I suppose most of you have heard about the Kansas City Chief linebacker, Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then drove to the stadium and shot himself after thanking the coaches. If not and you want to, then click here.
It was an awful thing. But, it didn’t have much to do with sports. He happened to be a American football player, but that is all it has to do with sport. It does have a lot to with what “we” as a society, have decided what are our constitutional rights and what people perceive that makes them feel safer.
This whole thing could have been avoided most likely, if Jovan didn’t have the misfortune of possessing a handgun at the time of the incident. I assume it was a conscience decision by him, but I really wish he didn’t have the choice to make it.
We all deal with this on some basis pretty regularly. I hesitate to express any outrage at someone I feel is not driving correct, concerning my safety, just because of this. I don’t feel safer because citizens of our country can legally carry a handgun. I feel much less safe.
And in reality, everyone is much less safe. I saw a study once that said if you owed a handgun, you had a much higher chance of dying from homicide. I found this study that shows when you have a handgun in your home, your chances of dying from homicide is 5X as high as if there wasn’t a handgun in your home. That is significant. And outside of your home is significantly higher also.
One day, my brother came riding home pretty shaken up. He had been riding down 29th street in Topeka and a guy in a pickup passed him super close and then turned the corner and drove into his driveway. Kris turned the corner and stopped in front of his house. The guy came running out of his garage, enraged and pulled out a small handgun. Kris, immediately turned around and started riding down the street as the guy ran behind him with gun pressed into Kris’ back. Kris said that it was about as scared as he has ever been of dying. The guy could have very easily tripped and accidentally pulled the trigger. It was nuts.
Anyway, I saw Bob Costas on Sunday Night Football, say his piece on this issue. He quoted an article by Jason Whitlock, an ex-writer of the Kansas City Star and currently at Fox News. I looked up the article. Here is a little-
I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.
How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?
Our current gun culture simply 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.
I couldn’t agree more. If people that own handguns have a much higher chance of dying by homicide, and obviously, people that don’t own guns, who get killed by handguns, are not safer, then no one is safer. We’re all much less safe. The perceived safety of owning a handgun, is a false perception and actually completely wrong. I feel really bad for all the people that are so scared deep down, that they think that they need to carry a handgun with them at all times to feel safe. I’d think it would be very stressful.
I’m nearly sick to my stomach every time I hear of a story, such as above, that could have been easily avoided, if there wasn’t a handgun in play. I believe that each and everyone of us has the ability to be so enraged, that we could make a rash mistake, such as Jovan did, if in very specific circumstances. When a handgun is in the mix, these “normal” behaviors can turn into tragedies.
I have no idea why, we as a nation, allow this to continue. It is so wrong on so many levels. Disputes should be decided with words, not deaths.