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#1 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 5:53:57 AM(UTC)
Interesting point about guns.

Jason Whitlock said:
Football is embarrassingly tone deaf.

Jovan Belcher, a starting linebacker for the Chiefs, murdered the mother of his child shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday. He hopped in his car, drove to the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility, thanked Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli — and shot himself in the head in front of his coach and general manager around 8:10 a.m.

Within two hours, the NFL instructed the Carolina Panthers to travel to Kansas City as scheduled in preparation for Sunday’s noon kickoff. By 3 p.m., the Chiefs announced that Crennel and team captains had decided to play Sunday’s game as planned.

Short of terrorist attack and weather disaster, nothing slows the NFL.

A 25-year-old kid gunned down his 22-year-old girlfriend in front of his mother and three-month-old child, and all he could think to do in the immediate aftermath is rush to thank his football coach and football employer. Belcher’s last moments on this earth weren’t spent thanking the mother who raised him or apologizing to the child he would orphan. His final words of gratitude and perhaps remorse were reserved for his football gods.

It should come as no surprise that Crennel, Chiefs players, Pioli, owner Clark Hunt and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell quickly agreed not to delay Sunday’s football congregation at Arrowhead Stadium.

Football is our God. Its exaggerated value in our society has never been more evident than Saturday morning in my adopted hometown. There’s just no way this game should be played.

Twenty-eight hours after witnessing one of his starting linebackers take his life, Crennel will stand on the sideline as young men play a violent game. Twenty-eight hours after one of their best friends killed the mother of his child and himself, Chiefs players will take the field and play a violent game.

Football is a game of emotion. Football is a game in which the coaches and players preach about treating each other as family.

How can they play Sunday? Why should they?

Belcher and his girlfriend didn’t die in a car accident 30 minutes away from Arrowhead Stadium. This isn’t some tragedy Crennel and Pioli heard about. Belcher crashed his car through the gates of the Chiefs practice facility. He pointed a gun to his head in front of Crennel and Pioli. He killed himself within a quarter of a mile of Arrowhead Stadium, where the players and coaches work.

I just don’t get it. And I’m not trying to vilify the Chiefs for choosing to play Sunday’s game. It shouldn’t be their decision. Roger Goodell should’ve made this call. Crennel, Pioli and Kansas City players are justifiably still in a state of shock.

You may argue that we all grieve differently. You may argue that playing the game is the best way to move on and heal. You may argue that canceling or delaying the game would serve no purpose and would be unfair to the fans who traveled to Kansas City to see Cam Newton and the Panthers play the Chiefs.

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.

How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?

Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.

In the coming days, Belcher’s actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries. Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend. What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

That is the message I wish Chiefs players, professional athletes and all of us would focus on Sunday and moving forward. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.

But we won’t. We’ll watch Sunday’s game and comfort ourselves with the false belief we’re incapable of the wickedness that exploded inside Jovan Belcher Saturday morning.
#2 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 6:21:24 AM(UTC)
Do we abolish knifes as well? In Marshfield, WI, there have been two domestic cases that have ended in stabbings, one a death.

How about the fists of the abuser, in domestic cases daily there are beatings of unthinkable severity.

Guns are not the problem, people and society is the problem. Overloading amounts of stress is a contributing factor as people struggle in these times. So is unfaithfulness within relationships. Drugs, alcohol..

To single out the guns is the wrong answer in my opinion.

I also can understand is notion of not playing the game, but I also ask this. Will it help to not play the game as scheduled to those most effected by the tragic events? Will a couple of days change the tone?

And in terms of the football is god... not for most fans I know.. it is relief from life and escape.

In terms of those in the game, it is a reflection of our society today, we marry not only our partner but we often marry our work as well. Personally I spend more waking hours at work than all other activities combined for 5 days a week, sometimes 6. Football players even more as they grow into the sport.. it becomes part of your family. I can understand Belcher in his final minutes, it probably were his closest relationships at the moment. His child was too young.. his mother just seen him commit an unthinkable act.
#3 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 7:44:54 AM(UTC)
One more note Witlock doesn't take into effect, is that Belcher might have actually saved his daughter and mother by leaving the house. Distraught and suicidal, he might have known he was going to end his life. Why place that additional burden on his mother and also risk their health with more violence.

