The internet has blown up recently with regard to NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas. For those who have missed it, Costas took a moment Sunday night to address his thoughts regarding the tragedy surrounding Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher. Belcher is alleged to have killed his girlfriend, then drove to the team’s facility where he thanked the coaching staff for all they had done before taking his own life.
Costas’ thoughts had nothing to do with brain trauma that some are saying may have contributed to Belcher’s mental state. They had nothing to do with mental illness or even domestic violence. Like far to many, Costas blamed the gun.
Outrage has flown through the gun rights community. Jovan Belcher was a sick man. As a linebacker, it’s safe to say that he would have possessed the physicality to kill his girlfriend with any implement he chose. None of that matters, because apparently an inanimate object is responsible for making normal, sane linebackers turn into killing machines.
There are efforts afoot to try and force NBC to fire Costas. I understand the sentiment. However, it may be even more important for gun rights proponents to reach out to educate people like Costas.
He needs to be educated on the estimated 2.5 million people who use a firearm each year to defend themselves from harm. He needs to be educated on the fact that no other tool will allow a small, petite woman to fend off a would be rapist as efficiently as a firearm. He needs to be educated on what happens to the violent crime rate in every nation that has put a gun ban into effect.
Outrage is certainly understandable. I happen to share it. However, I also believe that this is an opportunity that must be seized. Even if Costas remains unconvinced, others may come to understand that guns are not the boogieman that the Brady Campaign has painted them to be.
If we convince enough people, Costas will at least learn to keep his opinions to himself during a Sunday Night Football broadcast, sharing them in the appropriate venue if nothing else. Even then, they will be the minority opinion. I can easily deal with that, since our God given right to keep and bear arms will be protected by popular opinion.
So let’s educate old Bob. Even if he won’t listen, others will.