Reason TV: Guns, head trauma, and macho culture didn’t kill Kasandra Perkins

posted at 5:19 pm on December 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’m not sure why I’m surprised by this take from Reason TV’s Kennedy on the media reactions to the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide.  I expected Reason to defend gun rights; I even expected them to insist that individuals are to blame for their own actions, not inanimate objects or “society.”  I wasn’t quite prepared for an argument that we need to recognize that evil exists, and that attempts to pawn off blame for evil acts on anyone but the individual is a dangerous impulse, especially when used to ride political hobby horses to exhaustion.

Kudos to Reason and Kennedy:

Jovan Belcher’s suicide might have forced the question as to whether or not football has become too violent and punishing for its player, but killing his girlfriend elevates the action to something that cannot be justified by appeals to celebrity culture and pop psychology.

Or even readily explained by scientific research suggesting traumatic injury causes permanent brain damage and behavioral problems. Killing your girlfriend is not a “behavioral problem”, it is a horrific, evil, cowardly act that is morally wrong to try to either explain or excuse through the science of battered brains.

Yet everyone seemed to want to blame Belcher’s actions on something else. At CNN, former Democratic congressional candidate and Real World participant Kevin Powell talked about the problems of super-macho culture and the ready availability of guns. Bob Costas lost his nut when he turned the Jovan Belcher tragedy into an anti-gun rant. Costas has fallen further off the rails than Powell if he thinks a gun-free Belcher home would have also shown an absence of violence or murder.

Instead of immediately reaching for our nearest ideological hobby horse, let’s stipulate an ugly truth: Sometimes people are bad.

Brain injury did not pull the trigger that blew away both of Zoey Belcher’s parents one horrible Saturday morning. Jovan Belcher did, and for that he will rightly be remembered not as a big man, but as a bad man.

Let’s stipulate another truth: Evil exists.  It cannot be fully explained by brain injury, psychology, or culture.  People can choose to do evil acts without any of those issues being determining factors.  We do not need to disarm the 99.9% of law-abiding gun owners in America in an attempt to refuse to acknowledge those simple facts.


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Stating that 99.9% of gun owners are law-abiding does gun owners no favors. It’s not even close to 0.1% of the population. In fact, I believe it’s a couple orders of magnitude off. The real statistics are something like 0.001% (1 in 100,000) gun owners do something bad.

Mohonri on December 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Oh my!

Pigs are flying past my window!

heldmyw on December 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

CCW permit holders, in your state is there a BAC level threshold making it illegal to be armed?

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

How many people in here have had to brandish a weapon? How many people know somebody whose life was saved by being armed?

(hand raised)

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

…it’s the guns fault!

KOOLAID2 on December 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I don’t fight to lose. That means I prefer overwhelming force. If you’re dealing with an unknown you must presume them to be armed. A lot of thugs also like to give the impression that they’re armed. Pretending you’re armed or wishing you were is more deadly more of the time than being armed.

There is no worse situation than wishing you had your gun.

A gun is the most effective weapon not attached to my body that I can legally obtain. Whatever car I’m driving is the second.

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Macho culture Sauce

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Someone with a Facebook account should go and post this on the Facebook page for the azz known as Bob Costas.

JPeterman on December 7, 2012 at 5:36 PM

At first I thought Bob Costa was complaining about hunters and NRA types, but if you listen to him on O’Reilly, he is talking about The Hood and Gang behavior and Gangsta rap. And he still has his job???

It is time to look at the murders in Chicago (or you name the place,) and lock those kids up that are killing each other, and don’t let them back to influence the next generation. It is time to ban MTV etc. in urban neighborhoods. Club culture with guns? you can’t show it on tv. Bob Costa’s media makes a lot of money off bad images, the money they pay him with.

Most of those people who do these killings have illegal guns, they don’t bother with laws, licenses, places where you can’t carry a weapon…or possess one, because they are lawless.

