NBA's Enes Kanter Wants Gun Control After Brother Robbed

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Gun control has been a hot topic for a few years now. That’s just how things have shaken out and we’re not likely to see things die down anytime soon. Especially if mass shootings continue.

It’s not unusual for people to look to gun control after something scary or tragic that involves a gun.

A prime example is NBA player Enes Kanter, whose brother was recently robbed in Atlanta.

The brother of NBA center Enes Kanter was robbed at gunpoint by four suspects at an Atlanta parking deck, police said.

Kanter, who plays center for the Portland Trail Blazers, posted video Sunday of his younger brother, Ahmet, and his two friends handing over their belongings earlier that morning to four armed men, including one in a ski mask, inside a parking deck in downtown Atlanta.

“I’m shocked and disgusted,” the 29-year-old NBA vet tweeted. “My little brother (Ahmet) walking around Atlanta, gets a gun pulled on him, and robbed. When will we have some normal gun control measures? This is not okay & not normal.”

Now, I’m sure Kanter means well, but I have to ask him just what does he think gun control will actually accomplish?

Oh, it’s easy to look at this and think, “It would have kept them from having a gun,” but that’s not true. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the gun used was either purchased on the black market, through a straw buy, or just stolen from a law-abiding gun owner.

In other words, there’s literally no gun control law remotely being considered at any level of government that would have prevented that individual from getting a gun. Nothing at all.

I mean, it’s a handgun, so an assault weapon ban wouldn’t have done anything. If purchased on the black market or stolen, universal background checks are useless. I somehow doubt there’s anyone in his life who would use a red flag order on him. So, just what law would Kanter propose?

It’s easy to be touched by this kind of violence and just lash out and the injustice of it all. Believe me, I get it.

That doesn’t change the truth, though. It doesn’t change the reality that there are gun control laws on the books that are supposed to stop people like that and they don’t. Even if this was a first-time criminal who purchased a gun in a gun store after passing all the background checks, there are plenty of others out there who are convicted felons obtaining firearms. Statistically, though, it’s more likely this robber is the latter, rather than the former.

So even if every measure Kanter supports was in place, his brother would likely have still been robbed.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

Yet that’s what happens when you focus on the tool being used rather than the tool using it. It’s much more likely to stop incidents like this if we examine why people become violent criminals in the first place and address that reality. People don’t grow up wanting to be criminals. Their worlds shape them and nudge them in that direction. That is what Kanter should be railing against, especially since he has a platform that might actually help make a difference. I mean, NBA players seem to have no problem delving into politics, so why not something that might actually help for a change?

It’s just too bad that Kanter really isn’t interested in doing that. Instead, he’ll just gripe a bit about what happened on Twitter, talk a bit about gun control, and call it a day. That’s easy to do.

Actually working toward real and lasting change? That takes effort.

Dec 02, 2021 7:30 PM ET