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Orioles' Scott says he doesn't carry guns into ballpark — anymore

Big League Stew

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Luke Scott(notes) of the Baltimore Orioles says he is a law- and rule-abiding citizen.

That's why he stopped carrying a handgun into the clubhouse.

Oh, good for him. ... Wait, huh? That means "Cool Hand Luke" was packing heat at Camden Yards? Yankee Stadium? Wrigley Field?

Heck, yes, it does.

In the wake of the NFL's Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg and the legal mess that followed, Major League Baseball in July implemented a ban on players bringing guns to work.

Scott says he wasn't aware of the ban until recently. Does that mean Bud Selig is going to get all David Stern/Gilbert Arenas on Scott for bringing a firearm into league play?

Probably not. Scott, an avid firearms enthusiast, says he abides by the rules. No more guns inside the park, where he is quite dangerous with just a bat in his hands: He averages 24 homers and .844 OPS for his career.

Scott doesn't really like the ban, though, having to "pay for the mistakes of a few."

From the Baltimore Sun:

"There is a good reason behind the rule, I can't deny that," Scott said. "The reason is you cannot trust 25 guys in a locker room to have the same respect and training as I do with a weapon. That I do understand.

"I've carried a gun for 10 years. I've carried them in the locker room, and nobody really knows about it. I know how to handle myself, and I stow it away where nobody really knows about it."

Well, we all know about it now, although Scott more or less had said the same thing before.

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Three years ago in this ABC News interview, Scott estimated then that "20 percent" of major leaguers carried guns and about half owned a firearm of some sort, and that he carried a gun almost everywhere, including ballparks.

Allowing that Scott is a responsible gun owner, and for the Supreme Court's liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment, the idea of bringing a gun to the ballpark is a bit extreme. Athletes can be targets for violence, sure, but so can heads of state; they're much bigger targets. Did George Bush and Bill Clinton carry weapons, or do presidents rely on security for protection?

Also, will Scott's admission cause any ripples in the media like the outrage brought on Arenas and the NBA? Dan Steinberg at DC Sports Bog collected some reactions to the Arenas/Javaris Crittendon story. While acknowledging differences in the cases, he doubts if any reporters will be calling, with the same kind of ferocity, for Luke Scott's indefinite suspension or termination.

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