Guns in the Stands?


If we’re all being honest with ourselves, NFL stadiums are vile, somewhat dangerous places.

Stocked with liquored up meatheads who’d been lowering their inhibitions by the cupful since dawn, any patron of the league’s 31 section 200′s should expect to hear all of George Carlin’s seven dirty words shouted with both remarkable flippancy and outrageous vitriol.

If you’re lucky.

If you’re not lucky, you should expect to be beaten about the head by some goomba and his buddies because you don’t think Eli Manning’s overrated – or aren’t screaming it like a psychopath.

You know what could help, though?  Guns.

According to an article in the New York Post, police officer unions in both Minnesota and New York City are suing the NFL – seeking to overturn the league’s policy which bans all firearms save for those carried by on duty officers.  Essentially, the unions want the NFL to allow off-duty cops to cary guns into their stadiums – an idea, which I would conservatively classify as ludicrous.

I have the utmost respect for police officers and the work they do – they’re heroes – but small artillery is rarely ever the right answer to a given problem.

Yes, the culture of the stands has become one of startling violence – both verbal and physical – but the introduction of its ultimate, most deadly form is not a solution, it’s just a greater, more dangerous threat.

Increase the prevalence and preparedness of stadium security personnel, put more on-duty officers in the stands, eliminate beer sales.  Do one, do two, hell, do three.  But let’s not usher in the era of “Souvenir Glass, Actual Glock” day at MetLife Stadium. The first 15,000 receive a New York Giants pint glass and all 70,000 hope they don’t catch an errant bullet.

There’s a myth in America that the only way to prevent violence is with a gun.  That the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  That guns, if you’ll permit me a cliche pun, are the magic bullet.  But even if we ignore the folly of that thinking, and even if we ignore collateral damage that so often piles up when a firearm is unholstered, let us consider that bad guys with guns have yet to be a problem in the NFL’s stadiums.

That there is nothing  for good guys with guns to stop.  Only havoc to wreak, panic to insight, and innocent victims to create.

Author: Joseph White

Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at