Luke Scott says Gilbert incident was "stupidity"
Earlier this week, I mentioned how Orioles DH Luke Scott has carried weapons into Major League Baseball clubhouses, which he'll no longer be able to do under new MLB rules. Obviously storing weapons in a locked storage container--like Scott says he did--is quite a bit different than placing multiple illegal guns on a teammate's chair with a note that says "Pick One." But plenty of national writers have criticized Gilbert Arenas on straightforward "guns-don't-belong-in-locker-room" grounds, so I thought it was worth pointing out that Scott has done the same.
Well, Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier had Scott on their 106.7 The Fan show this week, and they brought up the Arenas incident. Scott said quite a bit. This is long, but pretty close to fascinating, especially when Scott describes two incidents in which he says guns saved his life. Anyhow, they started by asking his opinion on the Arenas incident.
"You know, that happened, that's one instance that it happened," Scott said. "I don't recall any other instances inside of a clubhouse; what happened was just one instance. And I think what it is is just a PR deal, where ownership in all leagues is just trying to scramble to show the public that they're doing something. It doesn't really matter, because it's happened once in the history of sports, to my knowledge. I don't think that on top of that, that the rest should be punished for the acts of one. You know?
"I just think it's a load of baloney, because the real issue is guys don't go into clubhouse and point guns and do all this crazy stuff. I'll tell you that. If I saw that, there'd be a fistfight, or I'd give them a piece of my mind, because guns are not toys. You know, I've carried a weapon for 10 years, never shot anybody, never robbed anybody. It has saved my life twice, but I know they're not toys. I practice with firearms, I enjoy shooting, it's a hobby of mine and I have a healthy respect for them.
"I do understand from their standpoint, from ownership and the clubs, that you can't trust all 25 guys in the locker room to be as responsible as someone like me. That's a very good argument. So the only argument I would have against that would be, 'Well what about my security in the clubhouse?' You know, at any point do I feel threatened, or [is there] the possibility of something happening?
"And I'll be honest, the truth is, no. We have great security in major league baseball, we have police officers, we have Secret Service, we have local law enforcement at the gates. The only thing that you would have to be worried about would be a tactical terrorist invasion where you would be held hostage, where if you would have people with military training come in and plan an attack like that. That is highly unlikely. I really don't see that happening, so there's really no argument against it."
For the record, it didn't seem like he was joking about the tactical terrorist invasion. And that's something I've honestly never considered when deciding whether to arm myself. Anyhow, Scott was then asked if the Arenas incident left him steamed.
"Well yeah, it's just stupidity," he said. "As men, my belief is this: if you've got a problem with somebody, you know what, we can solve it with words. And if we can't solve it with words, that's fine. Let's go outside, let's go in the clubhouse, wherever, we'll duke it out, we'll roll around on the ground and that will be it. But you pull a gun on somebody and you make threats like that, you're a coward. You're a coward. And to me, I was shocked. I was shocked. You're making millions of dollars, life is pretty good for you, no reason to do that."
Of course, no one pulled a gun on anyone else inside the Wizards locker room, in the conventional sense, at least according to the government. Still, the fistfights over gunfights seems like a fine trade-off to me. Then Scott was asked about the two times that guns saved his life. At least one of these has been written about before, but it's all new to me. And honestly, these events seem a lot closer to disastrous to me than Gilbert messing around with (unloaded) weapons.
"Well, I'll tell you, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 we were playing an extra-inning game against Pittsburgh," said Scott, who was then playing with the Astros. "It went to the 14th inning or something like that, so I got out around 12, 1 o clock of the clubhouse, and I stopped just outside the inner loop in Houston to get some gas. Well, after Hurricane Katrina, a lot of riff-raff came over from that area, and there's people wandering the streets and I had my .45 on me underneath my shirt, with my back to the pump.
"And I'm just kind of pumping my gas, minding my own business, just kind of watching everything. And there's groups of people everywhere up to no good. And this guy, he's on the other side of my car, about 30 feet, and he's walking from left to right, and all the sudden out of my corner of my eye I see him come to the rear of my car. Something's not right, this guy's approaching me, and I look at him and he's got something in his hand. It wasn't a knife, wasn't a gun obviously, but to me it looked like a shank or just a piece of metal wrapped in duct tape and a sock or something like that, a sharp metal object from a construction site.
"And I just faced him, looked in the eye, I pulled my shirt up, I put my hand on my weapon and I asked him if I could help him. His eyes got about as big as baseballs, he started stuttering. And I was like, 'All right, you know, something's wrong. Beat it. Get out of here.' Who knows? Who knows? Obviously his intentions weren't good. It could have saved me from having to roll around and getting stabbed with a rusty shank or something like that.
"Another time was in Kissimmee, Florida, spring training, and I was coming off the turnpike. And as I was coming off the turnpike, I didn't realize I was in a SunPass lane. I don't have a SunPass. And there's like, I don't know, a [long] break in the traffic; one lane of traffic backed up, I mean, quarter-to-half a mile. There's this long break. This Chevy pickup truck, four dudes, four construction dudes--I imagine they were construction workers because they had a bunch of tools on them, I know because they threatened to stab me with screwdrivers and hammers and stuff like that.
"Anyways, I pulled into this open spot, it was long, like I said...just sitting there. So I rolled in, they revved up their engine, gassed it, slammed on the breaks, lit up the tires, were hitting the breaks and the gas, acting like they were gonna ram me. They pulled out hammers, screwdrivers, yelling at me from their window. Telling me they were gonna kill me and stuff like that. Road rage, man. Don't know why. But that's what was going on.
"I pulled out my gun, I didn't point it on them, I just put it on my lap, and I went and I paid. They just kept yelling and screaming, threatening me, doing all this stuff. So after I pulled out, got to the stop light, they're doing the same thing, and they pulled up beside me, and were talking all kind of smack. I picked up my gun, I didn't point it obviously, I just picked it up. I showed them, and I said 'I don't' think so,' and then they took off. They left. Crazy, man. Off the wall stuff.
"You never know. I got teammates that I'm playing with right now, they can tell you about getting car jacked. Mike Gonzalez, he got mugged last year, had a gun pulled on him. He got surgery, he had a mole or something removed from his back, had his laptop with him in his backpack, walked out of the hospital. A guy tries to grab his bag--he just told me this last week--he's getting a concealed weapons permit like I've got, because he got robbed.
"Guy tries to take his bag, they went to fighting, and the guy threw him his bag back, and Mike's like, 'No, I want a piece of this.' Guy goes down in his sock, pulls out a nine millimeter and puts it in his face. Took his wallet, took his computer, took his bag, took everything. And he said 'What could I do? I couldn't do anything.'
"Another guy, a friend of mine, Jeff Salazar, he was car-jacked at gun point. A lot of stuff like that happens that people don't really know about. And some people, it doesn't work out too well."
I certainly don't want this to become a gun-control event, and Scott has a permit and training and the whole deal. Just seems to me that flashing a weapon at angry men wielding screwdrivers is every bit as dangerous as Gilbert's Gunz. It also makes me want to hide in the coat closet for the next 17 years, barring any tactical terrorist invasions of The Post's offices.
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