Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Should Bob Costas Do Now?

A week ago, Bob Costas stirred up a hornets nest in the social media when he quoted and paraphrased an article written by Jason Whitlock of Fox News on the shooting of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. His comments were made at halftime of the Sunday Night Football game he was broadcasting for NBC.

Fast-forward just five days and we have had two school mass suicides. What do you suppose Mr. Costas will have to say on the events of last week? Or should he say anything? When are we as a nation, going to wake up and realize something needs to be done about the proliferation of legal handguns on our streets in our cities and small communities?

Now, Adam Lanza is suspected of killing his mother and then gunning down more than two dozen people, twenty of them children, in a Connecticut grade school before taking his own life. We are being told the weapons were purchased legally by his mother. According to several sources I read today, she bought the weapons for her own protection.

Way back in 1994 I was asked by the University of Minnesota's athletic department to give their staff a presentation on violence. In doing my research I learned some interesting facts from a book entitled Deadly Consequences/How Violence Is Destroying Our Teenage Population and a Plan to Begin Solving the Problem written by Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D. in 1991. Doctor Prothrow-Stith worked in an emergency room in Philadelphia and one other Eastern city. She based her conclusions on her experience in those two emergency rooms.

I would have to go back and look at my notes from those presentations but the one statistic I will never forget is a new handgun is made every twenty-two seconds! Those were 1991 statistics. I have not done any research today to see what those numbers are. I do not imagine they have gone down much; if anything I would guess we're making more. I am not saying if we don't make the guns there will be no shootings because there are already over 300 million guns in America today. That is almost one for every person in the country.

One of the things many people are writing about today is the mental health of Adam Lanza. Part of the problem comes from the fact mental health funding is being cut and often not covered by insurance companies. I believe we should be going in the opposite direction and putting more money into mental health programs.

As I see the issues of gun control being discussed from both sides, and the cutting of funding to mental health programs, I believe we need to step back and recognize as rational people we cannot understand how irrational people think.

I am anxious to see what Bob Costas will say or not say during his broadcast tomorrow.

I welcome your comments.




Earl Hipp said...

If everyone decided to reach out to a lost young male they know and connect with him, I'm guessing there'd be fewer of these tragic events.

Doug said...

Unless I missed it, Bob didn't say anything this weekend. I'm glad. Stick to sports commentary Bob!

Again, you and I are in agreement Mike. Amazing! I'm from the Conservative Right and you from the Liberal Left.

We need dialogue on guns. The NRA has to take a more balanced viewpoint or they will continue to lose credibility.

We need to allocate more dollars for mental health ... period. It has been a 'closet' disease for far too long.

This country needs to be able to say ... "it's OK not to be OK." Only then can people start the process of treatment.


Frank said...

Hi, Mike!

I wish it were as easy as passing laws to prevent gun violence. The right to own weapons is enshrined in our Constitution for reasons necessary then, but not so much today. I do not think the country is inclined to a new amendment to remove that right. Even if it were, weapons are easily obtainable, legally or otherwise. We can outlaw semi-automatic and automatic weapons, as we have outlawed plastic weapons that can evade metal detectors. We can make the penalty for deliberate crime with a weapon an automatic life sentence. I suspect these would not work either, although I would certainly champion them.
Maybe, the more these things happen, the more angry the public will be, and we can ostracize anyone with weapons not for the purpose of hunting or law enforcement. Who knows?

Ruona said...

As an avid sportsman, I too have come to a point where we must say enough. As Fat Cat said, we have 300 mil weapons already in circulation in the US. I would hope that organizations like NRA would stop and rethink their agenda. I dropped from the org. years ago when they backed the owning and selling of .50 caliber weapons, Teflon coated and armor piercing bullets. Their point was and I believe still is, if we back down on one weapon/ammo issue it's a start for many more.

I strongly believe that gun advocate groups might want to spent time and money on gun safety. Securing weapons in gun safes/vaults or trigger locks that can be obtained free at most police stations.

My final comment is ban the sell of assult weapons, require all weapons to be registered and educate the public on gun safety.

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