Given the firestorm of criticism that’s rained down on Bob Costas after his half-time gun control rant, you’d kinda figure the NBC Sportscaster would follow TTAG’s advice re: post-defensive gun use. STFU. Nope. “I do not think the Second Amendment should be repealed and I do not think, under reasonable circumstances, that people should be prohibited from having guns,” Costas told nytimes.com. Sounds reasonable enough (to some). But— “I think most reasonable people think we do not have sufficient controls on the availability of guns and ammunition.” Which leads to . . .
Costas’ call for “a combination of enlightened legislation and controls, coupled with an adjustment in our attitude toward guns.” Because “common sense tells us the culture is overrun by guns and that many people who possess them are dangerous or careless.”
As for folks who think Costas should have STFU before flapping his gums about guns, the NBC employee let ’em have it with both barrels.
Mr. Costas noted in response that N.F.L. coverage on many networks had talked about the incident all day on Sunday. Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Chiefs, killed Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and then drove to his team’s stadium, where he killed himself in front of his coach and general manager.
Mr. Costas added that he had routinely used his time during halftime coverage to make personal observations and comments on a number of football-related subjects, including the level of violence displayed on the field.
He said the criticisms of his commentary “hold no weight with me” because the same people saying that that was an inappropriate time and place to talk about the gun issue “would have thought it was fine if they agreed with what I was saying.”
The issue of guns has come up far too often in sports already, he said, with athletes seeming to be among the groups with the most gun owners. “Do you think the place guns have in sports is appropriate?” Mr. Costas asked. “That it’s healthy?”
He added: “I defy anyone to give me one example when an athlete having a gun averted trouble, defused a situation, protected someone from harm. But we can think of countless situations where an athlete having a gun led to tragedy.”
The ball’s in our court, apparently. Costas clearly thinks that Americans who believe that they have a God-given/natural right to self-defense, and that their ability to do so through force of arms is protected by the United States Constitution [see: Second Amendment], must justify, to him, their decision to exercise that right.
Which goes double for professional athletes. Interestingly, at least one of those athletes begs to differ. Check this from nydailynews.com:
“If you have daughters, you should (have a gun),” defensive lineman Shaun Smith said. “You have to protect yourself. You work so hard to get to where you at, I’ll be damned if I’ll just let someone take it from me.”
By tackling this subject, then pressing the pedal to the metal, Costas has placed himself squarely in the [proverbial] sights of Americans who believe in their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. I imagine a large percentage of viewers who watch NBC football hold that view.
It comes as no surprise that NBC, a mainstream media outlet with a clear pro-gun control bias, has backed-up Costas. Neither Costas’ career nor the network’s public perception will emerge from this controversy unscathed. (To wit: nomoresnf.com.) Nor should they.