Vice, the irreverent, Brooklyn-based magazine-turned-multiplatform media brand, has hired Jose Canseco—former professional baseball player-turned-outspoken author and Twitter user—as a paid weekly columnist for its website.
Canseco's column—"José Can Say So"—will be published every Monday, according to Vice. And in typical Vice fashion, Canseco's first dispatch has nothing to do with baseball: It's about gun control in the wake of the Colorado theater shooting.
"I truly believe, aggressively, that we have the right to bear arms," Canseco's column begins. "We should be able to carry guns to protect ourselves. Period.
"The funny thing is I don't own any guns," he continues, "but I would love to have a few—an Uzi and a street sweeper and a machine gun, maybe. I'd love to be able to carry a 9mm on me in a holster and just walk around. That'd be great. But you can't in California, the state in which I live. And that's bogus."
Canseco gives his assessment of accused shooter James Holmes while defending Holmes' right to own weapons:
The problem with trying to restrict psychopaths' access to guns is: How do you know what a person qualified to own a firearm intends to do with it? Obviously, something was wrong with the guy who shot all of those innocent people in that movie theater in Aurora. I'm sure it was some psychological issue or depression or drugs—we really won't know unless they do some blood work on him.
He was a biologist or a chemist or something; he had no priors, no felonies, nothing. Sure, the screening process could be tightened up more, but from what I understand his record was squeaky clean. If you can't sell a gun to him, then who can you sell a gun to? Who's going to qualify?
The former Oakland A's and Texas Rangers outfielder—who once had a fly ball bounce off his head and over the fence for a home run—then hints at what former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce wrote in the wake of the Aurora shooting: that those in the theater could have stopped Holmes had they been armed. (Canseco, though, stops short of blaming the victims, as Pearce did.)
"I think he wanted to die," Canseco writes. "That's why I truly believe that if the people inside the theater were armed, they could have taken this guy down. There's no doubt in my mind, that if one person had a gun they could have stopped him."
Canseco, who describes himself as a "6'4" 250-pound martial arts expert," concludes by calling for Holmes to get the death penalty:
If you misuse a weapon and kill innocent people, you should be executed. And if it were up to me, I would fry the Aurora shooter, big-time. I'd do it like old times; I'd make it a spectacle and try him in public. Hang him, electrocute him, whatever. Maybe make it a Pay-Per-View special and send the proceeds to the families of the victims and maybe offset some of the costs of keeping him on death row and operating whatever death machine you strap him to. If I were president, that's exactly what I'd do.
Canseco deflected critics of his column on Twitter. "You clowns forget I am a two-time best selling author," he wrote. "How many people can say that?"
"If you like that article," he added, "imagine what I will write next week. No holds barred in your face bull----."
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