Sometimes, the ignorance of people just can’t be contained and it finds a way to rear its ugly head. It even happens to those in the public eye whom we deem to be pretty intelligent.
This is exactly what took place on Sunday night, as famed television sportscaster Bob Costas chose to use halftime of that evening’s Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles NFL game to spew his own rant against firearms, thus sending a nation full of hunters and firearms owners over the edge.
The tirade took place on the heels of Saturday’s murder/suicide by Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Jovan Belcher in which he shot his girlfriend before driving to the stadium and taking his own life. As always happens when something like this takes place, it was Costas this time that chose to oversimplify the crime and blame it all on guns.
“Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftpeoermath 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 game,” Costas said.
“Please, those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports will seem to have little hope about achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from Kansas City-based sports writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I don’t always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article,” he continued.
Costas then proceeded to speak the words of Whitlock, stating that a gun ban would have kept such events from ever happening.
“Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy,” he read. “And 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 Cassandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Seriously? Can people whom have escalated their stature to the point of a Bob Costas or even a Jason Whitlock be that dumb?
After all, if we’re going to blame the crime on the gun itself, let’s just blame the sport of football. I mean, it’s a violent sport. One could surely come up with an argument that’s just as silly stating that Belcher was so acclimated to a world of violence that he thought nothing before killing his girlfriend.
Better yet, let’s just blame his mother for having him in the first place. Had he not been born this surely would never have happened, right?
Any crime or any undesirable action performed by any person on this planet can be over-simplified in a manner such as that used by both Costas and Whitlock and then used to push their own personal agenda. This is exactly what they both did.
So let’s do something that Bob Costas would surely reason to be totally irrational. Let’s run down the facts.
First and foremost, no gun has ever made the choice to fire on its own. Following all of this I came across something on Twitter where someone had stated these words which are as true as any I’ve ever read.
It stated: “If guns kill people then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk and spoons make people fat.”
A number of countries have embraced the very idea that Costas and Whitlock obviously hold dear and have banned guns altogether. Things didn’t exactly work out as wonderfully as they had planned and you need look no further than our British friends “across the pond” to see evidence of it.
Starting with a gun control law initiated in 1968, law abiding, common folk were required to not only register every gun that they already owned but be approved for all subsequent purchases. This approval required that they show good reason for needing the firearm which was the government’s way of making the process subjective enough that nobody qualifies.
In 1997, Britain took this a step further and passed a law requiring everyone to surrender all privately owned handguns to the police. Over 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were gathered by the following year.
Despite these actions by the British government, homicides have averaged 52 percent higher during that timeframe and the overall crime rate spiked as well. According to the worldwide crime database NationMaster, the UK is currently ranked third in the entire world in the number of overall crime victims while the US sits much more comfortably at 15th. They’re placed second in number of assault victims and we rest further down at 11th.
The city of Chicago saw banning handguns as the answer to their problems as well and outlawed them in 1982. The US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 2010 and it has since been lifted, but, during the years that it stood, the number of murders by handgun was actually 40 percent higher than prior to the ban.
What it all boils down to is simply this. The taking of a life, whether it is in the case of the murder of a person or a deer by a hunter, is a conscious decision made by a human being. Be it by gun, arrow, knife, baseball bat, car or a million other things, they are but the tool used to perform the act. For Bob Costas or anyone else to place the responsibility on an object with no brain makes me wonder if they don’t belong in that same class.
Brad Harvey is a freelance writer in Clover. Visit his web site at www.bradharveyoutdoors.com or follow on Twitter- @BHarveyOutdoors