Monday, December 03, 2012

Bob Costas advocates for gun control at halftime of NBC's Sunday Night Football game

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I was watching and thought it quite remarkable. I suspect it'll get more coverage in the morning, but here's one of the early reports, from the Globe:

NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on "Sunday Night Football" to advocate for gun control following this weekend’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.

In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock.

After praising the column, Costas said: "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."

Belcher shot and killed Perkins, the mother of his 3-month daughter, on Saturday morning, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot of the team's practice facility.

The online reaction to Costas' segment was swift, with many people criticizing the broadcaster for expressing his personal views on a program meant for entertainment.

I must admit, my reaction is mixed.

On the one hand, I agree with Costas. I am a strong advocate for aggressive gun control. On the other hand, I'm not sure we want our sportscasters going all political. It's fine when we agree with them, but what if a conservative -- and there are many of them in the sports world, of course -- had used his or her platform, say, to argue for tax cuts for the wealthy, or against financial regulation, or whatever. Okay, sure, the Belcher case has an obviously connection to sports, but I'm sure there's a "sports" spin for any number of issues. Remember when Rush was on ESPN and said there was pro-black racism in the media?

At the same time, I don't want to suggest equivalency here. What Costas said is very different than what Limbaugh said. The problem is, it's hard to know where to draw the line.

And yet it's important to keep in mind that sports and sports media engage in political activity all the time. Consider how the NFL traffics in pro-military jingoism pretty much constantly -- at the draft, at games, etc. Consider how FOX highlights the fact the game you're watching is being seen all around the world on Armed Forces Network, showing troops in some faraway place grouped around the TV, with the play-by-play man saying wonderful things about how they're fighting to defend our freedom, the freedom of the greatest country in the world.

Which is to say, the sports world, and especially football, is filled to the brim with conservatism -- and particularly with the sort of militaristic jingoism that lies at the core of conservative politics, along with a general outlook on the world that is generally quite right-wing.

And yet it's Bob Costas who's somehow in the wrong for speaking his mind about gun control in the wake of a tragedy like this? What should he have done, just dabbled in the same old platitudes without acknowledging the elephant in the room? That's what always happens, and it's why nothing ever gets done: oh, how horrible, now let's think no more of it, whether it's Columbine or Aurora or countless other examples of gun violence.

Well, fucking think about it for once. Costas was right, and he was right to speak up. It's about time someone did.

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40 Comments:

  • I know instead of more gun control how about we make murder illegal... Oh wait it is. Funny how laws don't seem to stop crimes. Guns DON'T kill people people do! That's just like saying it's the spoons fault that I got fat. A man recently killed his wife with a banjo should we have stronger banjo control laws???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 AM  

  • Yup, murder is illegal. However, accidental deaths are not. There are thousands of accidental gun related deaths every year. I'm pretty sure if Billy's dad didn't need a gun to feel like a man, it wouldn't be around the house for Billy to accidentally shoot his baby sister with.

    30,000 gun deaths a year in the US. The whole of the UK? less that 50. How much is your freedom worth? is it worth the lives of your neighbors and their children? That's what voting to reduce gun control is saying. You don't care about anyone else. What a patriot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 AM  

  • I agree with the last post. Who is to say he wouldn't have used his hands to do it then go jump off a bridge. Why should I give up my guns that may be used to protect me and my family? I've never killed anybody. If anybody in this country wants a gun they will find one. We can't control drugs from other countries how will we control guns? Then what when they start shooting at the rest of us?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:44 AM  

  • Costas is a little know-it-all twerp. "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.''Really? This guy shot his girlfriend 9 times. He wanted her dead. Costas or Whitlock don't think that maybe Belcher would have used his hands, a knife, a baseball bat or run her down with his car if a gun had not been available? Maybe they didn't hear about the guy stabbing his Dad's girlfriend then shooting his Dad with a compound bow and killing himself with a knife? Where there is a will there is a way. Costas' liberal anti-gun rant on national television just makes him look silly. But, then again, I'm sure that is something that Costas has grown used to.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:50 AM  

  • The Jovan Belcher and Kassandra Perkins incident is indeed a tragedy and we'll all be analyzing it in depth in the coming weeks but to postulate that they would both still be alive if there were no guns is an oversimplification of the issue. If Belcher had wanted to kill Kassandra bad enough he wouldn't have needed a gun and any reasonable individual would know that. Costas' left wing is showing and he co opted the networks air time to proselytize.

    By Anonymous Mike P., at 3:14 AM  

  • Probably more humane using a gun than a knife or beating her to death. When people are set on killing someone they will find a way. Many people are killed by drunk driving why isn't alcohol illegal?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 AM  

  • The bottom line is this. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. This over paid, over praised athelet like most of them, made the choice to kill someone. However, just like all the liberal anti-gunners it is the fault of something else "a gun". That over praised DAN, just like all the other murderers in this country would have been coddled had he not chose to die like the coward he was. Bob Costas is a POS.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:43 AM  

  • Applying the reasoning Costas uses for gun control, he should be in favor of outlawing knives forks and spoons as they are obviously responsible for making people obese.

    Costas forgets that his freedom to go on national television and say what ever pops into his head, is granted to him by the actions of armed men willing to do violence on behalf of a Free Nation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:12 AM  

  • Costas abused his powers to push his personal views during a football game. As a responsible gun owner Im angered by this. In this country we never punish the criminals instead we take away the rights of good people to try and fix problems. The old saying one bad apple comes to mind. If you have a bushel of apples has a rotten one you remove it and leave the rest alone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:16 AM  

  • You, Costas and Whitlock are all idiots.
    Whats next, he would have used a knife. Are you going to ban all cutlery as well. MORONS!!
    If one human being wants to kill another you aren't going to stop it by taking one means away. A man that size could have killed his girlfriend with a snap of her scrawny neck and then hung himself. Then you would have been arguing for the ban of all rope.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 AM  

  • Im a gun owner. I have never killed any one. nor will I except to defend my family whether laws are past or not I will continue to own a gun its my right.along with every other american.
    if you are against guns then dont buy one.and leave the rest of us that do alone

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 AM  

  • It's great to see all these ridiculous anti-gun control "arguments" here. Banjos? Spoons? Please.

    Yes, people kill, but people with guns are more likely to kill, and of course it's easier for them to do so. Would this tragedy have been avoided? Maybe not. Maybe he would have found another way. But you can't tell me things are ever better with loaded weapons at hand.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:15 AM  

  • As for Costas speaking out, what you object to is him saying something you don't like. If he'd said now is not the time for new gun laws, you'd now be praising him.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:17 AM  

  • And to you libertarians... it's not as easy as just leaving you alone with your guns, and it's not about you personally. It's about an out-of-control culture of guns and gun violence. Innocent people get caught in it whether they like it or not.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:21 AM  

  • Guns don't kill people,people with mustaches kill people,haven't you ever seen a action movie?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 AM  

  • Should he not have said anything about Sandusky either?

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:34 AM  

  • I recently noticed a T-shirt a person was wearing it read in part "Those for Gun Control Raise Your Hand" the logo pictured several men in uniform, Adolf Hilter-Cheves-Stalin-Chairmin Ho etc. "To enslave a nation first we must disarm the population" Marxism ask Oboma his opinion!! I believe O.J. Simpson I didn' hear a call for banning "knives" did you.????

    By Anonymous R.Cope Tennessee, at 8:40 AM  

  • Since when is supporting the military and showing our troops get some taste of home while deployed a conservative political thing?? Don't liberals and others have patriotism? don't they respect the military and the duty they perform? don't really see a political stance being taken by showing troops watching football.

    By Anonymous Sean, at 10:00 AM  

  • That was not the place to make such comments.I am a gun owner and as the saying goes its not the gun that kills but if my home and family were threatened by some one with a gun I would not hesitate to use it. However, in this case gun control would not have saved either person.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 AM  

  • Perhaps it is true that having sportscasters weigh in on political issues unrelated to sports is a danger. But the issue here really ought not be gun control per se, but violence against women and high profile atheletes who are so used to getting their way, that they resort to violence when things go awry. I suspect that this tragedy is direclty related to sports and would have preferred to hear Costas or others talk about the voilence that too many privelged atheletes perpetrate against women - and why.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:13 AM  

  • I think whoever said people with guns are more likely to kill is a complete moron. I own a gun & I keep it in a safe for the SAFETY of my child- even though he is educated on guns. My gun does not tell me to pick it up and shoot people. However, when I heard prowlers at my front door, I ran to the safe, and chambered my gun beside the door...they took off b/c I'm not just some mom home alone with her child, I'm also charged and ready to kill if you try to harm my family.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 AM  

  • I find it interesting how the gun nuts always make this claim that they're not hurting anyone. "Just leave us alone," they ask.
    There's only one problem. Some 200,000 people are wounded with guns every year in the U.S. Many of these people, by the way, are innocent bystanders. People who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. (This includes a lot of children, by the way).
    The total tab for treating these wounded people runs around $20 billion a year. Oh, and 80 percent of that is funded by taxpayers like me.
    So in effect, I'm paying a chunk of my taxes every year to treat people wounded by guns.
    One other point: the gun nuts always immediate jump to this idiotic straw man argument of "we can't outlaw guns."
    You idiots never realize that nobody is proposing that we outlaw guns. We're just saying that maybe we could have a few restrictions on guns. The fact is, even in the Old West, we had more gun restrictions than we do today (I wrote a piece about this on my blog a while back). It sounds incredible, but it's true.
    The fascist NRA, of course, is against ALL restrictions. They even oppose restrictions for people who've been convicted of beating their wives. Yeah, that's a real smart policy.
    One other thing: Hitler did NOT ban guns. Neither did the Soviet Union. In fact, under a lot of dictatorships, guns are available.
    Guns do not necessarily lead to "freedom," either. Pakistan, an Islamic dictatorship, has much weaker gun laws that even the U.S. does.
    I think in many ways, guns take away our freedoms. The massive cost of treating those 200,000 per year costs me, as a taxpayer. And the fact I can't even walk the streets in reasonable safety takes away another key freedom that I should be able to enjoy (like the residents of all the world's other First World nations---all of which I would argue are more free than today's U.S. is).
    One last point: outside of the military, only cowards use guns. You gun nuts are really trying to compensate for something else. If you love guns so much, please: go sign up for the military (and take that chickenhawk, war-cheerleading, draft-dodging coward Ted Nugent with you).

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 10:25 AM  

  • I am so tired of liberals blaming guns for all our problems just remember people kill people. Any one who wants a gun will get one on the black market. All gun control will do is keep the innocent from getting one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 AM  

  • To all the arguments that there are more gun deaths in the UK than in the US...Yes, but the crime rate for Rape, Burglary, and Robbery is higher. In the Netherladns and Enland, about half of all burglaries are "hot." This is when the resident is at home, and usually ends with assault or worse. In the US, hot burglaries are around 13%. When interviewed, pennsylvania inmates said, getting shot was the biggest deterrent for these types of crimes. I'm sure people on both sides can come up with statistics to support their ideas. There is only a couple of stats that I really think matter...What do the perpetrators of crimes have to say about it? In research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, in which almost 2,000 felons were interviewed, 34% of felons said they had been “scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim" and 40% of these criminals admitted that they had been deterred from committing a crime out of fear that the potential victim was armed. Also, how many crimes are stopped by armed citizens per year? Over 800,000 or more. That's close to or more than 1,000,000 victims that are saved each year because of responsible gun owners.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:37 AM  

  • The dude (annonymous) way up at the top says 30k people a year are killed from accidental gun discharges- not according to the stats I looked at TRY 1500- this is still bad But the guy lying to stress his argument is even worse. get your facts straight-but hey you don't care about facts- you care about your agenda.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:41 AM  

  • While I appreciate the fact that Bob Costas has an opinion on gun control and he's entitled to it. However when he uses a public forum to express it, that's going a bit too far. Perhaps next week SNF halftime should be dedicated to the opposing point of view? Personally I think he and his producer should be removed from their position. Even the Pre Game talk shows had the decency to avoid rehashing the tragedy that befell Kansas City. I personally believe that Costas lowered himself to the lowest of the low in his profession for going on such a tirade.

    By Blogger Larry Gann, at 10:58 AM  

  • It is amazing how Anti-Gun people think they are so much smarter then anyone else, that they alone know what is best for all of us. I believe in the wisdom of our founding fathers and there decision to create the 2nd ammendment. The fact that Bob Costas choose to blame gun control for this tragery is unfortunate, maybe he should have blamed football injuries for causing the problem in the first place, I thought he was a sports announcer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

  • Your rt Costas has freedom of speech, we have the freedom to bear arms.For you people that dont believe that then dont buy the damn guns but when you need protection maybe you can use your freedom of speech to protect yourself, Hellmaybe we can use our freedom of speech to stop the drug cartells as well as terroist.WHAT IDIOTS!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:13 AM  

  • A gun is a tool just like a knife or screwdriver. When used properly it is an effective tool. Why do you insist on blaming the tool instead of holding the person weilding the tool responsible. Do you blame the stone that was used for stoning someone? NO. Then don't blame the gun either. Education is the more importanti issue here, teaching owners how to properly use the tool and be responsible for its use is the way to help minimize issues with tools like this.
    When alcohol was prohibited did that stop people for drinking it. Many drugs are illegal yet millions of people still obtain and use them regardless of the law and I would be willing to bet there are at least twice as many drug related deaths than there are gun related deaths. There are already enough laws on the books regarding gun control, failure to enforce is the biggest problem.

    By Anonymous Ranger_Rick, at 11:20 AM  

  • I think it is funny that Bob Costas let every home invader in the free world know he has no weapons for personal protection once you get into his house. Sure he has security but oops anyways.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 AM  

  • Every law we pass becomes another freedom we lose. Killing can be done with or without a gun. If we intend to make weapons unavailable to those who would kill - we will have great difficulty cutting our steaks without knives or playing baseball with out a bat. Once we start down that road where do we stop?

    I am not a member of the NRA or a gun enthusiast - and I know Costas means well - but frankly I'd rather keep the freedom to bear arms and take my chances on getting shot.




    By Anonymous Charlie Ford, at 11:32 AM  

  • i agree with bob costas. its a no brainer and he had the guts to expound on it.

    By Anonymous betsy andersen, at 11:33 AM  

  • Reading what people are saying and thinking about Bob Costas simplistic statement if guns were not avaialbe they both would still be alive. You're ignoring the problem and talking about the symptons. Domestic violence is the real issue. Football is a violent sport and there is a mind-set you are in when you play the game. Some are able to leave it on the field while others are not. I know, I had two sons who played football, one left it on the field using the sport as a way to deal with his frustrations. The other brought it home with him and took his anger and frustration out on the walls and his siblings. Even if this was a first and only event resulting in the loss of two lives it is still domestic violence. Avoiding the causes of domestic violence, making it the elephant in the room, acting as though it doesn't exist makes the problem worse, giving the perpetrator an excuse or pass on his behavior is wrong. Choice and accountability. If she had the gun and shot him in self defense what would those who advocate gun control be saying? You don't get to have gun ownership be okay in one situation and not in another. Shirlee Forrester

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 PM  

  • To the second person who commented, you need to check your facts before you spout off. Go to The Center for Disease Control website and you will find the correct stats. Firearm deaths are .9% of accidental deaths in the united states with motor vehicles at 52% poisoning a 31% and drowning at 4.5%. Those stats are for ages 20-24, with 73 deaths, far less then your 30,000. If people want to ban guns for deaths then cars and pools should go first. Maybe ban swimming all together. Pull your head out of your ass you fool.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 PM  

  • People just dont get it. People kill people not guns. It is sad when they blame everything else except who is responsible for what happened. If the guy had a respect for guns he would know you dont point at anything you dont want to destroy. Sounds like he wanted to destroy his girlfriend and himself. Let the blame lie were it should be and not with an inate object. As for Costas when he started on his rant I lost all interest in the game and cut it off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 PM  

  • This just shows the ignorance and stupidity of people! What would making guns illegal in banning them really do? It would just enable the criminals to commit their crimes with much more ease then if people had legal guns! The only people that wouldn't have guns would be the people that needed them and that should have them because the criminals are never going to turn their guns in because theyre
    illeagal! Guns re banned in D.C. and Chicago yet violet crime is higher there than cities with large legal gun populations! And as far as throwing out stats 2,000 times a day someone pulls a gun in self defense and doesnt become a victim because they havev a gun! And how come you never hear anything about let's ban cars more people die from cars every year then you could fathom dying from guns! Yet nothing in the way of anti car activists!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:33 PM  

  • Well, you write a post about guns control, and the gun nuts come out of the woodwork like termites. It's not worthy responding to their mostly ridiculous arguments. If they really think the insane number of guns in American society, along with easy access to them, is a problem, or that having a gun is the same as having a knife, there's just no reasoning with them. They're crazy.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 1:22 AM  

  • O.K. Here is the solution to everyone's problem. Apparently you feel gun control is needed because innocent people are hurt by people with guns. If you take away the law abiding citizen's guns then who is left with the rest of the guns? Do you think that more or less innocent people will be hurt by guns if only criminals have guns (and they know it). My question is how many innocent people are hurt in auto accidents every year? WE SHOULD BAN ALL VEHICLES!!! That would save countless lives every year. How many innocent people are injured in plane crashes every year? WE SHOULD BAN ALL PLANES!!!! How many innocent people are injured by papercuts at the office every year? WE SHOULD BAN ALL PAPER!!!! How many innocent people are injued every year on bicycles? WE SHOULD BAN ALL BICYCLES!!!!! How many innocent people are injured in their homes every year? WE SHOULD BAN ALL HOME OWNERSHIP!!!! ARE YOU IDIOTS SEEING THE STUPIDITY OF YOURSELVES YET? Take some responsibility for your own actions and PUNISH THE CRIMINALS not the law abiding citizens!

    By Anonymous Tim, at 3:42 PM  

  • To Anonymous at 2:42 AM. What is freedom worth? Everyting! You sound like one of those classic libs who will mortgage your freedom for some nice, stable security, provided to you by a benevolent government. Just keep that up, and you'll have zero freedom

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 PM  

  • If we are unable to control the Guns, we should move forward to other measures.

    By Anonymous Gun, at 4:57 AM  

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