Watch out! It’s a gun AND a flashlight!

A common problem with most writers — especially journalists, who are the kind of people who go into war zones without weapons because it wouldn’t be ethical — is that, without mincing words, they’re fucking pussies. This isn’t generally a problem when they write about what they know. But when lifelong pacifists try to tackle the subject of instruments of death, they sow fear and hysteria instead of educating themselves and fostering intelligent discussion.

Take, for example, Mike Freeman’s hatchet job at CBS Sportsline. Let’s do this FJM-style:

Marvin Harrison allegedly owns a Belgian Fabrique Nationale 5.7 firearm. Previously when I thought Belgian, I thought waffles. No longer. They apparently make both delicious pastries and potent little weapons.

To anyone who knows anything about firearms, this is like beginning your column with the lede, “Hey everyone! I’m ignorant!” FN Herstal not only owns the famous American arms companies Winchester and Browning, it also happens to make outstanding, reliable weapons that save American lives every day.

Specifically, FN makes what the American military dubs the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (5.56mm) and the M240 medium machine gun (7.62mm). Every fourth straight-leg infantryman in the Marine Corps carries a SAW, and there aren’t words enough for how important it is that even the smallest units have a reliable and relatively light weapon that provides withering and accurate automatic fire.

The larger M240 comes in several variants that allows it to be used as either a ground-mounted defensive weapon or, much more delightfully, as an automatic sniper rifle coaxially mounted to the main gun on the M1 Abrams tank. The M240 is reliable, accurate, and breaks down quickly into about seven pieces that can be cleaned and reassembled easily. That last part doesn’t mean much unless you’ve ever worked with the American military’s previous medium machine gun, the M60. The M60 has approximately 4000 pieces, at least four dozen of which are the size of a staple. I fucking hate the M60.

Point is, FN makes spectacular weapons that our service men and women use every day, and anyone who doesn’t know this but likes to blurt out things like “Support our troops!” needs to have their asshole sealed with a yellow ribbon car sticker.

“In November (2005) the Homeland Security Department issued an ‘Officer Safety Alert’ regarding the (BFN 5.7) with the headline ‘body armor defeating handgun,'” reported the Associated Press. “The alert said the Trumbull, Conn., police department had seized such a pistol and noted that its bullets were ‘advertised as being able to penetrate 48 layers of Kevlar at 50 meters.'”

I guess now the police will have to put on that 49th layer of Kevlar. Listen, it’s okay to be troubled by scary guns. But the FN Five-seven is a pistol, and no matter what John Woo movies have led you to believe, it is damn hard to hit your intended target with a pistol.

I’m not a great shot with the pistol, but I’m better than average. From 25 yards away, taking slow, carefully aimed shots, I can just about always hit a man-sized target. Hitting something from 50 meters away? Forget about it. This isn’t to say that from 50 meters a pistol isn’t dangerous, but writers toss out these factoids without understanding the capabilities of the weapon. For all intents and purposes, a cop wearing a bullet-proof vest is just as fucked from a bullet that can pierce 48 layers of Kevlar as he would be from the basic armor-piercing round.

Why exactly would a civilian need such a weapon?

To take down Ironman?

I’m not here to stand up for the Second Amendment or to gauge the armor capabilities of fictional characters, so let’s move on.

From the website enemyforces.com: “The “Five-seveN” Self-loading Pistol is a new generation and conception weapon. Technically it is classified as an ordinary submachine gun but tactically it is a Personal Defense Weapon. To remind: the PD Weapons are mainly used by drivers, staff personnel, artillery crew, and other second line soldiers …”

Artillery crew? Apparently Harrison was preparing to do battle with a Romulan warbird.

Again, Freeman sees a military term and flaunts his ignorance by making a cheap joke. A cheap, unfunny joke. A cheap, unfunny joke that I think references fucking Star Trek.

“PD weapon” is just a fancy word for “pistol.” It’s a small firearm for fighting people who have jobs behind the lines doing things that require them to do the essential warfighting jobs that aren’t kicking down doors or rooting Viet Cong out of tunnels. It’s a way for them to defend themselves as a last resort without having to carry a big bulky rifle around everywhere. That’s it. It has nothing to do with Romulans.

And: “Cartridge recoil power is threefold lower than the standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 Rem) cartridges.”

It’s not often you’re going to see the words “NATO” and “Marvin Harrison” in the same sentence.

It’s not often you see “clownfucker” and “Mike Freeman” in the same sentence, but there they are together, so I must have made some kind of point.

