And to think we got on young rookie Rob Williams for missing a conference call and being late for practice. That was trivial compared to 29-year-old NBA vet Hassan Whiteside buying a $ 50,000 assault rifle – putting it into his unlocked $ 400,000 car – and having it stolen shortly after purchase.

I still can’t believe I left my $ 50,000 rifle in my unlocked $ 400,000 car!

I am a gun owner and NRA-certified Firearms Instructor, so my first question was how does anyone pay 50-grand for an M16 assault rifle – so I did some digging. I was surprised by the answer. For those that wish not to read the gun shop owner’s answer below, I will highlight the key points. But basically, it looks like Whiteside bought a machine gun, which only the rich and criminals are able to acquire.

Jay Ven Horst, Gun shop owner and gun repair specalist
Updated Jul 12, 2017 · Author has 64 answers and 82.2k answer views
The AR-15 rifle, the semi automatic civilian version of the M-16 (M-16 is fully automatic) starts at about $ 500.00 U.S. dollars and goes up to as much as you want to spend. Base AR-15s are affordable for most average citizens if they want one. The actual M-16, which is very hard to get, requires a federal license (a.k.a. a tax stamp), illegal in most states, and are around 30 to 60 thousand dollars or more. If we could buy a new M-16 I would guess it would cost around $ 1300.00 but thanks to Ronald Reagan, a law was passed that makes it illegal for a private U.S. citizen to own a fully automatic weapons manufactured after 1984 thereby making legal to posses machine guns ridiculously expensive. That makes them only available to the wealthy and criminals. As usual, only law abiding , poor and middle class people are unable to get them. For example, I live in Iowa were machine guns are illegal for anyone other than law enforcement. So, I have only 3 choices: become a criminal and get one illegally, move to a state were they are legal and pay the tax stamp (I dont want to uproot my whole life to do this and even if i did, I couldn’t afford the high price they cost) and pay the ridiculous high price for one, or become so wealthy I can afford a second house in a state were they are legal buy it there and leave it at my second house (if I could afford 2 houses the 30 to 60 thousand dollars plus would be no problem. ) I hope this answers your question.

Hassan thought otherwise, but it seems the weapon was stolen minutes after purchase right out of Whiteside’s unlocked car. See the irony? The gun was in possession of a rich guy and a criminal all within the span of minutes. It is the long-gun-weapon of choice for criminals (per SlaterScoops’ Andy Slater):

Heat center Hassan Whiteside had a bizarre incident over the summer involving a high-powered gun.

According to exclusively-obtained police reports, Whiteside bought a $ 50,000 Colt M16 assault rifle, ammunition, a rifle bag, and a silencer at Johnson’s Firearms in Miami on July 5.

After reviewing surveillance video, Coral Gables police determined that the gun was not stolen on campus, as he believed. Whiteside was the only person seen to go in and out of his unlocked $ 400,000 car.

About two weeks later, Whiteside and his attorneys spoke with detectives. During that conversation, Whiteside remembered that he had left the just-purchased rifle unattended in his unlocked car when he went back inside the gun store.

It was determined that the gun was stolen at that time, and not on UM’s campus.

On July 23, the gun and ammunition were found in a stolen vehicle in North Miami.

The silencer was later located as well.

So Rob Williams, if you get to read this, my apologies for being so picky about you being late and missing a call. That was trivial compared to this blunder. Things need to be kept in perspective.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Photo via Lynn Sladky/AP Photo Tom Lane 11/16/2018 07:52:00 AM Edit

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