Bob Costas, Guns, and America the Wimpy:
In one of the least informative interviews you'll ever watch or read, sportscaster Bob Costas went on Bill O'Reilly's Geriatric Yowl of Misplaced Justice on Fox "news" last night to "clarify" his Sunday comments on the murder-suicide committed by football player Jovan Belcher. See, Costas quoted from a column by Jason Whitlock that said, in part, "If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins [Belcher's girlfriend who he murdered] would both be alive today." Whitlock also went after what he called America's "gun culture," which, to be precise, is pretty much one of the defining attributes of America to the world.
And because it defines America, if you suggest that perhaps, maybe, please, that a sensible law or two might prevent some of the violence caused by guns, you are automatically a radical asshole who wants to pry the gun out of Charlton Heston's cold, dead hands, repeal the Second Amendment, and hand over your possessions to Barack Obama's U.N. stormtroopers. So everyone piled on Costas, who stood by his remarks. The only thing Costas has said that was backtracking a bit was that he wished he had taken more time to have a more nuanced discussion and that he didn't agree with Whitlock on everything, such as when Whitlock said, "The NRA is the new KKK."
One of the lead stories on the Fox "news" website right now is headlined "After Obama re-election, gun owners clinging to Second Amendment." It is one of those revealing looks on how we're just a nation of pussies, clinging to our guns in case those black helicopters ever land in our backyards (note: they won't) or that you get to take out the guy shooting up the schoolyard (note: you won't). Apparently, between the Mayan apocalypse and Obama's reelection, people are buying guns more guns than ever. One gun store owner said, "It is through the roof, absolutely. Assault rifle-style guns, the black guns, are doing especially well." Of course, an Uzi probably would not be effective against an enraged Quezacotl, but, hey, whatever makes you feel tough.
There's nothing controversial in what Costas said. We do live in a gun culture. We do live in a nation where millions of people carry guns. And we live in a nation where very little is done to prevent the ownership of most kinds of guns. To suggest that Costas was doing anything out of the ordinary, in the wake of a tragedy where you might think the subject would be up for discussion, is to feel so threatened by anyone opposing you that you just wanna shoot them. And there's the problem, Florida. Our rhetoric on guns has shifted so far to the right that to merely question the culture is to assault it, and those who do so must be silenced.
Talking to O'Reilly, Costas eventually wore out the host so that he would stop interrupting every goddamn second, and he offered, "I cannot think of a single instance involving a professional athlete whereby that athlete having a gun averted or diminished a dangerous situation. But I can give you a long list of tragedies that came about because guys were packing."