Hidden in the initial reports about the break-in and robbery of three Tampa Bay Rays players while they were playing in a spring training game in Port Charlotte was the fact that an AK-47 owned by Evan Longoria was stolen along with jewelry, video games and other personal effects.
I suppose it wasn’t the smartest thing to be traveling with, but at the same time I’m sure that if Longoria is an enthusiast, he probably, and unfortunately wrongfully thought little of it. I won’t speculate on how the rifle was stored since there wasn’t a lot of information released, but I’m guessing that like most gun owners he kept the ammo separate from the rifle. I only mention it because there was no comment about whether ammo was also taken in the robbery.
I listened to Ron and Ian during this morning’s Sports Animal broadcast as they eviscerated Longo for owning the rifle. I don’t know if they are just anti-gun or making noise because of the recent incident with Buccaneer’s corner Aquib Talib, but as a gun enthusiast I can make a fairly well-educated guess as to why Longo had the AK with him. Where I believe they erred in their broadcast was in calling the rifle an “assault” rifle. That would be the fully automatic version. Since this one is perfectly legal it’s easy to assume that it falls under the semi-automatic variety used by many enthusiasts at target ranges.
In his spare time he likes to shoot it.
AK-47s are fun to shoot. And the sheriff was quick to point out that Longoria had it properly registered. Think about it…you are a young, professional athlete who makes a lot of money. You do things with your young, professional athlete friends like play X-box and shoot guns. It’s cool, and that is how young guys think.
It sucks that Longoria has been the victim of a theft twice this summer. That just shows you how people will take advantage of these kids, and although expensive, it is a good lesson on being smart with your stuff when traveling. Especially if your name is Evan Longoria, David Price or Reid Brignac.