Monday, December 3, 2012

Bob Costas gets poked for exploring Gun Control on Sunday Night Football

Bob Costas of NBC offered America a short thirty-second opinion on gun control Sunday Night during halftime of the Cowboys-Eagles game.

Costas referenced a Jason Whitlock article that suggested, strongly, perhaps rightly, depending on your opinion, that if not for a handgun, a Kansas City Chief football player who shot and killed the mother of his 3-month old child, and later, himself, would both be alive today.

Costas delving into politics, gun control, on a sports broadcast no less? How dare he.

A few of the morning doofus shows here locally castigated the NBC host for having the temerity to use his position to take a stand on the hotly-heated debate. Really? To some degree, I agree. On the other hand, the fact that Costas shed light on the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide on primetime Sunday was refreshing, candid, and slightly brave. Which really isn't the point.

What is the point and which Costas dared to broach to the sports fan was real life and death subject matter. Gun Control? Maybe too early. But Costas injecting some reality into a semi-reality show was fine by me.  Like Whitlock, I felt the game involving Kansas City and Carolina should have been postponed. Excuse me for my injection of sanity into some pure insanity.

Costas spoke out. Good. What he said you may agree or disagree, but he has a right to say it. At least someone in the toy dept, albeit a guy with extra cachet like Costas, brought a sense of levity, of real life to fun and games. We needed it. So did America.

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  1. Rich, I rarely will agree with you or Bob, but he was 100% in the right here. The issue is/was guns. It's about domestic violence, people using guns to solve a probelm, and finding any "easy way out" rather than dealing what is in front of them. This animal hurt more than just his GF, a child has no parents, a mother lost her daughter, his mother has to live with what she saw take place in front of her. Two men have to deal with seeing him take his life right in front of them....the isssue is guns and violence....

  2. Gotta give Bob Costas credit to tangling with a stick topic.

    But I couldn't agree with you more Rich. The brain-dead nit wits who want to cling to their guns and bibles like some 19th century frontier pioneers always like to cite the second amendment, claiming that it was written to protect the rights of citizens who have a right to hang onto their firearms.

    But if you examine things more closely, the wording of the second amendment is pretty straight forward. It talks about a 'free militia' being 'the people' who (at the time) were trying to protect their home and property against search and seizure from the British or perhaps from angry native Americans. We're talking about the 18th century here!

    But the gun rights advocates like the twist the language around to suit their purposes.
    And please don't give me this nonsense about how:
    "guns don't kill people, people kill people!"

    So if you take guns out of the equation I guess people are going to go around stabbing and strangling each other at the same rate that people have been shooting each other?

    1. The second sentence in your post exposed your particular dementia. You grant yourself the right to "believe" that a disarmed citizenry is just as safe as an armed one -- a belief for which there exists no historical evidence, but you want to deprive others the right to their bible -- their belief system, for no reason other than you think it's a detriment to society.

      If you are incapable of understanding that the teachings of the bible enrich, comfort, and bind together millions of good people in this country, then you are quite obviously incapable of understanding anyone but yourself, and thus, gravely disabled.

  3. He's right. And if we banned alcohol drunk driving deaths would come to an end. What people don't realize is that during Prohibition deaths by alcohol related illness fell to an all time low.
    But the commercials and music are filled with booze and guns loving fun times. I see TV shows about WASPs types peeling off hundred dollar bills for their guns like it was play money. Each one just wishing for a shootout.

  4. I only watched a little bit of the game intermittently, and happened to land on NBC to see Bob's bit. What I thought was his main point -- about it taking a tragedy for some people to "put things in perspective" only to have that perspective quickly eroded as life moves on, was spot on. His secondary point was using this as an example of the problems that are enabled by the nation's "gun culture" rather than advocating for specific gun-control laws; I think Bob and most of us are smart enough to realize that a public figure like an NFL player would have little trouble getting a firearms license in even the most stringent jurisdictions, or could obtain one w/o license in any case. The fact that Belcher chose to solve his problem with a gun is the problem, not the fact that he had one.

  5. Come on Rich. You word processor is faster than your brain. You misunderstand completely what "most" of Costas was saying. Was he right? Well, no, not actually, but the point is this.

    He QUOTED from the Whitlock column. No harm, no foul. As a respected and thoughtful media talking head, Costas had the "right" to reference that article.

    However, "he had a right to do so" as in "it's free speech" regarding Costas' own editorial opinion? You are whacked, Rick. Show me and us where there is a "right" to say what you want and what you feel on the nation's media, as much as in a darkened movie theatre by screaming "Fire!" at the top of your lungs?

    You don't.

    There is no such "right" -- never has been. Never will be. Free speech is a responsibility and is Costas' case, as a sportscaster, he "right" of speech extends to more than his personal editoria opinion. Not his job to do, not more than his personal opinion and one that was non-deserving to be heard from sea to shining sea.

