NBC’s Bob Costas promised “to continue raising” questions about the prevalence of guns in American society, despite the backlash in response to his cricitism of the “gun culture” in this country in the wake of the Jovan Belcher shooting.
“Even if obtained legally, can’t people see what a volatile mix guns, in some cases medications, in some cases head trauma, and certainly a culture that romanticizes and to some extent legitimizes guns and violence can be when mixed together?” Costas asked during an interview with The Nation published yesterday. “These are questions that should be raised. And I plan to continue raising them.”
He also defended making the comments during halftime of a Sunday Night Football game. “Had this murder suicide not involved an NFL player, then it would not have been an appropriate topic for any of us to discuss in a football broadcast. But since it did, it became an appropriate topic,” he said. “Look at it this way: I felt it was appropriate for me to discuss the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in 1972 during the Olympic opening ceremonies.”
Costas opened the interview by rejecting the idea that he blames guns for the murder-suicide last weekend. “Belcher is 100 percent responsible and I have said that I was appalled that in the early stages of coverage of this tragedy many played it as if there were two victims and Belcher was one of them,” Costas told the magazine. “No. He is the perpetrator and nothing diminishes that. But his having the gun made it more likely that something like this would occur.”