It never takes long for gun-control fanatics to exploit tragedy for their political ends. NBC’s Bob Costas put on a particularly disgusting and unacceptable display on Sunday night, as he hijacked a football broadcast to sucker-punch fans with a gun-control sermon following the horrible Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, 25, murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins at home in front of his mother, jumped into his car, drove to the stadium, and shot himself in front of his head coach and general manager.
This is what Costas dumped on unsuspecting Sunday Night Football audiences during his halftime rant:
You knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again, ???Something like this really puts it all in perspective.??? Well if so, that sort of perspective has a very short shelf life since we will inevitably hear about the perspective we have supposedly again regained the next time ugly reality intrudes upon our games. Please.
Those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports, would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but, who today, said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.
???Our current gun culture,??? Whitlock wrote, ???ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher???s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe: ???If Jovan Belcher didn???t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.???
There’s so much pure stupidity packed into that rant that it helps to have a head injury to understand it. But let’s start there: according to the New York Daily News, Belcher allegedly did have a head injury, and had grown addicted to booze and painkillers because of it. (It should be noted that other sources dispute that Belcher ever suffered from significant head trauma, although a certain degree of general pain from football injuries could easily lead to painkiller addiction.)
Instead of listening to Bob Costas fulminate about Constitutional rights he doesn’t think we should have, shouldn’t he be talking about banning professional football, as a growing number of liberals are doing? Belcher’s gun was the instrument of his violence, not the cause. And if we ban football, shouldn’t we seize the vast fortune Bob Costas and others have made from it, and put that money toward deficit reduction?
It might be a little easier to swallow these little rants from pampered millionaire leftists if they had some “skin in the game.” But they don’t, in any sense of the word. Bob Costas enjoys professional security protection at home and work, including armed security. He doesn’t have the same self-defense needs that average people do, particularly those who live in high-crime areas. “Handguns do not enhance our safety” is the kind of nonsense only someone who doesn’t need a handgun to enhance his safety would spew. Of course, plenty of the liberals who chant this mantra actually do own handguns, legally or otherwise; they just keep it quiet, to avoid charges of hypocrisy.
The gun was not a necessary instrument for the murder Belcher committed. A pro football player would not have much trouble murdering a 22-year-old woman in a variety of other ways. It happens all the time, sadly. It’s more logical to say that if Belcher didn’t have a gun, he might still be alive – it would have been harder for him to commit suicide in front of witnesses – but his girlfriend would probably still be dead, and it would only have marginally more difficult for him to kill her.
Just as a side note: looking at the actual criminal use of guns in supposedly “gun-free” cities, does Costas seriously think a multi-millionaire football player would have much trouble securing a firearm on the black market, if guns were somehow outlawed? But of course, Costas’ rant wasn’t really about Jovan Belcher; he merely served as the springboard.
The gun-control fanatic’s chestnut about how a heavily-armed NRA-loving America is ready to explode in violence over loud car radios, escalating even the most trivial dispute into a gun battle, has survived decades of hard data. Throwing it into a discussion of deadly domestic violence and substance abuse is the ultimate non sequitur, but of course you’ll never encounter a gun-control fanatic who isn’t ready to paint with the broadest possible brush, abandoning whatever he was nominally discussing to throw in all sorts of factoids, distortions, and dark fantasies.
Domestic violence has not increased as a result of access to firearms; in fact, the police have cited the poor economy as the most significant factor. But I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Bob Costas voted to re-elect the engineer of that economy a couple of weeks ago.
In any event, none of this is a discussion football fans were looking to have when they tuned in to watch Sunday Night Football. It’s another example of the liberal “sucker punch,” the insertion of leftist narratives and ideological lectures into entertainment media. Usually the sucker punch is worked into the script of a drama or comedy, but this time it came from a blowhard who decided he couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to lecture a captive audience. And of course, the lecture is designed to make it seem like a serious, complex problem can be so easily solved with a bit more government power, while those who resist are made to seem like extremists for insisting upon their independence.
When independence is measured using the lowest common denominator – when every law-abiding American is made to feel as if they’re one bad day away from becoming a homicidal maniac – it becomes much easier to sell these Big Government power grabs. The authors of the Constitution believed a sovereign people deserved the right to self-defense. The leftist counter argument is that self-defense is one of many forms of independence we’re just not worthy of any more. It’s the kind of argument that fits easily in between commercial breaks, especially since the listener is strongly encouraged not to think it over too much, or ask any impertinent follow-up questions.