On MSNBC last night Bob Costas tried to clarify his remarks on gun control in an interview with host Lawrence O’Donnell, but moved into more controversial territory regarding the right to own guns in America.
Costas was defensive about his brief discussion of guns in the Sunday Night Football broadcast where he read aloud a portion of a controversial column by sportswriter Jason Whitlock about gun control. Costas insisted that he wasn’t talking about the Second Amendment, but rather the “gun culture” in America.
“It demonstrates itself in the Wild West, Dirty Harry mentality of people who actually believe that if a number of people were armed in the theater in Aurora, they would have been able to take down this nut-job in body armor and military style artillery,” he explained, using the tragic theater shooting in Colorado to make his point.
Costas added that this dangerous gun culture had affected the sports world, where “young athletes are disproportionately armed.”
To bolster his point, Costas referred to former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy admitting that about 65 of the 80 players in training camp owned a gun.
“Even if all those guns were obtained legally, you can’t have 65 guys in their 20s and 30s, aggressive young men, subject to impulses without something bad happening,” Costas insisted.
He then challenged his critics to, “Give me one example of a professional athlete who by virtue of his having a gun took a dangerous situation and turned it around for the better.”
“I can’t think of a single one,” he added.
Costas continued to attack his critics, insisting that he never used the words “gun control” or mentioned the “second amendment,” but people “inferred” that he did.
“Do I believe we need more comprehensive and more sensible gun control legislation?” he asked. “Yes, I do. That doesn’t mean repeal the Second Amendment. That doesn’t mean a prohibition on somebody having a gun to protect their home and their family. It means sensible and more comprehensive gun control legislation.”