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Latest lapse by Lynch is troubling

People are supposed to learn from their mistakes, not repeat them.

Apparently, Marshawn Lynch didn't get that memo.

You may remember the hit-and-run accident last May. Now an arrest on a felony gun charge last Wednesday in California is the latest misstep by the Buffalo Bills' star running back.

He was fortunate to get off with a mere slap on the wrist after he struck a woman with his luxury SUV and left the scene. He might not have been so lucky had the woman suffered more severe injuries.

Even the NFL let him off the hook for that incident. He might not be so lucky this time.

The NFL takes a very dim view of its players possessing guns, especially after New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally put a hole in his leg with an unlicensed gun at a New York City nightclub. Burress is currently facing two felony charges.

If the charges against Lynch stick, I can't imagine the NFL letting this one slide. Could Lynch get a suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy? Well, let's just say Fred Jackson should get ready to be the Bills' opening day starter at running back next season, just in case.

And you thought it was going to be a quiet offseason.

Now, there are a few things that are unclear with Lynch's arrest. For one, we don't know if the gun was his. All we have is a Culver City police report that stated officers "determined" that the gun belonged to Lynch. Does that mean he admitted to being the owner?

Second, what reason did police have to approach the car in the first place, and what exactly were Lynch and his companions doing for police to be compelled to search the vehicle?

All that stuff will play itself out in due time, but for the time being, the Bills have to deal with another headache created by Lynch.

The Bills are withholding comment until all the facts are gathered, which is what most teams would do in this situation. But they can't be happy with this.

Perhaps it is too early to judge Lynch, but we can certainly question his judgment. You would think he had learned his lesson after the hit-and-run accident. Already aware of teammate James Hardy's own problems with a gun you would think that Lynch would avoid the same slip-up.

Pro football players owning firearms is a growing trend. They consider themselves targets because of their wealth and status. They will tell you they can't be too careful, especially after Washington Redskins Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor was gunned down in his South Florida home during a botched robbery over a year ago. They will provide you with numerous stories of other high-profile athletes being held up at gunpoint outside their homes.

Every man has a right to protect himself, which might explain why Lynch had a gun -- allegedly -- in the car. But with one strike already against him, why would he risk the possibility of another run-in with the law.

Maybe all he was doing was hanging out with a couple of friends, but did he really need to have a gun with him? If you're in a situation where a gun is needed, maybe you should avoid it. Bottom line, he's got to be smarter about his decisions.

Lynch has been in Buffalo for two seasons, but to most of us he's still an enigma. He rarely speaks to the media, which makes it harder to get to know him on a personal level. To some, he comes off as surly and unapproachable.

What we do know is he's a tremendous football player who is central to the Bills' bid to become a contender. It's too bad he didn't think about that before finding trouble again.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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