A gun quickens an arguments most violent conclusion. Costas and Whitlock are very right there.
I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. 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.
Well, here’s a point: it’s our government. It’s our judicial branches interpretation (appointed by President’s we elected) which liberally interpret the right to bear arms to be the right to carry a rocket launcher.
It’s our state and federal legislatures constant fight to block gun laws in cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.. Presidential political formats which have made gun talk “too soon” all the time. It’s a prevailing notion because somehow what Charlton Heston screamed about means that the threshold to drive a car is higher than the threshold to own a gun. But it is our culture of domestic violence, not guns, that is the issue.
Belcher is a big guy, he may not have killed his wife without a gun, but he still could have. His mother was present. Apparently, she was so close to Perkins, she considered her a daughter in law already:
A 911 call from Belcher’s mother — who described Perkins as her daughter — detailed the gunfire that left the new mom dead inside the blood-spattered home. She identified her killer son as a member of the Chiefs.
He did this in front of his mother to the mother of his child. Think about that. Then he thanked his coaches for the opportunity they gave him. Kassandra Perkins was a woman, Belcher’s girlfriend and partner, who allowed him the privilege of being a father and he murdered her. Then he thanked Chiefs coach Crennel and GM Scott Pioli for allowing him the privilege to play football. That’s not simply “gun” culture at issue. Even with gun control laws, Belcher still would be able to buy and own a firearm. As of now in 2012 Philadelphia, a person is shot every 6 hours or so hours and murdered by a gun every 24. But here’s the thing: the murder rate is up, but the number of shooting victims is down from Philly’s worst year 2007. What do we know about most murders?
Under no proposed law passed by Philadelphia’s city government would Belcher not been able to own a gun. So although Costas is right to talk about guns, I feel he and Whitlock both presume to much. The issue is domestic violence above all. His girlfriend wasn’t a partner to rationalize with, to Belcher she was someone to discipline violently. He was practicing from a place of dominion over his girlfriends life and safety.
The primary victims of Javon Belcher’s murder/suicide are his dead girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, their newborn daughter and their families:
Jovan Belcher was a football player who died on Saturday by his own hand after killing his girlfriend, who was also the mother of his child.
The other people who were victimized, his coach, GM and other Chiefs employees who saw Belcher kill himself:
The festive atmosphere masked some of the pain Chiefs fans felt after hearing that Belcher had killed 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, then drove to the team practice facility and turned the gun on himself. The couple had an infant daughter.
Coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli had tried to stop Belcher, and watched powerless as he shot himself in the head after thanking both of them for giving him a chance in the NFL.
“To have to witness that, I don’t think you would wish that on your worst enemy,” Chiefs fan Ty Rowton said. “That memory will never, ever leave them.”
Also, there is trauma to some of the rest of his co-workers, who are also teammates. Middle Linebacker Derrick Johnson who literally worked next to Belcher talks a bit, post game, about what players can do in the future to not be blindsided this kind of violent. He actually outlines a excellent argument for workplace empathy:
q: you guys are tough guys. you don’t maybe tell each other how you feel all the time, you know. when things are bothering. Will this change how you talk to your teammates. you say there were no signs.
A: We need to change how we talk to each other more as men….to have an act like this go on yesterday. as a teammate we have to do more about..not getting in other peoples business but just make sure he’s ok. If somethings bothering him, get more details.
He also said that canceling the game wouldn’t have fixed anything as it would be a postponement in all likelihood.
The rest of it can be left alone. I can’t worry about what happened to Belcher. He was clear enough to drive to the stadium and thank his bosses while the mother of his daughter died from bullets he fired into her body and her mother took her to the hospital. Clearly, a priority issue existed. Forget statements from friends, teammates or Belcher’s family that directly oppose the reality of his actions. His reputation and legacy can’t be a primary concern. It’s already been resolved.
Over the weekend, Perkins’ friends and family described a fraught relationship.
“She knew something was off with him,” Lynell Diggs, a friend of Perkins, told Newsday.
The night before the murder-suicide, Diggs and Perkins had been together at a Trey Songz concert. At a restaurant after the concert, Diggs said that Perkins talked about her concerns that her boyfriend wasn’t doing well, according to Newsday.
Angela Perkins, 32, Kasandra’s cousin, told Newsday on Long Island that Belcher and Perkins hadn’t been getting along for some time. She had visited around the time the baby was born, she said.
She said having a baby and Belcher’s busy schedule strained their relationship, according to Newsday.
This is where the truth about Belcher’s murder/suicide should be sought. I don’t know if the game should’ve been postponed, but I’m glad I’m overseas and kind of “CLEAR” of the argument. Dave Zirin doesn’t really think the game needed to be today:
A CTE Study, if possible Belcher shot himself in the head, should be up next and that along with witness accounts will add more insight. No other statements (high school teammates, friends) are needed now. They carry the difficult task of eulogizing a friend who is a murderer who was their friend, let them process that before being asked for the viewpoint.