Not my fault!
NBC sports anchor Bob Costas channeled his inner Edward R. Murrow and Howard Cosell during halftime of last night’s Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, calling for stricter gun control in the wake of Saturday’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
‘In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Bob Costas thinks that, were it not for the fact that Jovan Belcher owned a gun, he and his girlfriend would be alive now. I’m not going to argue gun rights here. (But if he had any balls he’d just come out and say “We should ban all guns from existence and give Iran the list of gun owners in the United States.”) My question is, whatever happened to fucking (spelled out) personal responsibility? Here are a few details I’ve gleaned from various sources about this very sad story:
1. Jovan Belcher had money problems.
2. Jovan Belcher had a three-month old baby with his girlfriend.
3. Jovan Belcher drove a Rolls fing Royce.
4. Jovan Belcher spent some of the night before he murdered his significant (arguable) other getting drunk with another woman. Or women, hard to tell.
5. For at least part of the night before he became a murderer, Jovan Belcher slept in his Rolls Royce, parked outside this other woman’s house.
6. Jovan Belcher was paid approximately $1 million (pre tax, probably pre-vampire-agent) over the previous three years.
7. Jovan Belcher secured a $1.9 million (ptppva) contract to play for the Chiefs this year.
8. Chiefs management knew about some of JB’s problems before he murdered someone.
9. Jovan Belcher owned at least one and possibly a bunch of guns. (legally from what I understand)
All of those details, and Bobby “I ruined the Olympics for millions of fans” Costas decides that the most significant item is his ownership of guns? That reminds me of the times when a newspaper article says “An SUV today plowed into a bunch of nuns at a soup kitchen and killed them all.” Oh really? An SUV did that? No driver? No responsible human had anything to do with that?
I grew up in some pretty f-ed up fundamentally religious foreign countries. In one of those, if an expatriate got into a car accident with a foreign national, and it was the FN’s fault, the defense would be – and I’m not sh1tting you here – “The accident would never have happened if you weren’t living in our country. Case dismissed.” And then the expat would be deported back to the States or whatever country he* was from. Same deal when a young American girl was raped by a foreign national while I was there: “Oh, you shouldn’t have been here, then it wouldn’t have happened. Now get out of our country you dirty whore.”
When we excuse irresponsibility by foisting the blame onto inanimate objects or nebulous entities like “society” (or “god”), we wind up condoning decisions that lead to that behavior by implying that the people responsible for those actions are helpless to avoid them. But they’re not helpless, for chrissakes. A hundred (a thousand?) choices led him to that dark place, but we ignore those because it allows us to avoid more difficult questions.
Instead of excusing the behavior from your soapbox, Bob, why not challenge young men to step up: ”Be a f-ing man. Make choices that lead you to be proud of youself. Take responsibility for your decisions, even the wrong ones.”
*Women couldn’t drive there.