Sports broadcasting legend Bob Costas courted controversy by using Sunday Night Football to offer editorial commentary on the atrocity that resulted in the murder of a twenty-one-year-old woman and her killer, a member of the Kansas City Chiefs football team.
Quoting Jason Whitlock, noted African-American sports writer, Costas concurred with Whitlock's passionate statement on the incident: "Our current gun culture 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.
If Javon Belcher did not possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."
We cannot know with certain whether Belcher and Miss Perkins would be alive had Belcher's collection of guns not been in the picture, but reasonable people should be able to agree that possessing firearms certainly makes it easier to commit mayhem and to destroy the lives of innocent people.
Friends of the couple knew that they argued and that Belcher had been accumulating lethal weapons, yet no one seems to have foreseen the potential for the incident that ended their lives, causing the couple's pitiable out of wedlock three month old child to become an orphan.
Certainly many have adopted the attitude that the gun genocide that is occurring in the African-American community is not their problem. I could not disagree more. Such an epidemic is a cancer on society, innocent people of all races are being caught up in it, and it is not confined to young urban thugs who respond to the slightest provocation with lethal force. What do we make of the individual, who is usually Caucasian, who decides that he was not treated fairly by his employer or former employer and decides to shoot up the workplace, taking as many bystanders with him as possible before committing suicide? Such incidents have now become sufficiently common as not to merit special attention from the media unless many individuals are killed.
Many ardent Second Amendment advocates will say, of course, "Don't you dare interfere with my ability to purchase assault rifles to use in slaughtering innocent and defenseless animals! That is the American way, our tradition!"
Some have questioned whether Bob Costas should have used a moment of grief, mourning, and outrage to make the case for a safer, more sensible society. I say, if not now, when?