I was not going to write an article about the Bob Costas’ comments this weekend.
Here are the original comments made by Bob Costas during the Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys:
Plenty of people have already blogged about it or discussed it on TV and radio, at some point there is no new perspective. That is how I felt until I saw this video of Dan Patrick interviewing Bob Costas, giving him an opportunity to explain his commentary.
Dan Patrick was rather fair to Mr. Costas, truly giving him an opportunity to clarify his thoughts. I had to chuckle. At some point, maybe it is better to just stop talking. Bob Costas told Mr. Patrick that if he had more time to fully discuss all sides of the issue, the general audience would have better understood where he was coming from. There are so many aspects to this case, from domestic violence, mental illness, NFL injuries causing violence, and the fact the tragedy was delivered by Jovan Belcher, with a gun. Bob said he had to choose one, so with a National audience, during a NFL half time show, he decided to go with the gun control aspect.
He didn’t win any friends, but the country does allow for free speech – and if this is where he wants to hang his hat, so be it. I would respect him more if he actually backed up his comments in the follow-on interview with Dan Patrick, and stood steadfast by his words. What did he do instead? The normal thing that anyone who is vanilla and highly known would do – he waffled, just like a politician. He made it clear, he does not really stand for anything. He blamed his producers for not giving him enough time to prepare, he blamed Jason Whitlock because he tried to call him before halftime, with no answer. He blamed the football audience because he “gave them too much credit” that they would understand what he really meant. He blamed the gun lobby, and their perception of his words.
How does one directly attack the “gun culture” with a shot to the face, and then go on to say the 2nd Amendment should be left as is, people should be able to own guns for defense, and it is ok for a hunter to have a gun. He is trying to walk a tightrope, trying to talk out of both sides of his mouth, trying to make everyone happy. I am not impressed.
Lastly, and most importantly, he made it painfully obvious that he has very little (to zero) knowledge about guns in general. If you are going to comment about a topic, as a journalist, he should have educated himself. He said strongly, “I don’t see any reason why a citizen should be able to arm themselves in ways that only the police or military should be able to, to be able to have a virtual militia.” (Wait… Didn’t he say he thought we should keep the 2nd Amendment? Do you think he has ever read the 2nd Amendment?) He went on to show his ignorance, “What possible reason is there for a citizen to have a semi-automatic weapon?” Somebody PLEASE send Mr. Costas to a firearms 101 class. Bob Costas, you do not have a deep enough understanding about firearms to have a stand on gun control, and as a result, your argument is null.