“It doesn’t take much imagination to see this cartridge changing the direction of law enforcement weaponry in the new millennium,” wrote American Handgunner about the BFN. “The Five-seveN might well serve as standard issue for officers in a crowded urban setting and the P-90 could be used by special teams and thus retain commonality of ammunition.”

And by “special teams” I’m assuming they don’t mean punt return coverage.

Get it? I know he’s being pretty subtle here, but I believe the point he’s trying to make is that military and law enforcement agencies typically have different terminology and equipment than football teams.

Does it bother anyone that an NFL player allegedly owns a gun in which its main attraction to potential buyers is the fact its ammunition can penetrate body armor? Body armor most times worn by police?

Don’t get your guntotin’ panties in a bunch. It’s just a question.

And please stop waving the Second Amendment in my face like it’s a ticket to a Springsteen concert. Nobody’s trying to take your gat away.

The only question that should be relevant is whether Marvin Harrison has broken a law. You don’t have to approve or disapprove of the Second Amendment to accept that it’s incorporated into American law. If Harrison owns the gun legally, that’s that. Why is a man — a guy who until this point has always gotten credit for being a class act and a quiet team player — now being accused (obliquely) of having the intent to murder police?

You call me an anti-gun media weenie. I see that and raise you Columbine (13 dead, 23 wounded), the University of Texas massacre (14 dead, 31 wounded), Virginia Tech (32 dead), Northern Illinois (five dead, 18 wounded), the Red Lake High School massacre (seven dead) and the Jonesboro school massacre (five dead, nine wounded).

Just to name a few school shootings of innocent women and kids.

Little-known fact: all of these atrocities were committed by NFL players with a single handgun.

Seriously, anti-gun media weenie, how is this relevant to Marvin Harrison owning a handgun? What the hell is the point of this column? Is it against Harrison? Guns? The FN Five-seven? The FN Five-seven’s ammunition? I honestly have no idea.

But I digress.

This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment or someone trying to pry the gun from your cold, dead hands. So cease with the phony, false choices.

Is he talking to me? With whom is he arguing? What are the phony, false choices?

Keep your firearms. I target shoot. I’m ex-Army (basic training at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma where I was the worst shooter of an M-16 probably in that base’s history).

HOLY LIVING FUCK. Please GOD tell me that he was feigning ignorance all this time. I mean, I’ve seen the daycare that the Army passes off as basic training, but I never imagined that someone who was in the service could be so ignorant about firearms. Outside the Air Force, that is.

This is more about athletes, guns and their continued mistaken impression that owning one automatically means you’re better protected.

GASP! It’s… it’s a thesis statement! Almost! And only three-quarters of the way through the column! Truly, expository writing at its finest. *Ring ring* Better answer the phone, Mike. That’s the New Yorker calling.

No charges have been filed against Harrison and it’s wholly possible the Indianapolis wide receiver had nothing to do with a shooting outside of his bar, Playmakers, located in Harrison’s hometown of Philadelphia.

“Okay, so he might be innocent, buuuuuut…”

The fact Harrison owns that weapon and possibly many others prove what NFL players have told me in the past. Several have estimated that 70-80 percent of all NFL players own some sort of firearm and many of those carry guns on them for protection.

THAT weapon! And possibly many others! Feasibly a whole arsenal! Potentially an armory! Several unnamed sources have estimated I might have a fact somewhere!

There may be numerous unknown incidents where owning a handgun saved an athlete’s life. It just seems guns get players in more trouble than get them out of it.

That message continually seems to be missed by today’s players.

No shit, Sherlock.

Athletes admittedly have a difficult line to walk. They are targets of beer goggled, pot-bellied wanna-be’s and genuine first-class thugs and hyenas.

Yet packing high-powered weaponry might not be the best way to protect yourself. Tempers and ego can drastically affect judgment, leading to the very situation an athlete is trying to avoid.

“Here are some more obvious statements as I make my way to minimum word count.”

Even highly trained police officers, on rare occasions, have difficulty maintaining their cool in the heat of the moment. See: Diallo, Amadou, New York.

Harrison may have purchased his weapon strictly as a collection gem or as some form of protection. He owns, according to media reports, some several dozen guns. Thus making him Dirty Harry Harrison.

Ba-ZING!

Harrison might not have fired a single shot in this incident but he’s learning even non-discharged guns can still get a professional athlete into plenty of trouble.

Oh, all sorts of trouble. As I write this, police are holding Harrison’s feet to the incendiary nature of this column. This poorly constructed, horribly argued, meandering column that attempted to prove the well-established point that athletes shouldn’t carry guns. Bra. Fucking. Vo.