Fleuries on December 7, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Why are you calling the Reason commentator “Kennedy”, Ed? Odd…

Jaibones on December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

From my cold, dead hands.

rightside on December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Evil is unpredictable thus unpreventable; pack heat.

E9RET on December 7, 2012 at 5:41 PM

When we raise pit bulls for recreation, let’s not swoon every time somebody gets bit.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Should every family own a gun?
http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/24/should-every-family-own-a-gun/

I suppose I could continue to tiptoe around the issue of firearms, but I am convinced that every survival minded family must own at least one gun, train their children in gun safety as well as in shooting skills, and that a firearm should be part of their preparedness plan.

It’s shocking to read comments from non-preppers and a few preppers, alike, that part of their survival plan is to take by force the food and supplies they need from people who have prepared. If you are putting time, effort, and money into supplies that will help your family survive future crises, then you absolutely must include firearms as a layer in personal and home safety.

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Costas is himself the best argument of all for the need for strict mic control legislation. Without the mic (and camera), he wouldn’t have made such an ass of himself.

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Raises both hands cause I’ve done it more than once.

44Magnum on December 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Kennedy drowned the woman in a car. Were cars to blame and were they outlawed?

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Why are you calling the Reason commentator “Kennedy”, Ed? Odd…

Jaibones on December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Probably because thats what she calls herself, if you watched the video you’d even hear her say at the end, “For Reason TV, I’m Kennedy.” Not sure what the confusion is here.

vegconservative on December 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Brandish?

No.

But have had to draw a weapon, and draw a steady bead on the idiot who was brandishing one. When he learned how serious the situation had become, he stopped brandishing, and probably wished he had worn Depends that day.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Bob Costas, NFL Surrounded by Armed Security
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/12/04/Quick-Question-Does-Bob-Costas-Use-Security-Are-They-Armed

Bob Costas’ gun control rant was bad but made worse by one key point — he lives much of his life with the benefit of armed security. (i.e., men with guns).

The bottom line: It seems to me that when Costas went on his rant against guns he showed himself to be a hypocrite of the highest order. And in so doing, he joined ranks with O’Donnell, Moore, Bloomberg and numerous other elitists who live by the standard of “do as I say, not as I do.”

If Bobby really wanted understand the right of self-defense, he ought to ditch the armed security detail and walk amongst the commoners of the inner city and really get in tune with the culture of violence.

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM

After Obama re-election, gun owners clinging to Second Amendment
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/06/after-obama-re-election-gun-owners-clinging-to-second-amendment/

To many gun-rights activists, those two phenomena – Obama’s re-election, and the apocalypse – amount to the same thing. “Obama is coming right at us,” warned David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association, soon after the election. “This will be an all-out assault on the Second Amendment.”

Obama expected to push gun control in second term
http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-expected-to-push-gun-control-in-second-term/article/2515196

The president has been preoccupied with negotiations over a deficit-reduction deal since last month’s election, but activists said they expect Obama to become a much more vocal proponent of gun control in 2013. On their wish list is a ban on assault weapons, mandatory background checks for gun buyers and the closing of private-sale loopholes.

Does anyone have any doubts about Barry intentions?

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM

How many people in here have had to brandish a weapon? How many people know somebody whose life was saved by being armed?

(hand raised)

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Having a ranch in South Texas that at times enjoys “undocumented” and occasionally well-armed foreign trespassers, leaves you no option but to “brandish”, although I prefer the term “lock and load”. Just this year alone, either I or my men have had to pull weapons at least a dozen times in self-defense or in preemption. At my house in the city, I’ve had to do the same on an attempted, hopped up and armed carjacker.

I’d be glad to invite Mr. Costas down to the ranch for a little R and R, if he could stomach it. Maybe he could share with us his own techniques that don’t involve guns, although hiding and cowering in a corner won’t quite get ‘er done.