    Whether you agree -- or not -- with his comment. He had "no" RIGHT to interject his personal non-editorial opinion on an issue to which he wasn't a part. He doesn't speak for "every man", so, he speaks for himself -- not before the cameras and microphones of NBC Sports or NBC Universal - his employer.

    He wants to state that opinion above his name in a letters to the editor column of the Kansas City Star? Fine. It's an OPINION with varying degrees of belief by other people as well. Even an Op/Ed piece on his own volition might have passed muster in a "freedom of the press" newspaper with an opinion column.

    But national television without opposing views? That's no "right".

    And Costas was wrong to delve into that territory.

  6. I'm with Charlton Heston. You can take my gun from my cold dead hands.

    1. Could be a self fulfilling prophecy. That's what they had to do with Jovan.

  7. Anyone else see the irony in the faux outrage of the Far White...err Right and the NRA?

    This is the only time those factions will take the side of a big black man with gun.

    All the analogies about forks do not make us fat and OJ used a knife just so how afraid and far out these folks they equate gun control with taking away all guns and all rights.

    What are these folks so afraid of?

    Blackie McBlackman (thanks Bill Maher) at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    Obama has all kinds of guns, and guys with guns, so why doesn't he get the love and support from gun people?

    Likely because the President is alive, the Jovan Belcher is dead.

    "Cold Dead Hands" takes on new meaning here.

    These gun lovers are afraid, and they create their own angst with their paranoia, and hold the rest of us hostage with it.

  8. I'd like Costas to tell one of these street tough linebackers in the NFL (who all carry guns by the way) where it's at, that midget would be sucking ice for awhile while they fit him with implants. You leftists live in an alternative reality, take a look at the NFL, how many guys have been involved in shootings, or other violence recently? Compare that with the 80's or go back further. It's the mentality of the street, quit blaming your easy Fox TV targets, and start getting in the face of Oakland thugs, do you really think they buy guns from Big 5 Sporting Goods, cowardly socialists.

    1. We live in "alternative reality"?

      People like you are scared, and more accurately pathetic in your love of guns over anything and everything else.

      What are you so afraid of that folks like you feel the need to be armed to the hilt 24/7?

      People who carry guns (that are not law enforcement) on a regular basis come in 2 categories:

      1. Running from trouble
      2. Looking to start trouble.

      You all profess to support law enforcement and the police, then support them by not allowing the NRA to scare cowards like you into carrying semi automatics and huge clips, which give you more ammo and firepower then the police.

      For what Bob Costa lacks in stature, he makes up for in courage and conviction.

      The small man in this debate is you , and the defenders of of people like you.

      Suck on yourself.

    2. Hey 4:51, why can't you make a reasonable argument about the topic without exaggerating the details with" armed to the hilt" and "huge clips"....different kettle of fish.

      Should I surrender my driving license because some people are horrible drivers? Statistically, more folks die on the road

      The cops will save you? Forget it. They carry guns for their own protection not yours. Costas, a cop, and a bad guy are in a room. Bad guy points a gun at costas and the cop may or may not shoot him after he shoots costas. Bad guy points the gun at the cop and the cop will always choose to shoot first.

      The Japanese elected to not invade the mainland during WWII because they felt they wouldn't stand a chance due to the number of gun owners! Which are you....a Japanese vet or just a run of the mill drama queen?

  9. If Costas isn't an idiot, he's a foolish idealist. If he lead the life of a common that lives in an ordinary area, pumped his own gas, and stood in line at the grocery store, he'd have a different view of the world he lives in.

    He's probably buddies with perata...the guy who votes against gun rights THEN gets a concealed carry permit! What a dick.

    1. Many people who pump their own gas - almost everyone in California does - and stand in line at grocery stores wish there was greater control of firearms.

  10. I very much like that Costas had the courage to address the gun issue. Not speaking against guns is becoming politically correct at the insistence of the gun nuts and I'm not a fan of political correctness although I am a fan of being sensitive to people feelings. I'm not speaking of gun owners in general. It's the gun nuts who flip out at the mention of almost any type of control on guns and any reference to the damage they cost us as a society. Yes, yes, they insist that it's the criminal who shoots that is the problem although without guns people would just be slapping, punching and kicking each other if they got mad. Maybe they would pull a knife, but at least you might be able to run from a knife. I know that the presence of guns will be with us, unfortunately, but still they make it far too easy to kill people when one is upset. Our country needs a rational discussion on the gun issue, so bravo to Costas for taking his moment.

  11. I bet there's even internal strife among the NBC sportscasters as Costas' Whitlock comments may not sit well with Mr. Believe In Miracles, Al Michaels, as Michaels is known to be quite conservative in his own views, but does a solid job keeping it away from the main airwaves.

  12. Bob Costas seems to me to be one of those guys who feels trapped in the well-feathered nest he's built for himself. He's made his solid reputation covering sports, but thinks that he's beyond silly games after so many years and wants to leave it behind. He would like to be Keith Olbermann or Bryant Gumbel (presumably minus the unjustifiably massive egos and reported personality disorders), but he can't make the transition until he first establishes his bonafides.

