We live in a polarized country, nothing has showed us that more-so than having a black man in the White House. With many people today apparently still raw over the Civil War or Civil Rights, every issue in this country becomes a political issue, and nothing makes politics like tragedy.
When Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, panicked and then drove to Arrowhead to commit suicide, people were taken aback by this. But the initial shock has worn off and politics have briskly and swiftly made their full arrival into the whole incident. The issue has stopped being mental health or the effects of extreme wealth and responsibility on someone who may not be mature enough to handle it, and has become about the thing American’s love as much as God and their family: guns.
Bob Costas fired the first shots at halftime of this past Sunday Night Football game on NBC. It was this that fast tracked this debate to the stage it’s at now where fingers are being pointed and other people who are in no way involved in this matter are making it their business to be.
First off, let’s be frank: the Bob Costas incident wasn’t a big deal. The only reason it became a big deal is people made it a big deal but where the fatal error was made by Costas wasn’t how he talked down to people like some say he did (when doesn’t he talk like that, get over it). Instead it was that Costas introduced a debate and then immediately took a side, rather than play moderator.
Once he took a side it stopped being about the incident and became about the issue. People who agreed with Costas applauded him, and those who opposed his views called him a leftist snob. But would the people applauding him be doing that if Costas had said the opposite of what he said and had taken a pro-gun stance? Would the people disgusted by him be so harsh?
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is taking stance on the other side of the issue, saying that a gun didn’t kill Kassandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher, rather Jovan Belcher killed the two.
“Somebody goes out and kills somebody with a knife, you going to blame the knife?” Harrison said. “Somebody goes out and kills somebody by pushing somebody in front of a train, you going to start cutting off the guy’s arms? You going to start blaming people’s arms now? It’s the person who did it who is responsible.”
The issue is way to massive to simplify in terms that Costas, Jason Whitlock and Harrison are trying to put it. It’s not a left or right issue, it’s not a yes or no debate. By that logic the meaning of life is life because how live it and if it was anything else it wouldn’t be life it would be something else.
What we can work with are facts, and that’s the part that bothers us the most; a seemingly nice man snapped and killed his girlfriend and took his own life. The fact that we can’t wrap our heads around it scare us and as human beings we need an explanation for everything, but there isn’t an easy one and may not be just a single explanation for this tragedy.
Did Jovan Belcher use a gun, yes he did. Could he have used a knife, perhaps but he didn’t use a knife. Could he have strangled his wife, could she have strangled him, the situation is too gruesome for us to analyze so we use crutches to exlplain why people do things.
That’s who we are as Americans, we need things spelled out for us or they aren’t valid. We are bound as a society to acknowledge tragedy and especially when it happens to someone with a higher social status than us. It scares us when we can’t explain frightening things, so we resort to our animalistic wiring and fight about it.
Meanwhile, a three month old has no parents, she has to grow up without a mother or a father and one day has to learn that gruesome way her parents died. Someone is going to have to sit that girl down and explain to her that while other mommies and daddies love each other, her dad murdered her mom and then killed himself.
While the gun debate is a vild one, maybe it’s not the debate we should be having right now. Maybe they’re a larger issue at hand we don’t want to deal with.