On Tuesday, NBC broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on the Dan Patrick Show, a nationally syndicated sports talk radio program, to provide perspective on his controversial remarks regarding gun control made during the ‘Sunday Night Football’ halftime show.
As a longtime fan of both the DP Show (Front row rocks, i.e. Paulie & Seton) and Bob Costas, I was anxiously awaiting Costas’s appearance.
I was hoping that the preeminent figure of sports journalism would come to his senses and apologize for his thoughtless commentary (Costas paraphrased much of what Fox Sports News columnist Jason Whitlock wrote in an article) on the murder-suicide involving Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher.
Alas! And much to my chagrin, Costas didn’t apologize. Well, he did lament that he didn’t have enough time to say exactly what he wanted to say.
“My mistake is I left it open for to too much misinterpretation,” Costas said.
In lieu of a real apology, what Costas effectively did was double down on his sharp criticism of gun culture and the gun community.
“Here’s where I stand: I do not want to see the second amendment repealed. … People should be allowed to own guns for their own protection. Obviously, those who are hunters. … Access to guns is too easy in some cases. I don’t see any reason a citizen should be able to arm himself in some states in ways only police or military should — to have a virtual militia (bought by) mail order or gun shows. Why do you need a semi automatic weapon? What possible use is there? … Whitlock wrote about a gun culture. That’s what I was focusing on (in the halftime segment).”
To provide a more explicit example of what’s “wrong” with gun culture, Costas brought up the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO, this past July.
“There are those who believe that denying a semi automatic weapon or an assault rifle is the first step down a slippery slope in denying an old lady a gun for her own protection,” Costas said Tuesday. “There are people who honestly believe that in Aurora if only a dozen or so people there to watch the Batman movie had been packin’, they would have been able to take down the nut job in full body armor with military-type guns.”
“I think any police officer if you told them that would roll their eyes.”
Yikes! Pretty harsh, pretty judgmental, and pretty damn ignorant!
What’s ironic, though, in all of this, is that the central criticism Costas lodged against the public was its lack of perspective in examining societal woes (gun violence). You’ll recall him mentioning the glib response people offer in the aftermath of a tragedy, e.g. “Well, this puts things in perspective.”
His point was that we need some real perspective on the issues; he asked – rhetorically – before paraphrasing Whitlock at the beginning of his Sunday night rant, “You want some actual perspective on this?”
But what he really means is that we need his perspective on things, which is inherently flawed and misguided – hence the irony. This is evident by his comments on the DP Show.
For example, does Costas even know what an “assault rifle” is (or how rifles are arbitrarily given that menacing sounding label because they have certain features) Does Costas know what semi-automatic means (one bullet per trigger pull)? More specifically, does he know the difference between semi-auto and fully auto (and how heavily regulated fully automatic firearms are)?
It appears that he does not, which leads me to ask the question, how can one offer “actual” perspective when he doesn’t have actual facts?
The answer is he can’t and he shouldn’t.
Given Costas esteemed credentials and favorable repute as a journalist, you think he of all people would know this.
Now, with all that said, I don’t hate Bob Costas. I don’t even think he should be fired from NBC. But I do think he needs to get some actual perspective on the gun community before he opens his mouth again.
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