Commentary | Bob Costas is not backing down on comments he made about the safety of guns after the murder-suicide deaths of NFL player Jovan Belcher and mother of his now-orphaned baby daughter, a young woman named Kasandra Perkins.
What Costas is not backing down on is a simple and factual assessment of the indisputable details of the case — that Belcher was easily able to murder this young woman and kill himself after a domestic disagreement. In the media since the shocking deaths, several reasons have been given for the disagreement.
Perkins, mother of an infant who had spent an evening out with her friends, has been lambasted by friends of the Kansas City Chiefs player for her own “role” in being gunned down (a level of victim blaming that is nearly nausea-inducing), but somehow Costas is the bad dude for saying what is right there in front of our faces — as a sports commentator, as an American, somehow the mere fact he expressed this opinion is offensive to some.
Ready for the offensive comments Bob Costas isn’t “backing down” from? Prepare to be horrified and shocked to your apple-pie leaking cores, people. Here’s the raging liberal, anti-gun rant quoted and agreed with by Costas:
“In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? ….. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
At one point, Costas added:
“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.”
Yep. that’s it. And for that, Costas is being lambasted by Second Amendment rights proponents who have somehow been so eager to embrace number two they’ve skipped over number one.
In America nowadays, we’ve seemingly embraced this idea that merely by invoking the specter of truth, we somehow threaten an ideal. As a big fan of civil liberties myself and an American who feels that if you want to own a gun, you should be able, don’t (sorry) shoot the messenger here for saying what we all know to be true: Bob Costas isn’t backing down because you cannot untie the truth of his statement from factual reality. Arguing otherwise is a form of magical thinking that anyone over the age of four should be utterly ashamed to embrace.
If Belcher did not have a gun, it is very likely either himself or Perkins or both would be alive today. Yes, it’s terrible. But gun rights come at a cost that, rather than ignoring, Americans need to accept and embrace if that’s an ideal we truly support.
The relatives of James Holmes’ victims pay that cost. The relatives of Jared Loughner’s victims pay that cost. Anyone who wants to argue Holmes could have beaten more than a dozen movie-goers to death with a baseball bat as efficiently is frankly out of their gourd. And anyone who says that Loughner could have massacred a Congress On Your Corner event as thoroughly with a bread knife has seen too many James Bond movies.
And sadly, now, the family of Kasandra Perkins will pay that cost. Dearly. The parents of Belcher himself will pay it for years to come. And that little baby girl will pay the cost in the lifelong knowledge that her father shot her mother and then himself in cold blood.
Because the price of easily accessible and legal gun ownership is a great many of needless deaths each year, untold numbers that would be “alive today” had the laws been different.
So please, if you are, like me, an advocate of the right to legal gun ownership under the great laws of this land, you must honestly accept this cost as a factual consequence. To ignore it and pretend that the victims of acts that required guns to be so deadly are not in fact a statistic that ensues is a sort of lunacy in which we can no longer afford to engage.
Bob Costas is not backing down because the point he made was not about ideology. It was about basic math and logical reasoning, which is not an enemy of civil liberties.