While watching Sunday Night Football Tonight, imagine my surprise when announcer Bob Costas took the time during halftime to blame the murder-suicide in Kansas City on guns. During halftime of the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game, Costas chose to take the opportunity to lecture those watching that guns were to blame for the tragedy The Video and transcript are here.


BOB COSTAS: Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, [unintelligible] 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.”


In my opinion we only need look at the tragedies in our own state to know it is not the weapon but rather the intent that will determine the outcome. It can be fists, a bow and arrow or a gun that is the method of violence, but it is the violence in the mind and body of the person that delivers the deadly blow that is at fault. It is time that we as a society quit blaming the instruments and start shouldering the responsibility of the violence within.