Not long ago, broadcaster Bob Costas made some remarks about gun control, during football coverage after Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. Aside from the Bob Costas gun control remarks being wrong, they also weren’t his, which few are mentioning.
Bob Costas gun control remarks weren’t his
On Saturday, Dec. 1, Jovan Belcher, a professional football player for the Kansas City Chiefs, fatally shot his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins, with whom he had a three-month old daughter, drove to Arrowhead Stadium and while on the phone with team staff, shot himself.
It’s a tragedy, which no one needs to be told.
The next day, during the pre-game broadcast of Sunday Night Football, broadcaster Bob Costas, read from an op-ed about the incident by Jason Whitlock, which is readable on Fox Sports. “What I believe is,” wrote Whitlock and quoted Costas, “if (Belcher) didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Since then, a number of people, especially the immeasurably tactless gun lobby, have condemned Costas. Granted, the gun demographic is not known for it’s intellectual acuity since if it were, Tweets, op-eds and so forth would condemn Whitlock.
Gun lobby is right, though they are stupid
Costas has since apologized, according to the Washington Post, which, given that some of his critics are Herman Cain, according to ABC, Ted Nugent, according to USA Today, and, naturally, the NRA, he shouldn’t. One does not simply walk in to Mordor, nor kow-tow to that lot.
Well, unless you screw up a cover of “Cat Scratch Fever” or “Stranglehold.” Then you should, on the basis that they are classics and not hard songs to play.
Unfortunately, the gun nuts have a point about Bob Costas’ gun control or, more accurately, Jason Whitlock’s.
Responsibility of choice is not obviated
Roughly 32 percent of American households, according to CNN, contain firearms and there are between 200 million and 300 million estimated firearms, according to MSNBC, owned by Americans.
According to Wikipedia, the great internet fountain of knowledge, the Centers for Disease Control found roughly 76,000 firearm injuries in 2000, of which 52,447 were intentional. The CDC also found of the 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007, 12,632 were homicides.
In other words, a lot of people own guns and as CNN and MSNBC point out, most gun owners own multiple firearms; 20 percent of gun owners own 65 percent of the nation’s supply. There are also a lot of guns around. In other words, it’s only a small percentage that commits such atrocities; most gun owners are perfectly responsible. In other words, those that do made a choice to do so.
Furthermore, the thing about guns is that they are somewhat scary, which makes them sensational. You don’t hear cries to ban cars – which cause almost 3 times more fatalities. Why not ban McDonalds? Heart disease causes ten times the deaths guns and cars do, combined. What about pharmaceutical companies? They are much more dangerous than guns. According to the CDC, adverse drug events occur more often than all gun injuries by a ratio of 10 to 1, and cause more than double the deaths. The CDC further estimates at least 40 percent are preventable. Furthermore, prescription painkillers result in more fatal overdoses than heroin and cocaine, combined.
The fact of the matter is that gun violence only occurs when people choose to commit violence. Whitlock doesn’t know to a certainty that Belcher wouldn’t have picked up a knife or a bat and done the same thing. Taking handguns away isn’t going to stop it.
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2012/12/04/bob-costas-calls-jovan-belcher-commentary-a-mistake/