Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Mr. Costas

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.

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