If you were watching NBC's Sunday Night Football this weekend, you might have seen it.In a video that's now gone viral, noted NBC Broadcaster Bob Costas used the unfortunate murder suicide involving Kansas City Chief Javon Belcher to air an anti-gun tirade.  Quoting pieces from an opinion post from a local Kansas City writer, Costas said the following:

"Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows?"

The initial knee-jerk reaction might be to agree with him, for some people.  However, Costas, like many others who similarly react to gun-related tragedies, missed badly on several counts.

First,  eliminating handguns, or guns in general, from our society will not result in a violence free world.  The U.S. has already tried that philosophy with alcohol and Prohibition.  In 1920, The "Noble Experiment" was tried with the 18th Amendment banning all alcohol from coast to coast.  Supporters of the decades-long effort to ban booze felt that it would accomplish the following: (from eyewitness to history website)

"Supporters anticipated that alcohol's banishment would lead to the eradication of poverty and vice while simultaneously ennobling the common man to achieve his highest goals. The reality of Prohibition was to prove quite different. "

What Prohibition did do was catapult organized crime, especially the Chicago Mafia, into a mainstream position where it's influence exploded from just modest political means to numerous areas of life.  Figures such as Al Capone and others who made millions were able to expand their organized crime empires across the country, infiltrating not just politics but business as well.

Despite what you often hear from such public figures as Costas,  some actual gun statistics might surprise you.  The respected CATO Institute (founded in 1977) did an in-depth analysis of some of the most widely-repeated falsehoods about gun control.

  • Countries with strict gun-control laws or no guns have lower crime rates. FALSE. Even the United Nation's own International Crime Victims Survey shows there is no direct correlation to violent or invasive crime and gun control.  Robbery, murder, theft and assault crimes in other countries are not noticeably lower than the U.S.
  • Shortly after Columbine, President Clinton claimed there was a "gun show" loophole that allowed people to obtain guns without waiting periods or backround checks.  This is also FALSE.   Citizens who purchase a gun in such a manner must still clear security.
  • For many years, Washington D.C. has had very strict gun control laws, and until recently it was nearly impossible to get one-navigating the red tape.  And yet, D.C. has had one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S. for decades.
  • Numerous parts of the country that have high gun ownership rates, and even concealed weapons carrying, have lower gun related crime rates than those that do not.
  • And perhaps the MOST telling statistics of all,  an in-depth study by the Guardian-UK newspaper shows despite having the highest gun ownership rate in the world, the U.S. ranks 28th in gun related murders in the world.  Numerous Central and Latin American nations rank in the top five.  Jamaica has a higher rate of shooting deaths the the U.S.!   The British ought to know a thing or two about gun-related crimes, they have some of the tightest controls in Europe!

It boils down to human nature and societal issues, but those are for another story.  Banning guns is not the answer,  and that's where Costas got it wrong.  To see his rant, click on the button below.