CNN’s Costas Misleadingly Compares Gun Control To Traffic Laws

I’m beginning to think the liberal media doesn’t understand what “bipartisanship” means. At least Bob Costas seems to have some trouble with the term, as his Friday morning interview on CNN’s New Day veered off from a fairly grounded discussion of much of the professional sports world’s advocacy for gun control into a string of misleading analogies that were heavy on the feelings but light on the facts.

Brianna Keilar began the interview by asking Costas “what kind of responsibility is then incumbent on these — on these teams and figures?” to support gun control policies. Costas gave a fairly levelheaded answer, “I don’t know that there’s a specific responsibility or that everyone is required to express themselves. But certainly it’s a free country, and these players and other sports figures have a platform and they have every right to use it.” 

Costas double-checked with Keilar that he wasn’t taking up too much air time and, when told he was not, decided to wax eloquent on how the solutions proposed by Republicans in recent days are not good enough:

What we always hear in the aftermath of this, from certain quarters on the spectrum, “Let’s talk about mental health. Let’s talk about the police response. Let’s talk about security at the perimeter of schools.” All of those are reasonable things to talk about. But there’s one thing that’s always off the table, and that’s common-sense gun safety measures.

Costas then continued by comparing the Republican response to the horrible shooting to a doctor that diagnoses all but one of your symptoms, asking Keilar, “would you continue to go to that doctor?” 

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Perhaps these legislative doctors believe that tightening gun restrictions would not cure the disease? 

Costas then decided to ditch all subtlety and make a direct emotional appeal: 

In a sane world, would any gun dealer look at the ID of an 18-year-old  kid, see that this is his eighteenth birthday, he wants to buy an AR-15. . .why would anyone want that young man — who we know now is troubled and was a murderer — why would we want him to walk out of that gun dealer’s store with two AR-15s?

The shooter, tragically, passed his background check and was of age to buy a gun, and an 18-year-old buying a gun on his birthday in much the same way a 21-year-old would go to a bar would not be seen as unusual in rural Texas. Sure, it’s easy for Costas to say “we know now” that the shooter was a deeply disturbed individual, but to call it insane for the gun dealer to have sold legal firearms to someone who had passed his background check is lunacy. 

Costas concluded his rant with a misplaced comparison of gun laws to traffic laws, arguing that, “nobody says, ‘You know what, this is the first step to confiscating our cars, and pretty soon we’ll all have to go to grandma’s house on Thanksgiving in a horse and buggy.’”

We also don’t have politicians promising (yet), “Hell yes we’re going to take away your car!” Regardless, Costas and co. sure seem to be trying their damnedest to tank any honest efforts at discussing bipartisan gun violence legislation before the conversation has even started.

This misleading miasma of metaphors was made possible by Mercedes-Benz and Energizer Batteries. Their contact information is linked.

Click “Expand” to see the relevant transcript.

CNN’s New Day
05/27/22
8:23:25 AM ET

BRIANNA KEILAR: I also wonder Bob, I wonder about the responsibility that a lot of these figures feel, because — you know —  we’ve been telling people about these ten and eleven-year-olds who died. And we’ve been saying they love to dance to TikTok videos. They love the Astros. I mean — these are the — these kids, their favorite things — some of them — were sports teams — 

BOB COSTAS: Yeah, sports

KEILAR: — And I wonder what kind of responsibility is then incumbent on these — on these teams and figures? 

COSTAS: I don’t know that there’s a specific responsibility or that everyone is required to express themselves. But certainly it’s a free country, and these players and other sports figures have a platform and they have every right to use it. I don’t know how much time you have here, Brianna, so stop me if I am taking up — 

KEILAR: We have time.

COSTAS: — Too much of it. But — okay.

What we always hear in the aftermath of this, from certain quarters on the spectrum, “Let’s talk about mental health. Let’s talk about the police response. Let’s talk about security at the perimeter of schools.” All of those are reasonable things to talk about. But there’s one thing that’s always off the table, and that’s common sense gun safety measures. 

If you had a doctor that you went to, and you had multiple conditions and they were all significant, but for whatever reason he was not allowed to tell you about one of them and not allowed to treat one of them, he was allowed to prescribe treatment for the others, but not for the one that might be the most significant or certainly as significant, would you continue to go to that doctor? 

This is off the table for many right-wingers and many lawmakers (supposed lawmakers who won’t make laws that will deal with this) because they treat the Second Amendment as if it were a sacrament — but long ago a Supreme Court Justice said, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” 

In a sane world, would any gun dealer look at the ID of an 18-year-old  kid, see that this is his eighteenth birthday, he wants to buy an AR-15. He comes back two days later, and he wants to buy another one. If there were a common sense registry we’d also know, like we know with prescription drugs, that he bought ammunition, a whole bunch of it, in the intervening day. In a sane world, why would anyone want that young man — who we know now is troubled and was a murderer — why would we want him to walk out of that gun dealer’s store with two AR-15s? In a sane world, this is a law and order issue. It’s not a liberal issue. It’s not a “take down the Second Amendment” issue.

You know, no one says because we have regulations, we have traffic laws, you have to have a license, you have to have insurance, you have to have your car inspected, nobody says, “You know what, this is the first step to confiscating our cars, and pretty soon we’ll all have to go to grandma’s house on Thanksgiving in a horse and buggy.” They don’t say that because its insane. And so is some of the response to this. Its just insane.

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