NFL player's murder-suicide rekindles gun control debate - FOX 35 News Orlando

NFL player's murder-suicide rekindles gun control debate

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Despite almost no discussion during this past election, the gun control debate is back in a big way as people across the country learn an NFL player gunned down his girlfriend before killing himself.

A sermon delivered by Bob Costas during Sunday Night Football really set off the discussion, which may seem a bit odd since the mass killings in Colorado and Wisconsin didn't push the issue to the front burner.

Yet, nearly half of all U.S. homes now have a handgun inside them -- and November may have been the biggest month ever in terms of gun purchases. More than 140,000 background checks were run by the FBI.

John Monson knows there's never been a better time to be in the gun business. A few days ago, he opened his third gun shop inside an old movie theater in Hudson -- but even he says he was stunned by what he saw when he tuned in to the game on Sunday.

"It was almost like a political commercial," he said.

Costas delivered a half-time editorial on gun control just hours after Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.

"Handguns do not enhance our safety," Costas said. "If Jovan Belcher didn't have a gun, he and Perkins would be alive today."

Social media sites soon were swept up in a flurry of replies. Even former presidential candidate Herman Cain weighed in, saying, "You tune in for a football game and end up listening to Bob Costas spewing sanctimonious dreck."

At the firing range, Todd Jackson got a photo tweet of Costas with former broadcasting partner O.J. Simpson to underscore the point that you don't need a gun to kill.

"If he didn't use a handgun, he could've used a car," Jackson said. "If you want to do it, you can."

There were 11,493 gun homicides last year even though violent crime is going down -- but 443,000 people who died from smoking each year or 30,000 died in preventable car crashes.

"The lesson to be learned is: People do bad things with a gun, without a gun," said Jackson.

In the Belcher murder-suicide, the story is still unfolding. It's unclear whether drugs or alcohol played a role, or the history of his concussions.

There may be a sermon in the suicide, but Sunday night football may not be the best time to preach; however, Costas has had some supporters speak out for him -- including former NFL player Chris Harris and New York Mayor Michael Bloomerg.

Much of Costa's statement was actually quoted from an editorial written by FOX Sports Columnist Jason Whitlock.

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