When professional football player Jovan Belcher shot and killed his wife—the mother of his three-month old daughter and himself, the public was quickly focused on gun control.  This unfortunate diversion was in large part caused by the uninformed and foolish comments of NBC Sports talking head Bob Costas who, apparently incapable of original thought, parroted the commentary of Liberal commentator Jason Whitlock who observed that if Belcher did not have a gun, he and his wife would be alive. Rather than reporting on football, Costas has politicized it with liberal talking points.

More to the point—but more socially difficult—issues abound.  Should we be surprised when grossly overpaid athletes, all too often immature egos in hulking adult bodies with drug and crime problems, behave badly?  If we banned bows and arrows and knives, would the professor at Casper College in Casper, WY shot in the head with an arrow and stabbed to death by his son who took his own life by stabbing himself with the same knife, still be alive?

And to what degree does race enter into the debate (Belcher was black as was his wife).  No Less an authority than Charles Barkley answered Costas’ suggestion of a “corrosive” gun culture:

I think especially in the black community, I don’t know if it’s a gun culture, it’s a crime culture. You know, we as black people always, we don’t have respect for one another. You know, we’ve got more black men in prison than we do in college and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. And I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens but being black, this is something you deal with all the time. And it’s just sad. I’m a guy, I carry a real gun. I carry a real gun.

The facts relevant to Costa’s uninformed, illogical sentiment have been discussed at length elsewhere.  Suffice it to say that Costas’ assertion holds water only if no other means of ending a life were available to an immensely strong and large, unbalanced football player in a gun-free leftist utopia.  History is not kind to this idea, thousands of men dying in single battles by means of arrow, sling, spear, sword, knife, axe and a variety of other weapons primitive by modern standards.  Fortunately, Mr. Costas would allow us the privilege of “owning guns to hunt and carrying them in reasonably controlled circumstances.”

In a larger sense, Costas is merely—and mindlessly—perpetuating one of the eternal issues of the great cultural divide.  Conservatives tend to regard firearms as recreational devices and tools, tools of some power, which must be properly respected and used.  They do not personify them.  They do not imbue them with independence of action or consider them capable of good or evil, for inanimate objects have no intellect, no soul, no free will.  They have no power to compel men to use them, for good or ill.

Liberals—and by his commentary might we know him—such as Costas have an innate fear of firearms, a fear at once visceral, personal and philosophical.  I will not belabor the irrationality of those who fear inanimate objects.  Irrationality is its own excuse, handicap and burden, and pointing out the fact of the nature of such irrationality virtually never causes those suffering from it to overcome it, indeed, such unfortunates tend to be utterly unable to recognize their affliction.  Likewise, Hoplophobia, while related to irrationality, is in some ways, its own affliction, though one that can, to at least some degree and in some people, be overcome.

In many ways, it is the philosophical aversion to firearms that is really the issue, though Mr. Costas is likely unable to elucidate that fact.  Ultimately, leftists commonly hate and fear firearms and those who keep and bear them because they represent the ultimate, tangible check on their social and political ambitions.  Leftists commonly cloak their real objectives in the rhetoric of public safety, or more recently “common sense gun regulations,” but their objection is always, at the core, their understanding that free men can, and at some point will, resist them, and such resistance will be most effective if backed by modern firearms.  In fact, the mere existence of firearms in the hands of patriots—men and women who revere the Constitution and the individual liberty it reflects—is abhorrent to them.

A timely example is a fine article written by my former Confederate Yankee co-Blogger (and the site’s founder) Bob Owens who writes: 

Ladd Everitt, communications director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) in particular freaked out last night when he sarcastically asked if the Obama Administration was guilty of tyranny, and I provided a dictionary definition, of the word, which is “the arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power,” and then pointed out the undeniable fact that the Obama Administration arbitrarly ignores written law as a matter of policy, which fits that definition precisely.

A hysterical Everitt then called me a “traitor” and “insurrectionist pro-gun activist” for providing that dictionary definition, and pointing out dozens of news articles by news organizations that prove that definition fits.

These men and those like them seem desperately worried that a massive armed uprising against the federal government could be imminent, and have put a considerable amount of time into thinking about (and no doubt losing sleep over) the possibility of that happening.

By all means, read the entire article, but consider that while it is ultimately the reality of free men able and willing to bear arms that so disquiets leftists, this is a long term, primarily philosophical concern.  Of more immediate concern is that arms in the hands of the free and law abiding actually serve as a deterrent to tyrannical policies.  Those who would abolish individual freedom know there are certain lines they dare not cross, and they bitterly resent that powerful barrier to their elitist, utopian desires.  They may not know precisely where every boundary is drawn, but the understanding that there are certainly tens of millions able—and at some point ready—to violently resist them, is a significant factor that prevents the civil war some Leftists claim gun owners desire.

During the age of Obama, these issues have come to the fore far more obviously than at any time during my life.  Never has the partisan divide been so stark and so destructive.  For the first time in my life, patriots have been forced to actually consider the circumstances on which they might be compelled to take up arms to defend liberty. In the past, even prominent Democrats understood the vital necessity and utility of the Second Amendment in preserving liberty.  Consider the words of Hubert Humphrey:

Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under and government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.  This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite safety rules or precaution should not be taught and enforced.  But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against tyranny which no appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.

Leftists commonly accuse those considering such matters to be unpatriotic, even dangerous, but they approach the matter from the starting point that assumes government is always right, never large enough, always knows best, and to so much as dissent from any governmental policy is inherently seditious.  When so many Americans respond to Mr. Obama as do the citizens of cult-of-personality dictatorships, is there any wonder those who love liberty are compelled to consider responses to such anti-liberty sentiments and actions?

As Senator Humphrey observed so many years ago, tyranny, even in America, is always possible, a facet of human nature well understood by the Founders.  And as Thomas Jefferson said:  

The tree of liberty must, from time to time, be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

It is, considering the last election, sometimes hard to imagine that sufficient patriots still exist.  It is easy to believe that the patriotic fervor and the love of liberty, a love that transcends the individual life, is a thing of the past.  But the Left, those who would substitute a soulless, conscienceless state for the living, beating heart of freedom, fear that more than sufficient patriotism still exists, or at the least, that their attempts to destroy liberty might awaken it and put to an end not only their depredations, but their very lives.

It is this that underlies Bob Costas’ shallow commentary.

Let us pray those who fear liberty are right; let us pray more than sufficient men, women, and arms still stand ready to defend liberty.