Bob Costas responds to critics of his remarks on Jovan Belcher
Bob Costas, who has been heavily criticized in some quarters for his remarks about guns Sunday in the wake of the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, said Tuesday night that he was not calling for gun control but rather wanted to push for a candid conversation about America’s gun culture.
Costas told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, “Where some people may have misunderstood my comments was I took one aspect of it .... I do not think this is the only aspect or possible aspect. There’s clearly a domestic violence aspect. There’s clearly the question, as I alluded to in a general way, of what effect playing football — which we know has debilitating effects, mind and body, at least for some — what effect that might have had. What effect alcohol and drugs might have had. And another aspect of that is easy access to guns and a gun culture. And it was that aspect — the gun culture — that I focused on. Not to the exclusion of the others but just because I didn’t have all that much time.”
The Times’ original report on Costas’ remarks has received over 750 comments, many accusing Costas of attacking the 2nd Amendment.
“What I was talking about here, and I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear to everyone, was a gun culture. I never mentioned the 2nd Amendment, I never used the words ‘gun control.’ People inferred that. Now, do I believe that we need more comprehensive and more sensible gun-control legislation? Yes I do. That doesn’t mean repeal the 2nd Amendment. That doesn’t mean a prohibition on someone having a gun to protect their home and their family. It means sensible and more comprehensive gun-control legislation.”
Belcher legally owned several guns.
“Give me one example of an athlete — I know it’s happened in society — but give me one example of a professional athlete who by virtue of his having a gun, took a dangerous situation and turned it around for the better,” Costas said. “I can’t think of a single one. But sadly, I can think of dozens where by virtue of having a gun, a professional athlete wound up in a tragic situation.”
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