The murder of Kasandra Perkins by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who committed suicide a short time later, has reinvigorated the ongoing debate over gun control in America. It has also brought it into the wide world of sports in ways that have either been inappropriate or long overdue, depending on who you ask. As these conversations continued during the week following the tragic murder-suicide, the CEO of the National Rifle Association felt that something had gone unsaid in mainstream discussions. On Thursday, the same day as a memorial service was held for Perkins in Texas, he spoke up.
"The one thing missing in that equation is that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told David Leon Moore of USA TODAY.
One day after the tragic murder-suicide in Kansas City, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas editorialized, with an assist from FOX Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, about the role of Belcher's firearms in the incident. According to a Sports Illustrated report, Belcher recently told a friend, via text message, that he owned "about 8 guns now, from hand Gunz to assault rifles." In his polarizing commentary, Costas paraphrased Whitlock, who wrote that access to guns "simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy."
Not surprisingly, LaPierre disagrees.
From Whitlock's column and Costas' remarks to the outraged reactions of NRA member Ted Nugent and Megyn Kelly of FOX News, the relationship between a crime such as this and current gun control laws has been hotly debated.
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Before speaking with USA Today, LaPierre addressed the Kansas City tragedy and ensuing Costas controversy during an episode of NRA News on Monday. Speaking with Cam Edwards and Ginny Simone, LaPierre railed against Costas for "trying to piggy-back his agenda on the back of this national tragedy and spew it all over America." LaPierre also contended that Costas "wouldn't have said a thing last night if this woman had saved her life, by having a firearm available, from Jovan Belcher." After those comments by LaPierre, Simone of NRA News went on to voice a view of Perkins' need for a weapon similar to the one that LaPierre would later share with USA Today.
"She was totally defenseless against this 6-foot guy that weighs 240 pounds," Simone said. "What if she had a firearm?"
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