Lee Paige

Our hero this month is a former professional football player who became an agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency. Unlike former Dallas Cowboy Nate Newton, Lee Paige, who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, decided to fight drugs after retirement rather than sell them.Recently, PaigeÂ’s fame as a DEA agent has far surpassed any that he experienced while playing in the NFL. You may have seen him on numerous shows, including Late Night with David Letterman and Today, where he was shown teaching kids about gun safety, using an unorthodox, yet effective, instruction method.Think about this: WhatÂ’s the best way to emphasize to children that guns are dangerous? Try shooting yourself in the foot in a classroom full of kids, especially after youÂ’ve told them that youÂ’re the only one in the room qualified to safely handle a firearm. Well, thatÂ’s exactly what Paige did.

You may have seen the video of Paige’s demonstration on the internet. In it, he tells the kids, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock® .40.” Less than a second later, BLAM! Paige’s left foot becomes the recipient of a hot slug.

A mere mortal would have shrieked in pain and cursed incessantly in the presence of dozens of impressionable, innocent children, but not Paige. Our hero is all but immune to the searing pain of a Glock round fired at close range. He even has the presence of mind to not only ask if everyone else is all right, but he continues with the demonstration, albeit with a noticeable limp. ItÂ’s true: The great ones play with pain.

What an effective technique. Undoubtedly, those kids in attendance will never play with a gunÂ…ever.

Now, Paige is suing the DEA for allegedly leaking the video to the public. In the suit, Paige claims he canÂ’t go anywhere without being recognized as the dude who shot himself in the foot. Instead of seeing him as a master teacher of the dangers of carelessly handled weapons, the uninformed general public views him as an idiot whose stupidity could have killed a kid. What a shame.

So now, heÂ’s not only an icon for gun safety advocates, but heÂ’s also a hero for millions of Americans who firmly believe that there isnÂ’t a problem that canÂ’t be solved by a lawsuit. Lee Paige: a true hero to all Americans who believe that stupidity should be painless and ridicule-free.