canada, gun owners are treated like criminals by a governing body that functions increasingly on fear-mongering and intimidation.
This sadly, is the trend in the developed world. Citizens are asked to give up their ability to protect themselves, in exchange for the illusion of police enforced safety. It doesn't work, because criminals don't register or relinquish their firearms, but don't try telling that to a liberal, as they might report you to the nearest bureaucrat.
With what seems like a nonstop series of stories involving athletes in trouble for violent crimes, firearms are a topic sometimes discussed within the world of sports. While it is somewhat frowned upon for athletes to out themselves as gun owners and supporters (for reasons of political correctness and endorsement concerns), many do own firearms. Some estimate that as high as three quarters of NFL players own weapons and others speculate similar numbers for the NBA, with soccer, hockey and baseball being significantly lower.Here are fifteen of the most notoriously pro gun athletes.
15 LeBron James
14 Jayson Williams
Jayson Williams played nineseasons in the NBA before retiring in 1999, having sustained a broken leg that ended his playing career. He was in the first year of a massive contract, but had lost significant movement in his leg and considered himself unable to contribute.
13 Oscar Pistorius
Probably one of the most famous sprinters in the world, Oscar Pistorius is of course the South African runner who competed in both Paralympic and able-bodied competition, despite not having lower legs. In 2013, he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, having mistaken her for an intruder in the middle of the night. Many argued that because of his upbringing in South Africa, a country known for a high crime rate, he lived in a state of fear and the shooting was an accident. Accident or not, the Blade Runner was found guilty of culpable homicide.
12 Delonte West
11 Randy Orton
10 Charles Barkley
9 Jose Canseco
Yet again, we may be talking about an athlete who used to be pro-gun. Jose Canseco was one of the best sluggers in the game for a while and he is also widely considered one of the most significant whistle-blowers for steroids in MLB. Along with these credentials, he had a consistently growing list of run-ins with the law throughout his career.
8 James Harrison
One of the linebackers for the two most recent Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl winning teams, James Harrison is a heck of a hitter and is known to play a mean, occasionally dirty game. He is a former Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year and one of the heroes of Super Bowl XLIII, having returned a Kurt Warner interception for 100 yards and a score.
7 Karl Malone
6 Jeremy Mayfield
5 Lonny Baxter
4 Joe Riggs
Seasoned mixed martial arts veteran Joe Riggs has been in the sport for over a decade, with wins against names like Nick Diaz, Phil Baroni and a young Herb Dean back in 2003. He is currently in his second stint with the UFC, but with two consecutive losses it isn't looking too good.
3 Dwight Howard
One of the NBA's best known good guys is Dwight Howard who had played for the Orlando Magic, L.A. Lakers, and currently the Houston Rockets. He's one of the best defensive players in the league and has a reputation for charitable work and strong Christian faith.
2 Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson is probably the most impressive athletes in the history of American sport. While few can truly excel in one sport, Jackson was a Pro Bowl running back in the NFL (for one season) and played eight seasons in MLB, playing in the 1989 All Star Game.
1 Darnell Dockett
Any gun I post on social network I own and have a license for!! And I now have a permit to carry a conceal weapon. I'm strapped right now😬— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) March 28, 2014
The three time Pro Bowl defensive end has been in the NFL for over a decade and made it to the Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals, only to lose to James Harrison and the Steelers. He is now with the San Francisco 49ers and has a difficult season ahead of him after several defensive starters, Chris Borland, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Anthony Davis retired during this offseason.
Off the field, Dockett is known as a gun collector. He has posted his collection a few times on social media, but has also indicated that his guns are legally purchased and that he has licenses to carry them.
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