Bob Costas Agrees: Handguns Have to Go

You knew it would be said, but I thought Bob Costas might have been one that would have at least waited until all the facts are known before going off in this direction. I was wrong:

BOB COSTAS: Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again: Something like this really puts it all in perspective. Well, if so, that sort of perspective has a very short shelf-life since we will inevitably hear about the perspective we have supposedly again regained the next time ugly reality intrudes upon our games. Please, those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.

“Our current gun culture,”Whitlock wrote, “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.”

“Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. 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 didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Yeah, just like O.J. Simpson. If he hadn’t had a… wait, nevermind.

The author quoted by Costas notes Belcher’s actions could have a “possible connection to football” — and yet Whitlock and Costas never once claimed that it might be necessary to ban football?

There’s a tremendous hole in the argument of those pushing to make handguns illegal everywhere. Murder is also illegal. If someone isn’t dissuaded by the latter law, what makes anybody think the former will deter them? Designing more laws to stop people who don’t pay attention to laws seems stupid, but what do I know? I’m just a bitter clinger.

Ben Stein made some good points in this article published over the summer:

In Sandpoint, North Idaho, where I live for most of the summer, it’s extremely easy to buy a gun. You can buy them at stores and at gun shows, or just at yard sales. Yet there are almost no gun deaths in Bonner County, Idaho.

The last ones of note in North Idaho were done by the FBI at Ruby Ridge, and that’s a different story.

On the other hand, in my beloved Los Angeles, where I live most of the year, there’s extremely strict gun control. It’s a real project to buy a gun.

Here, we have gang shootings and death by guns on a terrifying scale. In my native city of Washington, D.C., the same goes: Strict gun control and lots of shootings.

The same goes for Chicago. Strict gun control and a lot of killing.

Obviously, Sandpoint, Idaho, is a very much calmer place than Chicago, and I’m not saying that people in Chicago should be allowed to just tote guns in their cars the way many can, and do, in North Idaho.

But my point is that there is nothing easy or simple about the relationship between gun control and crime. If a man had started shooting in a crowd in North Idaho, probably several men in the crowd would have shot him down immediately. Maybe a woman, too.

I’m not for vigilante law enforcement. But I am also not for government disarming everyone but criminals.

Here’s Costas from last night, presumably spoken while guards carrying handguns kept NBC’s perimeter secure:

Update: It had to be said.