Monday, December 3, 2012

Bob Costas, the Second Amendment and the First Amendment

During an NFL broadcast Sunday, sportcaster Bob Costas opined about the tragic murder/suicide perpetrated by a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

While he didn't call for any specific legislation, the suggestion was that the American  "gun culture" was responsible for the tragedy. Since the perpetrator had no history of violence or criminal activity, the implication is that law abiding citizens should not have guns.

This upset second amendment proponents, some of whom called for Costas to be fired. While I personally believe that the unilateral disarmament of law abiding citizens is not a good solution for combating gun violence, I also believe that a sportcaster, working for a private company, can say whatever he or she wants to say and that his or her continued employment is entirely between them and their employer. Viewers are free to turn the sound off, switch the channel, send an angry letter to the network, even boycott advertisers.

The First Amendment is at least as important as the Second Amendment. I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed by Costas, but the fact that he said it doesn't keep me up at night. If you want to advocate for a different point of view, do so. If you do it well enough, a few sentences from a sportscaster during a football game wont sway a majority of the country to change the Constituion. Combat bad ideas with good ideas, not with outrage or censorship.

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