It’s been four months since the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide.
But what really drew a lot of buzz was Bob Costas’ commentary at halftime of the “Sunday Night Football” game that weekend.
On Friday, Costas was among the guests on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” Costas, who himself was an HBO personality during the previous decade, said that while he would not take back his thoughts about gun control on the night of December 2 on NBC, he would have slightly altered how he said them.
“I could have done this more effectively, in retrospect,” Costas acknowledged. “I had a short period of time, and I tried to shoehorn a single aspect of it in.”
The aspect that he spoke of, of course, was the “gun culture,” whereas even if there was legal gun ownership in circles, “you still have the attitudes that lead to tragedy.”
On the same broadcast, Costas also opined on “the gun absolutists” and the likely possibility of their organizing an “ad hoc militia” against the government.
Video below (language warning; Maher refers to the Second Amendment as “bulls–t”); transcript follows.
BOB COSTAS: “You know, I think a lot of us who are in favor of common sense gun control have to concede that common sense gun control is not the only aspect of it. Obviously, mental health is an aspect of it. You’re going to have to have enforcement. If you have background checks, you’re going to have to have better enforcement. You’re going to have to have mandatory sentences for those who not only commit crimes with guns, but who carry guns illegally.
“There’s a whole array of things. It’s not only about guns. But to hear the NRA tell it, it’s about everything but guns.
“At halftime of a game the day after Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs murdered his fiancee and then committed suicide, um, and I could have done this more effectively, in retrospect, because I had a short period of time, and I tried to shoehorn a single aspect of it in; I didn’t believe it was the only aspect… I talked about a “gun culture” in sports, which, even if you had common sense gun control, and all these guns were legally obtained, you still have the attitudes that lead to tragedy.”
BILL MAHER: “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry, but this is the problem with the gun debate, is that it’s a constant center right debate. There’s no left in this debate. Everyone on the left is so afraid to say what should be said, which is the Second Amendment is bullshit.”
COSTAS: “But all these paranoid types who think that there’s gonna come a day when the government is just gonna go too far for them, and as true patriots, they’re going to have to organize some sort of ad hoc militia, here’s my question: Who is the Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee of this militia? How do they coalesce? Who do they decide who to shoot? Who do we trust?
“The gun absolutists try to cloak all of their arguments in high-minded constitutional principle, and there is a constitutional point to be made. But we have to remind ourselves: we’re talking about the gun lobby. Just like there’s a pharmaceutical lobby, there’s a food and beverage lobby, there’s a tobacco lobby. Part of what they’re trying to do is protect the ability of the people they represent, to sell somebody a Bushmaster.
“What I was trying to say with the gun culture thing at halftime of the football game: Even if you had every bit of legislation, you’d still have these attitudes toward guns that lead to bad outcomes.”