Bob Costas stick to sports – he seriously damaged his credibility with an inane argument about the deaths of Jovan Belcher and his significant other, a tragedy that leaves an infant child parentless.
It is not insignificant that the United States Supreme Court has upheld the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Would Costas abrogate a constitutional right to have his own view imposed on this nation?
Second, does anyone believe that banning firearms from private ownership would do anything but limit honest people from defending themselves? It would be the ultimate of irrationality to imply, as Costas does, that criminals would comply with a ban on private ownership of firearms since they have or will commit other crimes if violence against person and property.
Third, we do not prohibit automobiles because some commit criminal acts by driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol and tragically commit vehicular homicide against innocent victims. And, in a sport covered by Mr. Costas, baseball bats are not banned because we have had cases of murder being committed by the use of a bat against another human being.
In each of these cases, we punish the perpetrator of the crime, not the object used to commit the crime. We cannot violate the Constitution protection under the Second Amendment, ban one object that can cause deadly force without then doing the same with others, but must instead follow the rule of law with consistency and punish the perpetrator of the crime and not the instrument used.
Finally, does Mr. Costas even know about the studies that have been done demonstrating that firearms in the hands of honest citizens actually deters far more crime than is caused by tragic incidents such as the one involving Jovan Belcher?
Professor Gary Kleck did a widely discussed study of the impact of gun ownership on society. In his 1997 book Targeting Guns, he presented a voluntary disclosure:
The author is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations. He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of or contributor to, the National Rifle Association.
Kleck demonstrated that gun ownership actually deters crime and in his book Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or Pandemic of Propaganda, he states:
…general gun availability has no measurable positive effect on rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the United States.
Marvin Wolfgang is a prominent criminologist who describes himself as a “strong gun-control advocate…” He describes research by Kleck in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology:
Can it be true that about two million instances occur each year in which a gun was used as a defensive measure against crime? It is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary evidence.
Clearly, the, two scholarly gun-control advocates verify that ownership of firearms by honest citizens deters crime and does not increase violent crime.
On May 1, 1982, the Kennesaw, Georgia City Council passed an ordinance (Sec. 34-1 Heads of households to maintain firearms) made it mandatory for each household to maintain and own a gun and ammunition. The vote was unanimous.
At about the same time, Morton Grove, Illinois passed an ordinance forbidding citizens from owning handguns, other than police officers.
What are the results 3 decades later?
There have been no fatal shootings in Kennesaw. No child has been injured with a firearm in Kennesaw. The crime rates have dropped dramatically and consistently in Kennesaw, in spite of the fact that the population has risen from 5000 to more than 30000.
The crime rate in Morton Grove has increased and did so noticeably shortly after the gun ban ordinance was voted into effect.
What we have seen is that criminals will be drawn to communities where citizens are unarmed and burglaries can be accomplished with far lesser risk to the criminal. On the other hand, criminals are aware that Kennesaw has guns in every home and they have clearly steered away from that community.
Guns are a deterrent to crime. Prosecuting criminals with tough sentences when they use firearms is the solution. Laws with enhanced sentences for use of a firearm in a crime are another approach.
The problem with Mr. Costas is that his superb knowledge of baseball is in direct contradiction to his knowledge of gun availability to honest citizens in America. With 98% of all guns being used responsibly and never criminally, we have a strong basis and much evidence refuting Mr. Costas in his claim that we should ban guns. Perhaps Mr. Costas should move to Morton Grove, Illinois. He would feel right at home.