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After getting win no. 900, Jim Boeheim takes stand on gun control

Dec 17, 2012, 11:51 PM EDT

Jim Boeheim AP

Well, it didn’t take long for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to move past win no. 900, huh?

After collecting the historic win, Boeheim used his platform at the podium in the postgame press conference to call for quick action on gun control after the Newtown, Conn. tragedy.

Say what you want about him — which on a night like this, is a lot of nice things — but he keeps it interesting, at the very least.

The quotes  from the press conference, coming after the Orange’s 72-68 victory over Detroit, are courtesy of Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard.

“This will probably offend some people,’’ Boeheim said, prefacing his remarks. “If we in this country as Americans cannot get the people that represent us to do something about firearms, we are a sad, sad society. I’m a hunter. I’ve hunted. I’m not talking about rifles. That’s fine. If one person in this world; the NRA president, anybody, can tell me why we need assault weapons with 30 shots in the thing. This is our fault. This is my fault and your fault. All of your faults if we don’t get out and do something about this.’’

I’m not going to use this space to put my beliefs in front of those looking for college basketball. But to Boeheim’s credit, he did what I’d love to hear someone with some sway do. He took a moment, even one that was totally his, and used it, as a person of his stature can do, to say something that goes beyond basketball. Whether I agree or not, it’s refreshing to see.

Anyway, he went on.

“I saw one guy, a representative I was very proud of, somebody in his state had just come out and said ‘We need more guns. We don’t need less. We need to give teachers gun so they can shoot people.’ Yeah, that’s really good thinking to do that. If we can’t get this thing done, I’m with the mayor of New York City, if we can’t get this thing done, I don’t know what kind of country we have,’’ he continued. “This is about us. This isn’t about the President or those other people down there (in Washington D.C.). We have to make them understand somehow that this needs to get figured out. Real quick. Not six months from now.’’

He’s calling for swift action on gun control. If anything, I can dig that. Though I’d like to hear the context of his line about teachers getting guns (I’d assume, knowing Boeheim, it was total sarcasm), but something has to be done. Anything. At least get the ball rolling. I think we can all agree on that. Swift action. One way or the other.

Boeheim, in his opinion, seems to want less guns on the streets.

Well, on a night that was all about him at Syracuse, the most powerful man in central New York made a powerful statement. And it had nothing to do with basketball.

David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

  1. 32magicman - Dec 18, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Another month and another american terrorist with easy access to a gun goes on a rampage. So glad i dont live in america where anyone can own a gun.

    • skids003 - Dec 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      We’re glad you don’t live here too. I am extremely sad about what happened, but disarming law abiding citizens is not the answer. Bad guys will have theirs. I have mine to defend my family.

      The laws we already have on the books need to be more strictly enforced. These bad people need to be off the streets. Lawyers always scream about individual rights, then decry when a nut does something like this. These bad people need to be off the street.

      • weblexphil - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        Skids- please tell me who is coming after your family such that you’ll need a semi-automatic gun that shoots 30 to 60 bullets in a minute? It isn’t just 1 zombie is it? It must be a whole army of zombies? Is your entire PTA AND the neighborhood street gang coming for the Skid Family Residence…such that you’ll need to mow down about 25-50 people at a time when they do?

        This “defend my family” thing is a load of crap. Its a crutch. If someone really breaks into your house will bad intentions, whether you live in the worst section of Newark NJ (which you probably don’t) or the suburbs; there is a good chance you are going to be toast unless you have your gun sitting on your lap at that moment. So do you sit with the gun on your lap at the dinner table and while watching the sitcoms with your family? Walk with your gun out to get the mail and take it to the bathroom with you? You do? Ok….so what do the kids think of dad sitting on the couch with a semi-automatic in his lap every night in case thats the night you are attacked? Please, tell me what the kids think. (If you do, they are probably 10 times more scared of you than anyone else.)

        Oh…so you don’t keep it on your lap or on your hip at all times? Oh…you have it locked up safe so the kids don’t accidently blow their own head off one afternoon when you go out to rake the leaves? Then tell the rest of us why the intruder that is coming for your family will let you go unlock the gun when they do come for you. “Oh, I’m sorry Skids…I didn’t realize your gonna was locked up when I broke in. Sure…I want this to be a fair fight. You go get your gun from the attic/basement/office and I’ll stay here with the wife and kids while you do.”

        Get “bad people” off the street is your grand solution? Cause the country is doing well enough to actually keep THE KNOWN rapists and murderers and robbers and burglars in jail already, let alone all the 20 year old introverted computer whiz kids that probably have no record at all. Good solution. I think that will work!

        Ninety-nine percent of the “gun control” people in this country don’t want to take your pistol away. They don’t want to take your hunting rifle away. They just want an explanation as to why you, OR ANYONE, needs to shoot more than 15 bullets in a minute. Pray explain. The rest of us will wait for the answer.

      • skids003 - Dec 19, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        Actually, weblephil, 99% do want to take my pistol away. Their strategy is to chip away little by little, first it’s so called assault rifles, then hunting guns, and so on, just like the UK.

        I don’t really have to explain anything to you. If a street gang does break in on me, then I’ll be prepared, as you say. When someone breaks into your house, just cry and ask them not to hurt you. The police will scrape up what’s left of you.

  2. jucam1 - Dec 18, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    Thanks for having the guts as a public figure to say what needs to be said Coach!….

  3. eagles512 - Dec 18, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Not a gun or anti gun guy, but I heard fun deaths are half of what they were years ago. If that’s the case, it seems the issue is inside the home, not with guns in general. Why a woman with a sick kid would have weapons like that is ludicrous.

  4. hjworton46 - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Somehow folk in countries where it is not legal to own firearms are able to protect their families too. Amazing.

    • skids003 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Actually, no they are not.

  5. bat42boy - Dec 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I totally agree with coach Boeheim and his stance on gun control.

  6. breakingbrad3716 - Dec 18, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    So lets see if I have this straight. We should outlaw assault rifles so we don’t kill as many kids. But some lunatic killing 5 or 10 people with something that isn’t automatic is OK? How about we work on the real problem of how to stop mentally unstable people from causing any deaths to them or their fellow humans.
    Oh wait – how do we do that? That will be really hard… lets just pass some more gun laws and we can all feel good that we done something until the next tragedy comes along.

    • skids003 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      And this coming from a coach who makes no attempt to control his players.

  7. florida727 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Saying that guns kill people is like saying GM, Ford, and Chrysler cause car accidents. The problem isn’t guns, it’s WHO has them. The solution lies in the process of obtaining one. Anyone can. It shouldn’t be that simple to get your hands on one.

    I also agree with what another post said: why do we NEED guns that can fire 237 rounds in 12.4 seconds? I’ve fired an AR-15, and yeah, it was pretty cool. A cop at a gun range let me try his. But would I ever buy one? Probably not because it has no practical use for me. I prefer target shooting. Using an AR-15 obliterates the target. A simple handgun is way more challenging. You don’t even have to be skilled to shoot an AR-15. You do to shoot a handgun (accurately).

  8. sparky1002 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Frankly, I am not happy about the NRA wanting to turn our nation into a police state with armed people in every school just so a minority of citizens can own assault rifles.

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