Not really, but you'd think this nationally-televised sermon on gun control might at least land the guy an offer of a weekend show, or something. In the wake of the horrific murder-suicide that rocked the NFL over the weekend, Costas devoted a halftime monologue during NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcast to repeating the anti-gun inanities of a Kansas City-based sportswriter:
MSNBC joking aside, this was not one of the famed sportscaster's finer moments. Costas can't hide behind the "I was merely quoting someone else's opinion" excuse here. He goes out of his way to mention that he doesn't always agree with the columnist in question, but that in this case, the individual "said it so well" that his piece merited on-air repetition. I understand that horrible instances of gun violence sometimes motivate well-intentioned people to espouse counterproductive, or even unconstitutional, "solutions." I also like and respect Bob Costas. But the sentiments that he chose to amplify fail the very test of "perspective" about which he's lecturing viewers. The vast, vast majority of domestic violence cases involve no weapons at all, so banning guns would do nothing to rid us of that scourge -- which is the result of human failure and evil. A man's fists are not to blame when he's pummeling his wife or girlfriend. The man himself is to blame. This applies to other tools of violence, as well, including knives and guns. As for the sanctimonious assertion that if only that gun had been unavailable for purchase, both the murderer and his victim "would both be alive today," the evidence tells a different tale. The perpetrator reportedly shot his girlfriend nine times. This suggests massive, overwhelming rage, if not serious mental illness. Someone that committed to ending another's life before taking his own is going to follow through. One can argue that a gun made that gruesome task easier to execute, but people were brutally killing each other on this planet long before they had access to handguns. Finally, the statement that "handguns do not enhance our safety" may sound intuitive to some, but quite a lot of scholarship suggests that precisely the opposite is true.
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, and Bob Costas certainly has a large platform from which to pontificate. But people watch Costas for his sports commentary, smooth delivery, and classy comportment. This political jeremiad caught many football fans off guard and undoubtedly enrages millions of law-abiding gun owners, who feel infantilized and demonized by its message. These citizens, of course, are sounding off in emails, letters and tweets -- not resorting to mindless violence, despite what Costas might think of them.
UPDATE - Ed Morrisey points out that Costas' remarks were delivered as "God Bless America" was performed in the background. An Orwellian juxtaposition.