Last week, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas unleashed a half-baked half-time rant about gun control. When the comments went viral, Costas embarked on a media tour attempting to back-pedal. A bit. Duplicitously (i.e. “I didn’t say the words ‘gun control’ mated with “we need more comprehensive gun laws”). Costas main fallback position: there’s something wrong with America’s “gun culture.” Members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia will have immediately recognized the statement as a perfect example of “I don’t think that means what you think it means.” . . .
Clearly, Costas was using the term “gun culture” as a euphemism for “gangsta” culture. Young urban black and hispanic men who belong to street gangs who carry and use firearms illegally.
Bob Costas, the white multi-millionaire media maven who grew up in solidly middle class 80 percent white Commack New York and now lives in a gated community, a man who’s protected by armed guards, wants laws to fix that.
Not to belabor the point: Bob has about as much experience of inner city America as Dana Frieder has of fried Snickers bars. But Costas knows sports.
Which explains his “here’s why we need gun control” case study: an informal poll of 80 players by Colts coach Tony Dungy, wherein 60 said they owned firearms. Costas believes this “proves” that America’s “gun culture” is out of control.
In other words, Costas can’t make the distinction between hard-working law-abiding [mostly African American] professional athletes exercising their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms (presumably but not necessarily for self-defense) and gang bangers.
Is it me or does Costas’ comments smack of racism?
Let’s be clear about this. Even without considering the fact that African Americans have suffered miserably from gun control, legislation born in the South to disarm and subjugate blacks, Costas remarks are an affront to African Americans. Lest we forget, gun rights are a civil right for all Americans,
So why single out [mostly black] NFL players? After listening to the gun poll anecdote, Bill O’Reilly puts it to Costas: why do you think these [mostly black] players have guns?
It may be that they feel they need them for protection. They may feel that it’s part of a romanticized culture, there’s an aspect of this a kind of Wild West cowboy Dirty Harry aspect, there’s also an aspect . . . that’s influenced by what we see in the inner cities some of it may be glamorized in gangster rap videos, whatever it may be, it plays itself out in different ways, in different demographics . . .
It’s the word “feel” that most fully reveals Costas’ prejudice. It reflects gun control advocates’ view of people who want to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. They don’t need guns. They “feel” they need guns. They are, in a word, idiots. Gullible idiots.
Costas thinks the entertainment industry’s gun-wielding archetypes are manipulating these [mostly black] gun owners into “feeling” they need a gun. It’s a statement that highlights an enormous disconnect between Costas and liberal-minded gun grabbers and, say, the rest of the country.
Because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Wild West or Dirty Harry meme. In both of those fictional genres good triumphs over evil. A man stands up for what’s right, protects moral order and dispenses justice at the end of a gun. (If I remember correctly Dirty Harry was a law enforcement officer.)
What rankles Costas and his fellow gun control advocates: the meme violates their belief in the importance of the collective. Society should be in charge of preventing, fighting and punishing law breakers. Not one man with a gun.
Costas doesn’t accept that [mostly black] professional athletes can or (more to the point) should be responsible for their own self-defense. Simply put, [most black] professional athletes can’t be trusted with a gun.
That’s not only well-over-the-borderline-racist. It’s profoundly un-American. At least the America that the founding fathers created, and that millions of gun owning Americans believe in.
Millions of gun owners who have a “real” gun culture. A gun culture based on self-reliance, safety, responsibility and a well-founded suspicion of government. And a deep antipathy against those who would deny them their Constitutionally protected, God-given right to keep and bear arms.
While some—but not all—rap celebrates gun violence and unbridled machismo, it’s important to remember that the music genre is part of a free market of ideas,protected by the U.S. Constitution.
More to the point, if Costas thinks rap is perpetuating a culture of gun violence, railing against it isn’t as effective as allowing a positive gun culture to flourish in our inner cities. In that sense, urban America needs less gun control, not more.