You are woefully out of touch with what Americans really think about senseless shootings. But sports commentator Bob Costas is not. He quoted this commentary last night, written by Jason Whitlock, sports writer, about the murder/suicide of Kansas City Chiefs NFL football player Jovan Belcher. From the article:
Here is the video of what Bob Costas said last night on national T.V. during half time of an NFL football game:"I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?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."
Thank you Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock. We need more people like you to stand up for the victims and to challenge the gun lobby and the gun culture they have been promoting. Enough is enough. You represent the majority of Americans who say in poll after poll after poll that common sense gun legislation is a good idea. Reasonable people understand that passing laws that would make it more difficult for people to shoot each other are a good idea. They understand that the second amendment should not be used to stop the discussion about our daily carnage due to bullets. Reasonable people get that passing some laws won't affect their own rights. Reasonable people get that keeping guns away from kids, felons, adjudicated mentally ill people, gangs, drug abusers, domestic abusers, terrorists and other prohibited purchasers is good for public safety. Reasonable people agree that laws that make it easier for more people to carry more guns in more places are not a good idea. Reasonable people understand that allowing people to shoot another claiming self defense and getting away with murder is a terrible idea. The majority of Americans are not gun owners. Only a small minority have permits to carry loaded guns around in public.
It's time to do the right thing. As a country, we are better than this. Let's get busy and change the gun culture and change the laws. When notable people like Bob Costas speak out at long last, it's possible to change the culture. When challenges are made to the current culture, things are going to change. So, gun rights extremists, your specious claims and hyperbole are not fooling people any more. You can work with the majority of us to prevent senseless shootings or you can keep up your mantra of "guns don't kill people, people do" but you will be speaking to deaf ears. We are tired of your ludicrous rants and claims and your tactics to divert us from the real problem. We are tired of the daily shootings.
Others are tired as well. Read this commentary by Mike Lupica (New York Daily News) about the shooting of Jovan Belcher. He is remembering the first victim, Kasandra Perkins- the mother of Belcher's child who he shot in yet another domestic shooting before he shot himself.
We remember Kasandra Perkins and the many women who become instant victims of domestic shootings. Guns make it easy. They are victims. The survivors are victims. I am a victim. We're all potential victims. The Chiefs players and management are now victims. When people like Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock speak up, they are giving voice to the victims all over the country who are remembering loved ones lost to bullets.But Jovan Belcher had a chance for it all to end differently, at least for him, no matter what brought him to this moment outside Arrowhead Stadium. That is why the real tragedy here — the real victim — is a young woman named Kasandra Michelle Perkins, whom Belcher shot and killed before he ever parked his car at the Chiefs’ practice facility and put that gun to his head.She was 22 and the mother of Belcher’s child, a child who is 3 months old, a child who will grow up in a world without parents. At about 10 minutes to 8, according to Kansas City police, Jovan Belcher put a gun on the mother of his child in a house on the 5400 block of Chrysler Ave. in Kansas City and started shooting and kept shooting. You want to mourn somebody? Start with her.
And let me add this. If you gun rights extremists want to look as crazy as you are becoming, just keep making those predictable attacks on victims and anyone who dares to speak for them. They are already coming after the Bob Costas commentary. I'm guessing that even as I write, Costas, Whitlock and anyone else who has spoken out are now the victims of ugly, rude and offensive remarks from the gun guys. Petulant, puny, insensitive and specious attacks against people who speak out after yet another senseless tragedy are ludicrous. If people shouldn't speak out about our gun culture during and after the continual shootings like that of Jovan Belcher and Jordan Davis, they would be mute. The NRA and its minions, like some who read my blog and others, would love to mute us. Shootings are happening every day. 32 Americans are killed every day in gun homicides. 80 a day die from gunshot injuries in homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. If we don't talk about these daily tragedies, then we won't have to do anything about them. And that would be just fine with the gun lobby. I submit to you, the gun rights extremists, that that is unacceptable, unforgivable and shameful. When trumped up fear about mythical gun confiscation that will never happen comes before the fear of actual people being killed every day in our communities, something is terribly wrong. It's time to right it. When individual rights trump the common good, individuals will continue to shoot other individuals. For the common good and national common sense let's get to work. Will you join me in working to prevent these tragedies or will you continue to hide behind the second amendment and let the shootings continue?
