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NRA says more guns could have saved Jovan Belcher's girlfriend

With NBC sports anchor Bob Costas's recent commentary on gun control, the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasan
Photo by Alex Brandon/AP
Photo by Alex Brandon/AP

With NBC sports anchor Bob Costas's recent commentary on gun control, the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins has remained the center of the revived debate over guns in America. As Bob Costas made his rounds with the media this past week, The National Rifle Association is now weighing in.

On Thursday, the same day as a memorial service for Perkins in Texas, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told USA TODAY that Perkins should have owned "a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer."

Belcher, 25, shot and killed his long-time girlfriend who was the mother of their 3-month-old daughter, and then drove to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium where he shot and killed himself Saturday morning. As details emerged about the couple's tumultuous history and Belcher's aggressive past, text messages between him and a close friend revealed that Belcher legally owned about eight guns.

During Sunday Night Football's halftime show, Costas quoted FOX Sports columnist Jason Whitlock's opinion piece which questioned the ready availability and accessibility of guns. Costas had the chance to elaborate on his comments on msnbc's The Last Word and stated:

"Give me one example of a professional athlete who by virtue of his having a gun, took a dangerous situation and turned it around for the better. I can’t think of a single one. But sadly, I can think of dozens where by virtue of having a gun, a professional athlete wound up in a tragic situation."

When asked if Costas was accurate about speaking to a dangerous gun culture in the United States, LaPierre denounced Costas's assertion. LaPierre replied:

"There is no gun culture in the NFL. You've got good Americans who love to play sports, who are disciplined, who are responsible, and they're no different from any other Americans. Owning guns is a mainstream part of American culture and it's growing every day. My God, there's nothing more mainstream in this country than 100 million Americans who own firearms. It's not a culture of athletes. It is particular behavior by particular individuals that is no different from the rest of society. We've got to stop making excuses. A murderer is a murderer."

Earlier this week, LaPierre spoke on NRA News also arguing that Perkins could have prevented her death had she owned a gun, and Costas "wouldn't have said a thing last night if this woman had saved her life." NRA News' investigative reporter Ginny Simone also asked, "She was totally defenseless against this 6-foot guy that weighs 240 pounds. What if she had a firearm?"

Bob Costas has stated that that the life of Kasandra Perkins would have been spared if Belcher did not have access to a firearm in the first place.  Arguing the opposing side, LaPierre and the NRA believe that more guns would have saved both of their lives and diffused the escalating situation.