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Before Proposing Unique Method to Curb Gun Violence, ‘Sheriff’ Shaquille O’Neal Frequented Shooting Ranges in Early 2000s

Jeet Pukhrambam

Before Proposing Unique Method to Curb Gun Violence, 'Sheriff' Shaquille O'Neal Frequented Shooting Ranges in Early 2000s

Shaquille O’Neal is among the most well-respected athletes in the nation. Retired or otherwise. Shaq is virtuous and one of the things he was always enthusiastic about was the police force. O’Neal wanted to join the police force after his NBA career. He is the director of community relations for Henry County. And he even proposed unique ways to curb gun violence in schools. But well before his tryst with law enforcement, the Big Diesel frequented gun ranges in Los Angeles. All the way back in the early 2000s.

Shaq’s curiosity about the police force likely came from the fact that his dad is ex-military. His stepfather Phillip Harrison was part of the military and raised Shaq with iron-clad discipline.

Perhaps, his father figure’s strong influence is what prompted the Lakers legend to take up an active interest in the police force. But his love for shooting might have other influences.

Shaquille O’Neal frequented gun ranges in Los Angeles during the early 2000s

As per an excerpt from a Sports Illustrated article in 2002, it was reported that the Lakers legend loved shooting. And it wasn’t just him showing off his money or trying his hand at shooting.

No, Shaquille O’Neal used to hit the bullseye, quite a lot, in fact. It is claimed that Shaq frequented the shooting range in Los Angeles along with his bodyguard and he used to hit 265-270 shots out of 300, dead center.

What’s more, the shots were from 25-50 yards, a considerable distance, and for O’Neal to hit them with such accuracy was startling. But since those days when Shaq was fueled by the energy and unbridled enthusiasm from his youth, he has come a long way.

Sheriff Shaq had unique ways to curb gun violence

Perhaps one of the biggest stains that the American system has is the fact that there is an alarming rate of gun violence in the school system. A fact that is as undeniable as it is dark.

To curb it, Shaq once proposed a unique solution. In a 2018 interview,  O’Neal said, “The government should give law enforcement more money. Give more money, you recruit more people, and the guys that are not ready to go on the streets, you put them in front of the schools. You put ’em in front of the schools, you put ’em behind the schools, you put ’em inside the schools, and we need to pass information. … I would like to see police officers in schools, inner cities, private schools.”

He added that getting rid of guns and banning them doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. He pointed to the issue of the existing guns.

“There’s a lot of those weapons already on the streets. So it’s not like, if you say, ‘OK, these weapons are banned,’ people are gonna go, ‘Oh man, let me turn it in.’ That’s definitely not going to happen. [Because] once you ban ’em, now they’re going to become a collector’s item and you’re going to have people underground, and they were $2,000. … I’ll give you $9,000 for that gun. So, you know, we just need to keep our eyes open.”

For all his trivialities and comic nature, O’Neal’s solution is wise and could provide a massive relief to the issue that the schools are already facing. What do you think?

About the author

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam


Jeet Pukhrambam is The SportsRush's Lead Editor for Basketball. After freelancing for five years as an independent writer, Jeet created thousands of blog posts and articles. He now covers intriguing news reports and throwback stories on all things NBA. His interest in NBA started with the ascendancy of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2016-17 season. Since then, Jeet has managed to coalesce his knowledge of the game and his writing to create pieces that are reflective of the current state of the league. Now, he ensures that The SportsRush produces the highest quality of writing. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, cooking, traveling, and dancing to techno. Jeet takes pride in his critical thinking, music playlists, and his love for spaghetti.

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