OK, I'm determined to end this debate once and for all.
NBC sportscaster Bob Costas and FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock are absolutely, positively convinced that if Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher didn't have a handgun, then he and his girlfriend would be alive today.
So that I'm not accused of either misquoting or misrepresenting, I'll quote directly from Whitlock's column on the matter, from which Costas quoted extensively during the "Sunday Night Football" contest pitting the Dallas Cowboys against the Philadelphia Eagles: "We've come to accept our insanity. We'd prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the Second Amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it."
"How many young people have to die senselessly?" Whitlock goes on, filled with typical liberal angst when it comes to the matter of guns and gun control. (How come liberals never ask, "How many unborn children have to be sucked down a tube senselessly?")
"How many lives," Whitlock asked, "have to be ruined before we realize that the right to bear arms doesn't protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?"
A note to Whitlock: The right to bear arms does protect individual citizens who've used them against armed intruders who've broken into their homes with the intent to harm them. I'll send you a list of their names, if you like.
"Our current gun culture," Whitlock continued, "simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead."
Whitlock was referring to the case of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old black youth who was fatally shot in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 23. A white man who complained about loud music coming from an SUV Davis and three other young black men were sitting in fired into the vehicle after the man said they made threats and pointed a shotgun out the window.
Michael Dunn, 45, has been charged in that shooting. According to news reports, police said they found no weapon in the SUV.
"What I believe is," Whitlock said at the end of his column, "if [Belcher] didn't possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today. ... 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."
Two commentators -- John Lott writing for Fox News Online and Peter Wehner writing for Commentary -- did pieces rebutting Whitlock's curious logic.
But as I said, I want to end this debate, not add to it. So, in a compromise that I hope will satisfy both sides of the issue -- but more than likely absolutely will satisfy neither -- I propose the following:
Congress should pass a national right-to-carry law. Except it wouldn't just be a right, but a mandate. Carrying a firearm would be mandatory, not voluntary or optional, with this stipulation: Only women can carry guns.
Blatant gender discrimination? Oh yes. But guys, you have to admit, our record with firearms has been rather spotty.
Yes, there are more men that have used firearms to defend themselves and their homes than have gunned down their girlfriends or obnoxious teens at gas stations.
But I want to ensure that women like Kasandra Perkins have a way to defend themselves against the Jovan Belchers of the world.
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.