On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher murdered the mother of his child, Kasandra Perkins. He then went to the Chiefs’ practice facility and killed himself while talking to a group of coaches and front office personnel. We still are not sure of the reasons for this sad and tragic incident – and I’m not sure that we ever will be. But that doesn’t mean that certain folks of the liberal persuasion are not prepared to use this situation to call for the repudiation of the rights of American citizens that are guaranteed under the US Constitution.
I won’t get into the maddening hypocrisy of the NFL and professional sports broadcasters that will allow Costas to keep his job. After all, he has expressed an acceptably liberal opinion on a political matter, so he won’t suffer the fate of Rush Limbaugh, whose controversial observation on affirmative action in the NFL cost him his job.
Costas is, of course, wrong on all particulars. In all likelihood Kasandra Perkins would still be dead at the hands of Jovan Belcher even if guns were banned. Just ask Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman – knives are quite lethal even in the hands of an older, slower, out of shape former professional athlete, and Belcher was in his prime. I don’t doubt that he could have snapped her neck or choked her to death with his bare hands. Belcher, of course, might have survived his attempt at suicide had he used a knife – or members of the Chiefs organization might have ended up dead or wounded as they made a heroic attempt to wrestle the knife from the player. Of course, a complete gun ban might not have prevented any of this – consider the fact that Chicago, New York and Washington, DC are cities with very strict gun laws and very high rates of crimes committed using guns.
And notice that I use the phrase “crimes committed using guns” rather than “gun crime”. There is no such thing as “gun crime”, any more than there is “knife crime”, “screwdriver crime” or “baseball bat crime”. The instruments used to commit crimes are not the problem – it is the conscious choice to violate the law.
Costas’ comments were based upon a column by Jason Whitlock that dutifully included the liberal line on gun control. Those arguments are no more persuasive because of their repetition than they were before the sad events of last Saturday. Indeed, Whitlock makes a better case for banning football as destructive to our society than he does for banning guns. Which is not to say he makes a good case for banning either. And given his subsequent statements likening the NRA to the KKK, Whitlock is obviously not a man who is much acquainted with logical thinking or moral decency – nor is he a man with a functioning sense of shame.
Of course, the opinions of a couple of self-righteous liberals is not terribly relevant. Our courts have regularly upheld our right to own guns – after all, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is every bit as much of a constitutional principle as freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.