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Bob Costas' comments about guns and violence during Sunday night football's halftime show continue to draw criticism from the "guns here, guns now" crowd. The voices condemning the remarks are many, and his defenders are few, but here's the supportive view of one sportswriter:

Sadly but predictably, the Michelle Malkins and Herman Cains and Ted Nugent said Costas "hijacked" the moment, and was "sanctimonious" and labeled him a "fool." Yes, more outrage and disgust was mustered for what Costas said, and his choice of venue, than what Belcher did, in many quarters. And many of these same Costas haters didn't even give lip service to the carnage Belcher's actions resulted in. No, they skipped right over any sort of empathic response, didn't mention that Belcher and Kasandra Perkins had a daughter, Zoey, who is three months old, and will never have a single memory of her parents. No, in the sad and sick and insane world of the Costas haters, the glaring issue is that the sportscaster took a stance against guns and violence during their precious football game. Costas broke into their diversion, and for that, he should be pilloried, or better yet in the minds of the gun-lovers, he should be fired.

I am curious, what would it take for a Malkin, Cain, Nugent, or any of these folks who love to trot out the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and "do you blame the car for the DUI hit and run death" and "if we ban guns only the bad guys will have them" and "if everyone were armed, the nation would be a safer place" and "knives are bad too, think of OJ" responses for them to change their tune? Does one of their loved ones have to be in one of the movie theaters, or schools or malls when a murderer goes on a rampage for them to see the light, that we need to address the culture of gun idolatry and casual violence in the United States?

How have they come to so easily accept the every-couple-of-months high-profile shooting incident without coming to the conclusion that the laws and attitudes that we have in place are not fucking working?

The Emmy-award winning sportscaster isn't backing away from the subject, even though he's had to try to clarify his intent due to the brevity of his original commentary. He's going to continue the conversation on his weekly show:
On “Costas Tonight,” his talk show on the NBC Sports Network, to be telecast Thursday night, Mr. Costas again thrashed out the issue of the prevalence of guns in American society, this time with two guests, the former basketball star Charles Barkley and the former tennis champion John McEnroe.
On the program, Mr. Costas again addressed what he said was a misunderstanding about the commentary he delivered Sunday night, which was mainly  a series of quotes from a column written by the sportswriter Jason Whitlock. Mr. Whitlock, who writes for Fox Sports, called on the N.F.L. to postpone Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers out of respect for  Belcher’s murder victim, Kasandra Perkins, who is the mother of their 3-month-old daughter.

Mr. Costas, who has been criticized by supporters of  gun ownership rights, said these critics had accused him of laying blame entirely at the feet of the so-called gun culture.

“Domestic violence is part of it,” Mr. Costas said. “Drugs and alcohol could be part of it. And I didn’t say anything specifically about gun-control legislation or the Second Amendment. I don’t want to repeal the Second Amendment. I think we should have responsible gun control, but that wouldn’t prohibit somebody from carrying a gun.”

Please support Mr. Costas in his efforts to carry on an adult conversation about guns and violence in our society. An all-sports network is the perfect place to explore the subject, and not just because the precipitating events in Kansas City, where a player murdered his girlfriend and mother of his child, then killed himself, concerned a pro athlete. This is the audience that needs to hear a voice other than the NRA's on the subject.

The show will air at the following times (all times Pacific):
Tonight: 6:00, 7:30, and 10:00 PM
Saturday: 10:30 AM
Sunday: 10:00 PM
Monday: 4:00 and 8:00 PM

Tune in - it will make Ted Nugent angry!

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