President Obama hasn’t had his second inaugural, and his allies already are pushing him to expend his second-term capital enacting another so-called assault-weapons ban. This reinvigorated attack on the Second Amendment is shooting firearm sales through the roof.
NBC Sports‘ Bob Costas couldn’t wait 24 hours after a tragedy before launching into a sermon on gun control during halftime on “Sunday Night Football.” His homily was triggered by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher’s use of a legally owned gun to shoot his girlfriend, mother of his infant daughter, before killing himself.
Telling viewers of the highest-rated prime time show that he was giving “actual perspective,” Mr. Costas recited the words of a Fox Sports columnist, saying, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.” A spokesman for NBC Sports did not respond to a request for comment on whether network executives preapproved the 90-second segment.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence tried Monday to drum up a national campaign to tell NBC how much it appreciated the liberal sportscaster’s “moral courage on a national stage, with millions watching.” The anti-gun group and the peacock network already have a cozy relationship.
Since November, NBC has been airing nationally a documentary called “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence,” which features interviews with several of the anti-Second Amendment group’s employees. The gun-grabbing coalition calls the project “a personal film” and has set up another campaign to pressure local affiliates into airing the show during prime time.
The timing of the anti-gun efforts is not a coincidence. “I find it interesting that so many anti-gun spokesmen and -women are speaking up almost simultaneously in the days since Obama’s re-election,” National Rifle Association President David Keene told The Washington Times. “Costas is, of course, just one of many, and the ‘case’ on which he based his argument was a reach. The problem was one of domestic abuse, not illegal guns.”
He said Mr. Costas‘ argument that gun ownership caused the tragedy was absurd. “The man could have killed his wife in a dozen ways and taken his own life in as many ways. To blame the incident on firearms is to twist the facts to fit the current assault of Second Amendment rights.”
The efforts of NBC and Mr. Costas to reduce handgun ownership will backfire, as Americans are arming themselves at record levels. Driven by Black Friday sales, gun purchases reached an all-time high in November, according to an analysis of FBI background-check records by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Americans recognize this right is fundamental, and they’re stocking up just in case the administration decides to take it away.
NBC should never have given a green light to Mr. Costas‘ baseless and fact-free personal agenda. Privately owned firearms are used to prevent crime every day, from coast to coast. Gun owners ought to be more vigilant than ever now that the opposition has launched open season on their rights.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.