Lil' Wayne plead guilty today to charges of "attempted criminal possession of a weapon," as announced by the Manhattan, New York district attorney's office. Lil' Wayne was arrested in 2007 when police officers stopped him and another man on the streets of NYC smoking marijuana and with a .40-caliber pistol in Lil' Wayne's possession. Lil' Wayne will be sentenced in February 2010 and is believed will receive a one year jail sentence for possession of this weapon.
Of course, this news brings to mind the weapon possession plea of former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who is currently serving time in jail for famously possessing a firearm in a New York night club and accidentally shooting himself in the leg.
Both incidences raise the familiar questions in connection with celebrity artists and athletes carrying weapons (ostensibly for protection) and the very different state laws around the United States that regulate weapon possession. Many would argue that celebrity athletes and artists are in need of some type of protection from overreaching fans and those in the general public that seek to challenge these individuals. In addition, the possession of these weapons would not be criminal in many states who have adopted unlicensed weapon possession laws, including some that adopt no permit concealed weapon possession laws (concealed carry).
Is this really how we want to criminalize possessors of weapons? Both Plaxico Burress and Lil' Wayne are arguably in the prime of their careers and will now both spend time behind bars, presumably alongside hardened criminals, for possessing weapons (not for using them or hurting anyone (beside themselves)).