Commentary

NFL Star Gets Two Years… for Shooting Himself

Former New York Giant stand out wide receiver Plaxico Burress pled guilty today to possession of a weapon and will serve two years in prison. The crazy part is that he didn’t try to rob anyone, didn’t wave the gun around, and wasn’t even upset with anyone. The whole incident started last December when the football star shot himself in the leg on accident when the gun went off while in the waistband of his pants.

The problem was that Burress was in a New York City nightclub when the gun went off. So he has the firepower of NYCs incredibly strict gun laws raining down on his head. If he had been convicted at trial of weapons possession and reckless endangerment (the initial charges) he would have faced a minimum sentence of three and a half years.

I understand that the current law is the current law, but it is difficult to process how a man can be sent to prison for shooting himself… for two years no less. And all of this when were in the middle of a recession!

Anthony Randazzo

Anthony Randazzo is director of economic research for Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. His research portfolio is regularly evolving, and he maintains a wide interest in economic policy at both a domestic and international level.

Randazzo is also managing director of the Pension Integrity Project, which provides technical assistance to public sector retirement system stakeholders who are seeking to prevent pension plan insolvency. His research focus on the national public sector pension crisis has a dual focus of identifying the systemic factors that cause public officials to underfund pension obligations as well as studying the processes by which meaningful pension reform can be accomplished. Within the Project he leads the analytics team that develops independent, third party actuarial analysis to stakeholders considering changes to public sector retirement systems.

In addition, Randazzo writes about the moral foundations of economic theory, and is currently developing research on the ways that the moral intuitions of economists influence their substantive findings on topics like income inequality, immigration, or labor policy.

Randazzo's work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barron's, Bloomberg View, The Washington Times, The Detroit News, Chicago Sun-Times, Orange-County Register, RealClearMarkets, Reason magazine and various other online and print publications.

During his tenure at Reason he has published substantive research on housing finance, financial services regulation, and various other aspects of economic policy at the federal level. And he has written regularly on labor economics, tax policy, privatization, and Turkish-U.S. political and economic issues.

Randazzo has also testified before numerous state and local legislative bodies on pension policy matters, as well as before the House Financial Services Committee on topics related to housing policy and government-sponsored enterprises.

He holds a multidisciplinary M.A. in behavioral political economy from New York University.

Follow Anthony Randazzo on Twitter @anthonyrandazzo