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Jaibones on December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Because, oddly enough, it is her name. She was the “Right” on MTV when it first hit the airwaves. I must admit that she has held up well and I enjoy seeing her around. She has even been on Red Eye. Thanks, Reason.

Cindy Munford on December 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM

After Christmas I will be getting my concealed carry permit and I have a brand new purse made by a company called “Gun Tottin Mamas”. It’s lovely.

Cindy Munford on December 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

“Better to have a gun and not need it than need it and not have one.”
Simple logic.

LizardLips on December 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I’d like to see it as a determined display of force….bransdish sounds sooo much like some street punk walking into a local 7-11.

But, these gun-control morons seem to never give a thought to how long it’ll take cops to arrive, and they usually arrive well after the fact. Never before. Funny thing that.

Or, they have armed details [a la Costas and all the rest of the hypocrites] and talk the talk but won’t walk the walk.

I feel for you. Spent a good bit of time out in West Texas back in the day. Used to be able to drive all over, down to Acuna and Pedras Negras and over to Big Bend whenever we wished. From retired friends, have learned that nobody, nobody in their right mind, will do so today unless well-armed and ready to use it.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2012 at 6:12 PM

NFL players: Three out of four own guns

JPeterman on December 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Every one of my friends and relatives own guns, and most own multiples of them, so I guess we’d be in the four-out-of-four category. What’s surprising is that one of four NFL players do NOT own guns. Are they gay or what?

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:14 PM

What’s surprising is that one of four NFL players do NOT own guns. Are they gay or what?

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Not gay, they just earn enough money to pay for private security.

JPeterman on December 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM

JPeterman on December 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Or are law abiding and live in N.Y and Chicago.

Cindy Munford on December 7, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Spent a good bit of time out in West Texas back in the day. Used to be able to drive all over, down to Acuna and Pedras Negras and over to Big Bend whenever we wished. From retired friends, have learned that nobody, nobody in their right mind, will do so today unless well-armed and ready to use it.

coldwarrior on December 7, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Same here, but those days are gone, especially along any ranch territory along or even 100 miles or so from the border. Hell, I’ve even got a friend who owns one of the largest ranches in Central Texas, northwest of the Hill Country, whose had shootouts with drug runners and smugglers on his land.

And, yeah, “brandishing” implies bravado and it’s certainly not something that real people who regularly handle weapons will ever do. You never want to incite an attack but you’ve got to be damned ready to handle one when it comes.

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:24 PM

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Mojave Mark on December 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Are they gay or what?

TXUS on December 7, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Or play for the Dolphins?

coldwarrior on December 7, 2012 at 6:30 PM

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Mojave Mark on December 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Or a lifetime.

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Why are you calling the Reason commentator “Kennedy”, Ed? Odd…

Jaibones on December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

She hosted Friend or Foe on the Game channel. Lisa Kennedy Montgomery. Goes by Kennedy.

derft on December 7, 2012 at 6:44 PM

She might have mentioned the drugs and alcohol abuse as well.
Most always a factor in things like this.

NeoKong on December 7, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Kennedy

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

@Mojave Mark: I bought my shotgun because, at the time, owing to a drug scandal/investigation, law enforcement had been gutted. Conceivably emergency budget cuts have a similar effect.

Btw, Belcher grew up on Long Island and attended U.Maine. A product of blue state culture?

Seth Halpern on December 7, 2012 at 6:54 PM

My first reaction when I learned of the shooting was–what was so bad that someone would resort to that? And my second reaction was just feeling sorrow for everyone involved for what a tragedy had occurred. So now we have another pinheaded journalist blaming it on evil or cowardice. How is that any different than the other reasons that have been speculated on, the things she disses in her article? We’ll likely never know and I’ll just leave it at that.

stukinIL4now on December 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

what was so bad that someone would resort to that

So now we have another pinheaded journalist blaming it on evil or cowardice.

