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Costas blames U.S. ‘gun culture,’ sets off firestorm

  • Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot himself, his girlfriend over weekend
  • During football broadcast, Bob Costas brought up gun control
Bob Costas spoke about the murder-suicide involving Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

Sports announcer Bob Costas has sparked a vigorous debate Monday among In Session and HLN’s Facebook and twitter followers in the wake of an apparent murder-suicide involving an NFL player.

During NBC’s broadcast of Sunday Night Football, Costas brought up the controversial topic of gun control after a murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. On Saturday morning, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, then shot himself, police say.

Read more: Police: Chiefs player kills girlfriend, self

Here is a transcript of what Costas said Sunday night:

"Well, you know that it was coming. 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. 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 recaliberate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from a Kansas City based-writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well today, that we may as well as quote or paraphrase from the end of his article. "Our current gun culture, Whitlock wrote, ensures that more and more of domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy… and at more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will lead more teenaged boys bloody 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. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connections to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

Read more: The (Monday) Morning After: A somber victory

On Twitter and Facebook, the reaction to Costas statement was mixed with some supporting his opinion and others opposing him.

Here are some of the comments from Facebook:

Mike B. they speak the what's the problem??

Brooke G. Having a gun or not having a gun would not of kept them alive. Guns aren't the only deadly thing around. He could of still done what he did even without the gun.

Chris D. He gave his opinion in his forum I have no problem with that

Melissa W. Wow, Bob should keep his mouth shut, since he has no degree in criminal justice. Sadly, our crime rate goes down as we put guns in civilians hands... You should check your facts before you speak. Can't believe anyone pays this man to speak. IGNORANCE ALOUD

Leni C. My take on this, is that he is not blaming guns....but the gun crazy culture we live in today.....

Bryan B. Water causes drowning! Ban water!


Bob M. I don't think much of it. Typical Costas pontificating. He a good sportscaster and needs to call games; not pontificate.

Anne H. Of course there were deeper problems than the gun issue at work here...this is a true tragedy...two sets of parents have lost their son and daughter and a baby girl is parentless...yes, guns may be too easy a "Solution" to a spur of the moment problem, but it's a deeper mental issue that presses a gun owner to use it on a loved one and them themselves...Costas' opinion could have been better stated, me thinks...but I'll still watch him..he's entitled to an opinion!!

Joanie S. AGAIN, if Belcher DIDN'T possess a gun, BOTH he and Kasandra would be alive today!!!!

Tia B. Just like Nicole Brown Simpson would have been alive today if OJ would not have shot her to death with that knife.

Lori H. No gun, no murder. No gun, no cowardly suicide. Gun control laws need to be enforced. Educate yourselves with real statistics before you compare this situation to pencils, spoons, trucks, and the cross. This isn't liberal vs. conservative. People with guns kill people...period.

Here are some of the comments from Twitter:


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