    Remember that Costas previously dipped his toe into unsolicited social commentary in his coverage of Gabby Douglas' Gold Medal victory in the 2012 London Olympics, saying she was an inspiration to "African-American girls out there tonight who are saying, 'Hey, I'd like to try that too.'" Yeah, just one problem, Bob; Douglas was NOT the first black American to win a Gold. Dominique Dawes won one as a member of the U.S. crew that won the team competition in 1996 - the year Douglas was born. People mostly remember the team nicknamed "The Magnificent Seven" for Kerri Strug's courageous vault on an injured ankle and coach Bela Karolyi's encouragement ("You cahn do eet!") The color barrier of Gold Medal achievement had been shattered by Dawes for over a decade and a half when Costas threw in his gratuitous footnote. He was fishing for an angle beyond the games themselves, but came up with a minnow.

    Costas' Sunday remarks were more egregiously half-baked. With only a minute and a half to a commercial break, Costas started by chiding everyone for not being able to achieve sufficient "perspective" about tragedies that occur among sports figures with the exception of Kansas City sportswriter Jason Whitlock. In his Fox blog, Whitlock blamed the death of Belcher and his girlfriend on the fact that he even had a firearm. Costas selectively quoted Whitlock, using these paraphrased quotes: "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 ... In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe: if [Jovan Belcher] did not possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

    Costas seemed to want to reduce Whitlock's comments to the usual fretting about immature inner-city teenagers and intense family quarrels settled quickly and fatally. Costas didn't follow through on the full thrust of Whitlock's words, so allow me to fill in the blanks Costas didn't want attributed to him personally:

    ***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 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?***

    Whitlock wasn't only musing about skewed "perspective." He wasn't simply suggesting that people should choose not to own a gun. Whitlock was taking on the Supreme Court's definition of the Second Amendment, expanding the scope from the common perils of a loaded gun in a home to stereotypes of the few and far-between who hoard arms to protect themselves against a tyrannical federal government.

    Again, Costas, in his haste to elevate his presence in our living rooms to The Big Picture Beyond Sports, eloquently and sincerely said something that sounded like it made perfect sense at first listen. Then, upon analysis, it was found wanting. President Obama (I'm not a fan) recently referred to such statements as "Shooting first and aiming later," if you'll pardon the expression.

  13. Details are trickling out about the night leading to the murder/suicide that include an additional girlfriend and an evening of intoxication.

    Belcher was living large, maybe too large. A 25 Y/O with too much sucess, too quick? I haven't walked in his shoes and can only wonder how I'd live my life given similar circumstances.

    Whitlock has a knack for not pulling punches and I suspect he'll comment on the appearance of a flimsy moral compass/foundation and a history of poor decisions. Will mini me?

    I hope Bob Costas donates to the fund to help the orphaned daughter.

    1. "I hope Bob Costas donates to the fund to help the orphaned daughter."

      As should the gun nuts attacking Costas for reporting on the Whitlock story.

  14. Former football player OJ Simpson used a knife to behead his ex-wife and kill Ron Goldman. Why didn't "short round" Costas call for a ban on all knives? Knives kill people you know. If Belcher had used a bat to beat her to death, would Costas call for a ban on bats or perhaps the game of baseball?

    1. This is a really stupid argument.

      Guns and assault rifles inflict enormous carnage in an instant. That's why the issue of controlling firearms makes more sense than controlling knives, bats, or any object that can possibly do harm but only with a greater amount of effort and time.

  15. I am law enforcement, and I live with a a gun. I think it's all a perspective thing. I guess until you've seen someone shot, been shot at, or shot someone, you really don't know what guns are capable of. A disconnect of sort. A comfortable disconnect, that when one of the three happens, shatters that.

    I don't think it's a gun problem, it's a knowledge of guns problem. That this hunk of steel, plastic, jammed full of bullets is a game changer. Most of the first timers don't realize it until they here the bang, and can't put that bullet back in the gun. Instant violence, with out the pre-emoional attachment, like you have with a punch, a slash, a choke. You don't have to have the predisposed mind, you just pull...

  16. Bob Costas, the Home Wrecker, should stick to issues he is supposed to be an authority.

    The issue isn't free speech with Costas. He can stand on the corner & preach to anybody that would listen. But don't force me to watch self-righteous "MSNBC" during a football game. Wrong time ... wrong issus.

    If they had banned knives Nicole Brown Simpson & Ronald Goldman would be alive and OJ Simpson wouldn't have to go prison...oh, he's already in prison.

    We need to start banning all those cars throughout the USA and I bet we would not have one drunk driver and no fatalities.

    WAKE UP!

    The issue is certain segments of society

  17. Let's face it, we're a gun-obsessed society and to expect people to give up their guns is like asking them to show up at the nearest hospital to be castrated.

    There will never be gun control in this country because the NRA has everyone in the government scared to death, and the gun advocates will use (falsely) the second amendment to push their argument for possession.

    That's a sad commentary on America isn't it?