Your first reaction was to wonder what was so bad and then you chastise a journalist for “blaming” it on evil. Not much cognitive dissonance there.

chemman on December 7, 2012 at 7:13 PM

@Mojave Mark: I bought my shotgun because, at the time, owing to a drug scandal/investigation, law enforcement had been gutted. Conceivably emergency budget cuts have a similar effect.

Btw, Belcher grew up on Long Island and attended U.Maine. A product of blue state culture?

Seth Halpern on December 7, 2012 at 6:54 PM

was kind of hoping people had missed the U Maine stuff.
oh well, I am used to apologizing for this state.
although we are not as anti-gun (as a whole) here due to use being so wooded.

dmacleo on December 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

OT: Pearl Harbor Day.

{Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.}

Akzed on December 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Bob Costas’ Casus Belli

M2RB: The Beatles

Resist We Much on December 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Mojave Mark on December 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

…in Detroit…they tell you to come in…they don’t come!

KOOLAID2 on December 7, 2012 at 9:27 PM

CCW permit holders, in your state is there a BAC level threshold making it illegal to be armed?

Capitalist Hog on December 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

In Tennessee the detectable presence of any intoxicant while carrying a firearm will result in loss of permit.

“If some one is breaking into your home and you are unarmed, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the sheriff.”

tngmv on December 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

CCW permit holders, in your state is there a BAC level threshold making it illegal to be armed?

The Cops found him PASSED OUT DRUNK behind the wheel of his car, and they LET HIM GO! She would still be alive if they would have arrested him like they were supposed to. They arrest people all the time for that very thing. If your at the wheel, you go to jail period. Did they search him? Did he have that gun when they let him go?

Pole-Cat on December 7, 2012 at 10:28 PM

was kind of hoping people had missed the U Maine stuff.
oh well, I am used to apologizing for this state.
although we are not as anti-gun (as a whole) here due to use being so wooded.

dmacleo on December 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Ya – Maine isn’t all that blue – but bluer than it used to be.
I grew up in Scarboro – would have gone to U of Maine if not for USAF Academy and stayed in Colorado for the last 30 years.
When I was in high school, I had a 22 rifle and 410 shotgun that I usd around the house to pick off the woodchucks getting into our garden. Used to go out in the woods with friends hunting squirrels and birds – lots of hunters for deer, ducks and geese. And if anyone ever messed with someone’s lobster pots, they’d find out quick who has guns.

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Wait, is that the former MTV VJ Kennedy?

JohnBrown on December 7, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Great Job, Ed. You da man now, dawg.

December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy…

A date which will live in — Infamy?

Not if you’re HotAir.com — or Google — or Yahoo.

HotAir.com posts NOTHING on Pearl Harbor Day to commemorate the horrific Japanese surprise attack on the American Naval Fleet in port at Pearl Harbor leaving 2,402 Americans killed and 1,282 Americans wounded — many of them civilians.

Pathetic.

This website has gone to crap ever since Michelle Malkin sold out to the highest bidder.

HotAir.com — Guaranteed Soft & SquishyOr Your Money Back

FlatFoot on December 7, 2012 at 11:35 PM

The left likes to make fun of the religous by saying they believe in an imaginary guy in the sky.

I say we reply by asking them why they blame inanimate objects for crime.

Hard Right on December 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Kennedy is the best member of The Media alive right now as far as I’m concerned……..

…..and she’s hot!

williamg on December 8, 2012 at 12:48 AM

The Cops found him PASSED OUT DRUNK behind the wheel of his car, and they LET HIM GO! She would still be alive if they would have arrested him like they were supposed to. They arrest people all the time for that very thing. If your at the wheel, you go to jail period. Did they search him? Did he have that gun when they let him go?

Pole-Cat on December 7, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Some animals are more equal than others.

Kenosha Kid on December 8, 2012 at 12:50 AM

If the dirtbag had not had a gun, the young woman would still be dead, but he would likely still be alive. And we would be spending ridiculous amounts of money prosecuting/jailing him. Which option sounds better?

Squiggy on December 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM