At halftime of Sunday night’s Eagles vs. Cowboys football game, NBC host, Bob Costas, added a creative sort of commentary. In reference to the weekend murder-suicide initiated by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Jovan Belcher — and quoting significantly from Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock’s editorial column — Costas shared the following on national television:
Our current gun culture simply 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.
In the coming days, Belcher’s actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries. Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend. What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.
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.
As typical of our seemingly oft hypersensitive society, cyberspace and Twitter’s tweets were active with both outrage and support…
Is it appropriate for a sports host to offer a politically-charged monologue?
Is it appropriate for Costas to speak of something other than sports?
And is it appropriate for the host to opine against what is actually a civil right?
Would other civil rights opposition be treated similarly on TV?
Truth is, while the Intramuralist wonders about Costas’ conviction, I don’t claim to know the answers to all of the above. Costas consistently shares an opinion in his weekly segment; rarely, however, does the opinion have any political connotation.
Is there some truth in what Costas opined? Possibly.
Is there also some truth ignored? I would agree with that as well.
The gun control debate in this country is challenging. The right to keep and bear arms is firmly implanted in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights; it is the law of the land and a civil right.
As with all “rights,” they are often used and abused. Sometimes it seems the most grievous abuse — regardless of frequency — garners the greatest attention. Jovan Belcher sadly, grievously misused his right.
The ignored truth, in my opinion, begins first with the impossibility for any to aver definitively — not even a respected long time NBC sports host — that Belcher and his girlfriend would actually be alive today if Belcher had not access to a gun. Too often our society blames a thing or a circumstance as opposed to recognizing the foolishness of one man’s actions — as opposed to holding the responsible person responsible. In other words, it was not the gun that triggered the murder-suicide; it was Jovan Belcher.
I wonder if the reason we so quickly and easily jump to blame the gun (or the thing or relative circumstance) is because it’s easier to control. Maybe if we attempt to impose gun control, we won’t have to deal with the foolish ways some utilize guns; maybe if we attempt to limit free speech, we won’t have to wrestle with the foolish things some say. If we focus on control of things and/or circumstances, perhaps then we never have to focus on the actual foolishness of some people.
And my sense is that the foolishness of some people is what’s most challenging to control.