Costas Goes Off Half-Cocked on Anti Gun Tirade

Tom Gresham
Tom Gresham

MANDEVILLE, LA –-( Editor’s Note:Viewers on Sunday night’s NFL game were treated to something unexpected at half-time. A full-on rant by Bob Costas that laid the blame for the weekend’s tragic murder/suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher directly at the feet of gun owners. Today, our friend and colleague Tom Gresham has some observations on Mr. Costas’ outburst.

I was surprised that Bob Costas (hereafter to be known as CluelessCostas) went on an anti-gun rant at halftime during the December 2 Sunday Night Football broadcast. He usually, I thought, does better research than that. At least, I thought that before now. Since I don’t know the facts of the stories he reports, I have always considered him to be a reliable source, but this venture into knee-jerk reaction without a shred of research makes me wonder if I’ve gotten the straight story from him on other issues.

His editorial took the position that if Jovan Belcher had not had a gun, he would not have been able to commit murder or suicide. This is nonsense on the face of it. Fists, feet, knives (can anyone say O.J.?) and other tools can and are used to commit murder. In fact, the FBI categorizes all those as instruments of murder in its Uniform Crime Reports.

To see CluelessCostas blithely skip into the middle of this tragedy with such shallow and demonstrably false assumptions belies his reputation as a heretofore respected reporter.

The mountain of evidence to contradict his anti-gun assertions looms large and would have been easy to find. Take just two points which belie the charge that the gun drives suicides and murders.

First, there is the comparison with Japan. That island-nation prohibits most citizens from owning guns. It would be the perfect Petri dish for showing how suicides can be prevented by banning guns. The reality turns that on its head, since the suicide rate in Japan approaches (sometimes exceeds) twice that of the U.S. No guns in Japan, but twice the rate of suicides of the U.S., which has perhaps 300 million guns.

Second, there is the example in the U.S. of the effect (or lack of effect) on murder rates when people carry loaded guns. Twenty years ago few states had laws permitting citizens to carry loaded firearms for their protection. After Florida passed what is known as “shall-issue” concealed carry (requiring the state to issue a permit to any qualified applicant), almost all states followed.

In that 20-year period the number of people with carry permits has grown beyond six million, plus several states which require no permit at all for a person to carry a gun for protection.

Over a nearly identical time span, the murder rate in the United States has fallen dramatically. There are millions more guns, millions more gun owners, and millions more people carrying guns for protection, but the murder rate has fallen by nearly half. Even if one doesn’t believe that the concealed carry movement actually caused this drop, it would be difficult for anyone to ignore that — at a minimum — adding millions of guns, gun owners, and concealed carry participants did not increase the murder rate, which is what CluelessCostas would have you believe.

Should we really be surprised at this? Probably not. CluelessCostas is from New York, has armed security protecting him, and appears to be convinced in the truth of his own ignorance-based bias. Further, he describes himself as a liberal, as he did in a May 26, 2007 opinion piece declaring President Bush to be unqualified for the office. We never are surprised when the clueless elite call attention to themselves by dancing in the blood of innocents. For some reason, I expected more of Costas, though on reflection, I’m not sure why.

As responsible gun owners, and as members of the Gun Talk Truth Squad where we never just shrug and let lies go unchallenged, what can we do about this widely-broadcast screed? Speak up.

First step would be to send an email with your thoughts to the NFL, which produced this game. Send a message to [email protected], as a start. Next, talk about this with your friends. Some of them won’t know the facts I’ve related above, and will react to Costas with “well, that sounds reasonable.” The notion that the earth is flat was reasonable until it faced research and scientific fact. The research and the science shows us that more guns in the U.S. equals less crime.

Respond with cogent comments to every online news story about the Costas rant. Well-mannered comments, backed with specific facts, do change opinions.

Speak up at every opportunity. Bring the facts to this discussion and you’ll often be met with “I didn’t know that.” Speaking the truth, with the facts to back it up, is what the Gun Talk Truth Squad is all about.

To stay silent is to agree. To leave this lie unchallenged it to allow it to become the truth.

Speak up.
— Tom Gresham

About:In its 18th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 135 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts at and Apple iTunes, or through one of the available Apps: the Gun Talk iPhone App, the Blackberry Podcast App, and the Gun Talk App for Android on Amazon. The Gun Talk Minute on XM also airs on XM 165, 166, 168 and Fox Sports every day throughout the week. More information is available at

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Your village called, they want their Idiot back.


Just heard about Dallas Cowboy Joshua Brent killing a team mate Jerry Brown while driving drunk. Will Costas be on the air demanding we ban alcohol and cars???? My guess is no. He will have a few drinks before driving home from the game!!!!


Why do libtards always bring up oreily like he isnt a libtard too. He said he invedtigated the birth cert as much as Arpiao did. Right as he supported it as legitimate just like the rest of the liberals. Faux news is liberal, only on non issues it appears on the right. To noyb No difference in left and right.Neitherone is any good The left denies reality to battle imaginary monsters to make the world safe [Global Warming] Insults anybody that isnt suffering delusions too. The Right accepts reality but refuses to deal with it instead sits on its high… Read more »


Ok, I get it – Most of the wacko right will choose to remain right, a character flaw as a result of their ignorant denial, a deep-rooted fear (of faith & trust) that justifies them to become dependent on the irrationally myth that owning firearms makes them better than others and safer -and- they and theirs can be counted on to never make a gun mistake in the heat of the moment – no matter what the provacation. **for example:…there's NOTHING more soul satisfying (after yr old lady 'disrespects' ya) to pump 'er full of lead !!! …used to take… Read more »

Johnny Seay

I don't know what makes a liberal tick, but they sure hear a different drum. If you give them facts, they call it "NRA Propaganda". Clueless Castas is on my list of people to avoid. That's what my TV Remote Control is for.


Most of the liberal left will choose to remain left, a character flaw as a result of their ignorant denial, a deep-rooted fear that justifies the rest of America become dependent on government as caretaker, provider and savior, especially when it comes to firearms. The GT Truth Squad however wastes no time on facts & figures. As the NSSF, NRA and other Shooting Sports organizations and manufacturers announce and warn, the gun-grabbing left's movement to demonize firearms has become an automatic response for liberals and moderate, confused democrats to lean on after shooting tragedies. It is this movement that most… Read more »


Boycott the NFL!

Sop buying there stuff, stop going to the games and stop watching.

Call up the NFL players Union and tell them you don’t like the fact Bob Costas used the tragedy of a players death to say young men in the NFL are too aggressive and should not have excess to guns.

He said that a few days later on another show.

Costas should be fired!


I don't watch football and barely know who cluelessBob is. So I cannot boycott anything.

BTW: He works for the same NBC that caused a Chevy/GMC truck to explode for news coverage.


They should fire him!


I think you're wasting your time on facts and figures, as the liberal left ignores them and any other intelligent reasoning. Costas should stick to his mediocre sportscasting, and leave his politics at home. NBC should seriously consider how many die-hard footballs fans he's put off.

I'm sure there's another ballgame on some other channel. I'll watching that one.


Here is my take as a retired member of the US Military; I put no stock in the comments made by Mr Costas. I place him in the same category as the traitors named Gerald Rivera and Hanoi Jane Fonda who think nothing about putting American lives in jeopardy for their own gain. For what it is worth, I will not support any product that sponsors Costas or any show he appears on. If more people would do this, perhaps they would get the message. All of these hypocrites need sponsors to exist within the media. Make them answer for… Read more »