I am in no way praising Belcher at all in this, but getting him out of that house was probably the best outcome that could have happened after the murder.

Additionally in penning his piece, how would he know what Belcher said to his mother and child? Did he tell them goodbye?

It is a opinion piece without all the facts.. so it is all opinion.

If I was inside that locker room.. I know I would want the escape for a day.. a couple of hours.
#4 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 8:05:39 AM(UTC)
I think the author is showing how pathetic the media has come to try and make this even remotely about gun violence, and politicizing it. Using the NFL cash cow to push a political agenda is far worse than a team playing after an event like this.

#5 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 8:54:40 AM(UTC)
PackFanWithTwins said: Go to Quoted Post
I think the author is showing how pathetic the media has come to try and make this even remotely about gun violence, and politicizing it. Using the NFL cash cow to push a political agenda is far worse than a team playing after an event like this.

I agree!

#6 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 10:32:44 AM(UTC)
Whitlock is a tool. Rarely do I agree with him. I do agree the Lord High Commish should have pulled the plug on the game. Unlike baseball there was no time on the schedule to make up the missed game but with both teams out of the playoff hunt it should have been left that way.

To mix the message of not playing the game due to the closeness of the tragedy with the 2nd Amendment is asinine. If Jason wants to get on his soapbox and scream about his perceived need for gun control fine. He has that right but it has nothing to do with whether or not the NFL should have allowed the game to go forward.

#7 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 6:11:38 PM(UTC)
It's funny how ignorant people can be on gun laws - on both sides! True, people kill people. If you can admit that, why be naively ignorant to the fact that guns make killing more efficient? Do you not know your world war history? Do you think ignoring common sense makes you intelligent? Both sides fail miserably on this subject.

A person is smart. People are STUPID! This isn't that complicated to understand.

I haven't found a single pro gun person who could intelligently articulate their point of view without being an obnoxious pompous asshole. Does owning a gun make them feel superior to others an elicit such behavior? I don't get it nor do I know.

I've tried picking a side, but I'm too ignorant on the matter to do so. The difference here is, I'm able to admit my ignorance.

What's the best solution? Let everyone walk around with a handgun? My initial thinking is after a decade or so people would treat others with a lot more respect because after enough "road rage" shootings, people will understand thy neighbor shoot your ass if you touch his wife. It's probably a barbaric thought and if so, is that really out of the realm? Human's are animalistic.

I think playing the game was the right decision because the players and coaches elected to do so. As Shawn alluded, would a few days make things easier? I think I'd rather play right away to get the game in before everything 'sets in'.
#8 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 6:14:04 PM(UTC)
Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
I've tried picking a side, but I'm too ignorant on the matter to do so. The difference here is, I'm able to admit my ignorance.

More than anything else, I respect you for your ability to admit what you don't know, yet still talk about these things to get a new perspective. WAY too many people out there that make their minds up and then shut out anyone and anything with an opposing viewpoint.
#9 Posted : Monday, December 3, 2012 10:04:13 PM(UTC)
Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
It's funny how ignorant people can be on gun laws - on both sides! True, people kill people. If you can admit that, why be naively ignorant to the fact that guns make killing more efficient? Do you not know your world war history? Do you think ignoring common sense makes you intelligent? Both sides fail miserably on this subject.

I agree, guns are a quicker, easier and more efficient means of killing another. But that point is simply this, it will not end violence nor will it end people killing each other.

You think because one believes a certain way is lacking common sense because they didn't state the obvious that guns are more powerful than the knife, sword or fist?

The point here is how do you regulate rage and anger out of people? Because until you take a basic human trait out of the equation, what is the point of trying to take the stone out of their hand? They are just going to find a different weapon of choice to carry out their misguided will.

Why do some insist that it is only a gun that can carry out the anger of a person? And why is there an insistence that all should be punished for the acts of a few? There are hundreds of thousands, millions even of people that own a handgun that never use it in an act of violence. I think it in error to punish the masses for the comparatively few that can't control their emotions to a point of responsibly to not use it in rage.

I have a number of times stated that there are places and people in which they should not possess a gun.. but I certainly can't in any manner support the removal from law abiding citizens.

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