Here is the media release from the Brady Campaign/Center President Dan Gross regarding the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher/Kasandra Perkins:
BRADY PRESIDENT SPEAKS OUT ON DEATHS OF JOVAN BELCHER AND KASANDRA PERKINS
Organization Re-Issues "Guns In Sports" Report in Wake of the Tragedy
Organization Re-Issues "Guns In Sports" Report in Wake of the Tragedy
Washington, D.C. - Brady Center President Dan Gross has issued the following statement in the wake of the shooting deaths Saturday of NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins:
“The Brady Center offers its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins and everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. Even more so than the mass shootings that happen in our nation with shocking frequency, this tragedy speaks to the kind of gun violence that happens in our nation every single day -- domestic violence, arguments and suicide attempts that result in people dying because someone introduced a handgun into the equation. This isn't a debate about the Second Amendment. That has been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is about all of us, as a nation, coming together to say we are better than this, and having an honest conversation about the risks and dangers that guns pose and about what we can do to prevent tragedies."
As a result of this tragedy, as well as the recent fatal shooting of boxing champion Hector "Macho" Camacho, and the 5th anniversary last week of NFL All-Pro Sean Taylor's fatal shooting, the Brady Center is re-releasing Guns In Sports: How Guns Have Affected the Athletic Community & What It Tells Us About America's Gun Violence Crisis, which features more than 100 high-profile and everyday sports figures whose lives have been affected by gun violence.
The report is an exposé on how guns and gun violence have affected the athletic community, and some of our most beloved sports icons, including NBA MVPMichael Jordan, NFL MVP Steve McNair, NFL All-Pros Sean Taylor and Junior Seau, MLB Cy Young Award Winners Mike Flanagan and CC Sabathia, Grand Slam tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Dave Schultz, and Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.
It didn't take long for NRA Board member Ted Nugent to weigh in about Bob Costas's remarks:
Yes, Ted. We all know how credible you are about gun violence issues. Please don't say anything because when you do, you not only embarrass yourself, you diminish your own organization's credibility. Raise your hand if you think Ted Nugent has more credibility to speak about the shooting than Bob Costas. Also raise your hand if you think Nugent's remarks lend anything useful to the discussion. His boorish remarks should be distasteful to all who view them.
There is so much going on with this incident that it's hard to keep up. Many are writing, blogging and tweeting about the Costas remarks. I have been reading numerous articles about it, mostly on the side of congratulation Bob Costas for starting this national conversation. But some folks are dealing in myth about gun violence, as always. Media Matters has called them out in this article:
There are quotes from the research. And then Lott weighs in again with this ridiculous statement that reflects the mythical, ludicrous and flawed thinking of the gun rights extremists:Lott disputed that the presence of a firearm had anything to do with the murder-suicide, writing, "Even if no weapon existed, the strength differential is so large that Belcher could have easily killed [his girlfriend Kasandra] Perkins in any number of ways."Lott's attempt to take guns out of the equation was the latest effort by right-wing media to silence the discussion of gun violence in the wake of Saturday's murder-suicide. It is also at odds with research about the relationship between gun availability and gun violence.As Forbes contributor Rob Waters noted, the presence of a firearm drastically increases the lethality of domestic violence incidents. Using statistics compiled by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Waters wrote that, "If a gun is used during a domestic violence assault, there's a 23-fold increased likelihood that the victim will die. Women who are victims of domestic violence are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser owns a firearm."
Turning to Belcher's suicide, Lott wrote in his column, "There are so many ways that Belcher could have killed himself, including crashing his car at a high rate of speed into a wall or even another car as he drove to Arrowhead Stadium." Citing his own research, Lott also wrote, "The research by economists overwhelmingly shows that gun ownership has no impact on suicide rates."
This is also false. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that having a gun in the home significantly increased the risk of suicide. Furthermore, individuals with a firearm in the home were much more likely to use the firearm to commit suicide than to attempt suicide by other, often less successful, methods:What? Is he serious about the car thing? In what world is he living? To even make that statement demeans what really happened here and the tragedy of easy availability of guns in our culture. Thank you to Media Matters for providing the facts and highlighting the fact-free statements of many in the gun rights community. Come on. Let's deal with reality and stop with the hyperbole. Attempts to mute this discussion are failing.