To be more accurate, Dear NBC,
I can't find an email address for Mr. Costas but I wanted to respond to
his commentary at halftime on Sunday Night Football. He made the point
that handguns were the problem in regard to the tragic deaths resulting
from Jovan Belcher's actions. He continued by claiming that easy access
to handguns would result in arguments turning into shootouts, leading
to death and injury over simple disagreements.
While I feel for
the family and teammates of this young man, it is completely
inappropriate for Mr. Costas to go on air and publicly blame firearms
for Belcher's actions. Tens of millions of law abiding firearms owners
do not kill anyone with their firearms each year, two and a half million
law abiding firearm owners successfully defend themselves and others
from bodily harm using firearms each year, and to suggest that this
country would be better off if those people were unable to exercise the
right of self defense is an outrageous politicization of a tragedy.
Every time a state liberalizes it's firearms laws, opponents bring out a
version of Mr. Costas' statements, claiming that gun owners will return
us to some mythical wild west with shootouts in the streets. It never
happens but it doesn't stop the same argument from being used again and
again, and now we see this ludicrous and unsupported argument being
broadcast on prime time during a football game.
I hope that you
will make it clear to Mr. Costas that exploiting this tragedy for
political purposes, or demonizing the millions of law abiding gun owners
who successfully make this country safer for all is unacceptable. I
might remind you that Rush Limbaugh was fired from a broadcast position
for making a politically charged statement that had the advantage of
being arguably true. I am not calling for the firing of Mr. Costas. I
enjoy his commentary and broadcasting, but maybe he needs to be reminded
that his job is not to make unfounded political attacks during his
broadcast but rather stick to covering sports.
Update: I have the advantage over the National Rifle Association in that I am sitting at my computer during Sunday Night Football. But they get there.