Costas talks gun control, NFL shooting at halftime - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Costas talks gun control, NFL shooting at halftime

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, left, shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, right, Saturday then committed suicide, according to authorities. (Source: Facebook/KCTV) Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, left, shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, right, Saturday then committed suicide, according to authorities. (Source: Facebook/KCTV)

(RNN) – NBC Sports analyst Bob Costas used halftime of the network's Sunday NFL game to give his take on gun control after the murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs player.

"In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again, ‘Something like this really puts it all in perspective,'" Costas said. "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."

For "actual perspective on this," Costas went to FOX Sports' Jason Whitlock. The columnist wrote Saturday the Kansas City Chiefs-Carolina Panthers game going on as scheduled showed how numb society had gotten to gun violence.

"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," Costas said.

He continued to read from Whitlock's work, stating handguns do not increase a person's safety but instead serve as a temptation to escalate arguments and embrace a confrontation.

"In the coming days, Belcher's actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries," Whitlock wrote. "Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend.

"What I believe is, if he didn't possess/own a gun, he and [his girlfriend] Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

The commentary received a lot of feedback on social media site Twitter – much of it negative.

"Yes, Bob Costas, guns are the problem," Todd Kincannon tweeted. "Nicole Brown Simpson would be alive today if OJ hadn't shot her with that knife."

Others took issue with Costas focusing on gun control instead of domestic violence.

"The only issue I have with the Bob Costas segment is that he did not specifically address domestic violence #IPV (intimate partner violence)," Jennifer Gunter tweeted.

On the website Gawker, writer Sean Newell criticized Costas not so much for his message as his "sanctimonious" tone and choice of setting.

"Bob Costas got on his phone books and condescended to a national audience about perspective - a glorified sports columnist editorialized on the Second Amendment during a [expletive] football game while pitting himself against those without perspective," Newell wrote. "It is so laughably out of touch it almost has to be satire."

For ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, the 1 1/2 minute monologue was no big deal.

"Bob Costas reads what a columnist wrote earlier – that is so um, controversial," he tweeted.

KCTV reported Saturday that 25-year-old linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide outside the Chiefs facility in front of his head coach and general manager, immediately after thanking them. Police reported Belcher shot and killed 22-year-old Perkins, his girlfriend and mother of his 3-month-old child, minutes before at their home.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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