His Comments About Handgun Owners
Are False and Bigoted
Are False and Bigoted
This last Sunday, NBC Sports reporter Bob Costas used the Jovan Belcher - Kasandra Perkins murder-suicide to call for a total ban on handguns stating “If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today” Since Belcher was a citizen with a clean criminal and mental health record, the only way to prevent his owning a gun would be a total ban on handgun ownership.
In my opinion, given the extreme nature of his comments, Costas should be fired. Here’s why:
First, his comments (which can be found here) are filled with outright falsehoods - basically every single thing he stated is false. Any football player could easily kill a woman with their bare hands, so the poor woman would likely be just as dead if there had been no gun in the house. There is also no link between the availability of firearms and suicides. In the US guns are often used – but in other countries with high suicide rates and gun bans people use other methods. Many studies and FBI statistics reveal that handguns in the hands of law-abiding citizens do make the owners safer. That’s why virtually every mass shooting happens in a “gun free zone” in which no one is legally armed. One university study revealed that US gun owners use their guns “defensively” about 2 Million times per year. In the overwhelming majority of these cases no shots are fired, the crime is stopped and no police are called. Furthermore crime is lower in areas where gun ownership is high – where there are more legal guns in private hands the crime rate is lower. Costas is either ignorant or he is lying.
Second, his comments are an outright attack upon the Constitution of the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice held that the right of law abiding citizens to own a handgun is protected by the 2nd Amendment. Yet Costas chooses to demonize millions of Americans who exercise that right. Imagine for a moment that Costas, instead of calling for a total ban on handguns, had called for a total ban on all abortions. The right to an abortion is rooted in the right to privacy, which is implied in the Bill of Rights - while the 2nd Amendment explicitly protects the right to own firearms - including handguns. My guess is that had Costas called for a total ban on abortions, instead of handguns, he would have been fired the same day.
Third, his comments are insulting to many of his viewers. Recent polls show that 75% of Americans support the 2nd Amendment and the right to own handguns. Handguns are the most commonly used firearm in target shooting. In the last 25 years 41 states have enacted laws that permit trained, law abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns. Not one state has ever repealed such a law because public support only grows after they are enacted. In every case, the crime rate has fallen. This support crosses party, racial, and cultural lines. Costas is apparently so out of touch that he does not understand that his statements likely offend the vast majority of his own viewers. He effectively says that owning a handgun turns you into a homicidal maniac. As a peaceful handgun owner who is of sound mind, I find that extremely insulting. What if he had insulted people who choose to exercise their freedom to worship? What if he had insulted Muslims or observant Jews? Why does he think it is acceptable to attack people who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights?
Finally there is the matter of Costas protecting himself. He has reportedly made millions off the violent sport of football - where steroid use, head injuries and abuse of all manor of mind altering of substances is far too common. Sports writers such as Costas have frequently "looked the other way" to "protect" the sport that is their bread and butter. He benefits from the focus being upon guns, rather than these issues.
The bottom line is that Costas' comments are offensive, filled with lies and other falsehoods, and self serving. He needs to be fired - but given that he works for NBC, that probably won’t happen.