By Michael Thompson
Watching the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night NFL telecast on NBC – largely hoping that Cowboys tight end Jason Witten would get enough fantasy points to bolster my team to a close victory – I happened to hear the now infamous rant the diminutive Bob Costas performed on the need for gun control in America.
Using the murder/suicide committed by Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher (he killed his 22-year-old girlfriend, then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shot himself) as the catalyst for his comments, Costas unloaded caustic statements on perhaps the most significant freedom in America – because it is the root of all other freedoms. Using a column by Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock as the source material for his anti-gun rant, Costas said:
“‘Our current gun culture,’ Whitlock wrote, ‘ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy. …
“‘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.’”
A person I was acquainted with in my hometown of Peachtree City, Ga., Chris Benoit, didn’t possess a gun when he killed his wife and son back in 2007.
One of the top professional wrestlers in the world at the time of the murder/suicide he committed, Benoit used the same weapon to murder his family that was ultimately used by Belcher in pulling the trigger of the gun that took the life Kasandra Perkins. It’s the same weapon used by gangbangers in Chicago and New York. His fingers.
Though it may sound cliché, guns don’t kill people. It’s the conscious decision of the individual wielding the gun to pull the trigger that is the true culprit.
So what is Whitlock, in writing this column, and Costas, in reading it verbatim on the NBC telecast of the Eagles-Cowboys game, really trying to accomplish?
You’d have read a portion of the column Costas didn’t eagerly recite on the national telecast, which exposes Whitlock’s true aim:
“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?”
The Second Amendment is the true source of all of the other freedoms we take for granted on a daily basis; the waters of liberty spring forth from the right of a law-abiding citizen to protect his family and property with private gun ownership.
And that does mean protecting ones family, property, wealth, or – most importantly – an individual’s posterity from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons.
Citizens’ right to bear arms is a crucial deterrent to would-be tyrants hoping to subdue a population without the means of self-defense; just look at the records of Mao in China and the Bolsheviks in Russia.
Perhaps Whitlock’s original target audience for his column lambasting the Second Amendment was the black community, particularly in his adopted home city of Kansas City and the state of Missouri. According to a Washington-based Violence Policy Center study, the 2009 Missouri homicide rate of 34.72 per 100,000 black residents was seven times the national rate.
A KSHB (the NBC affiliate in Kansas City) article from 2010 pointed out:
Kansas City has hit its 100th homicide of the year, and of those victims, 78 were African-American men and women.
Sixty-seven were African-American men. The question is why?
“I wish I had the answer to that question. And I know there are a lot of people who wish they had the answer,” said Deputy Chief Kevin Masters.
Kansas City police are also seeing an increase in the number of violent crimes committed by and against young black women.
Both Jovan and Kasandra were black – people whose lives are now nothing more then maddening statistics.
Looking at the state of America’s once great cities, places like Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis, and other nightmarish urban settings, it is hard for your average conservative to contextualize the violence that permeates daily life in these high-crime locales.
But it’s the crime found in these cities that represents the reason they’ve abandoned them; it’s the crime there that represents one of the reasons gun sales are exploding nationwide.
Whitlock’s column and Costas’ approvingly reciting it represent the ultimate fantasy for those hoping to one day stunt the flow of liberty in America for good.
Michael Thompson is marketing coordinator for WND.