It appears NBC’s Bob Costas spoke too fast and made many conservative Americans including gun owners and the NRA furious. It happened the day after the murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only was Belcher’s live-in girlfriend, 22 year old Kasandra Perkins, a victim, but the couple’s three month old baby daughter Zoey, is now an orphan. Most of us know Costas opportunistically used his halftime segment during “Sunday Night Football” to lobby for stronger gun-control laws.
Second Amendment advocate Ted Nugent ripped Costas and used Twitter to share a few thoughts such as: “Hey Bob Costas, we all know that obesity is a direct result of the proliferation of spoons & forks.” And another, “We thought Bob Costas was smarter than that. Only fools blame tools instead of human failings. Shame Bob,” and another, “Blaming guns for crime is like blaming helmets for head butts…”
Making his case, Costas quoted Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock stating that he, “said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.” Costas continued, “Our current gun culture,” Whitlock wrote, “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.”
“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. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed… But here,” wrote Jason Whitlock, “is what I believe: If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Bob Costas believes what Whitlock believes, but according to the American Association of Suicidology, about half of 2010′s suicides were by firearm. The other roughly 50 percent were by such things as hanging and poisoning. To hypothetically say if someone didn’t own a gun, they would never have acted out in violent anger or taken their own life is absurd.
Let’s look at one more example. According to CNS News, the Chicago Tribune reported there were 192 shootings in that city throughout the month of November – a 49 percent increase from 2011! Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in 2012 compared with a year earlier. Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 with one month to go in 2012 which is a 21 percent increase in just one year.
This brings us back to the Fast and Furious scandal and how the media prevented it from becoming Obama’s Watergate. We just learned another member of the Justice Department resigned this week. Gary Grindler, Attorney General Eric Holder’s chief of staff, will serve his last day at the Justice Department today, Wednesday. As deputy attorney general, Grindler oversaw the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which led the failed “gun-walking” operation.
A report from House Oversight Committee chairman Darryl Issa recommended disciplinary action against Grindler and 13 other officials; Grindler was accused of “passing the buck” and failing to take charge of the department. With the gun control issue at center stage again, it’s important to revisit a scandal the media failed to cover.
In June 2012, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress by 259 members of the House of Representatives for stonewalling the investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. In all of American history, no sitting Cabinet member has been held in contempt of Congress until now. President Obama even stepped in and used his “executive privilege” to protect Eric Holder. If Holder did nothing wrong, why did he need protection and why not cooperate with the investigation? What’s Holder hiding?
The media keeps glossing over corruption, and those of us who are informed have watched in astonishment. The Obama administration defies laws on marriage, immigration, gambling, marijuana, and pornography, and conservatives are fed up. In this case, American guns were used in the deaths of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, and approximately 300 Mexican citizens. The gun used in Terry’s death was purchased in Arizona, and the gun used in Zapata’s death was purchased in Texas. Both were “Fast and Furious” guns.
From 2009 to 2011, the Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran Operation Fast and Furious (a.k.a. Project Gunrunner), a program to track U.S.-purchased firearms headed to Mexican drug cartels in order to get to cartel heads.
Critics believe the real purpose of the operation was to undermine the Second Amendment by vilifying gun owners and sellers so the government could enforce stricter gun laws in America. Either way, it went terribly wrong.
One problem with the plan was that our DOJ didn’t even notify Mexican authorities that thousands of semi-automatic firearms were being sold to people in Arizona thought to have links to Mexican drug cartels. ATF agents “were ordered not to intercept the smugglers, but rather to let the guns ‘walk’ across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hands of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.”
Fast and Furious was botched when over 1,400 guns, including AK-47’s, were lost. The operation was halted in December 2010 after two weapons the department lost track of were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. His family has since filed a lawsuit charging that the top federal prosecutor in Phoenix lied to them about the guns found at the crime scene in an attempt to hide the weapons’ connection to the ATF’s operation. The media has made this a political issue, and Holder has even accused Republicans of racism.
Rep. Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) requested the Justice Department release thousands of documents related to the inner workings of Fast and Furious. The Justice Department delivered less than ten percent of the 80,000 documents. Issa also released a report suggesting top DOJ officials had extensive knowledge of and involvement in Fast and Furious than previously acknowledged. Writing for Forbes, author Frank Minter asked, “Is it even conceivable that Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t know about this secret program? And if he didn’t, shouldn’t he have?”
However, in February 2011, the Justice Department sent a letter to Congress denying the operation even existed! Ten months later, the Department retracted the letter. Then, Eric Holder insisted he did not even know about the program until early 2011. After months of investigation, the Justice Department finally acknowledged the allegations were true. Why did it take nearly nine months for the Department to acknowledge Holder’s earlier denials were false?
In other words, people died and Holder lied. Why did senior Justice Department officials who knew about and received briefings on the operation fail to stop it? By the way, Gary Grindler isn’t the only personnel change in the DOJ. Former ATF Director Kenneth Melson began talking to investigators and pointed to a cover up. Melson was moved to a new position with the ATF. At least four more ATF officials were also reassigned or promoted by the Obama administration to other positions in Washington D.C.
Naturally, Holder has not only received continued support from President Obama, but White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “He absolutely stands by the Attorney General, thinks he is doing an excellent job.” Can American citizens still have confidence in their own chief law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice?
We should now be seriously considering whether this current administration is above the law. Similar to the flagrant corruption over the Benghazi tragedy, even if the truth is finally exposed and Holder resigns over Fast and Furious, the media successfully protected the president. Regardless of American deaths, whether a murder-suicide or corrupt policy and politics, we can conclude it’s not the tool or weapon that is responsible, but the people who misuse them.