WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — The head of the National Rifle Association, CEO Wayne LaPierre, stated that the recent murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Javon Belcher could have been avoided if his girlfriend owned a gun to protect herself.
Speaking with USA Today Sports, LaPierre said, “The one thing missing in that equation is that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer,” he said, referring to the media’s failure to cover that side of the story.
Belcher, 25, shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then shot and killed himself outside of Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium on the first of December.
LaPierre made this comment in response to a question about whether there was any danger in recent reports that the NFL has a dangerous gun culture. “There is no gun culture in the NFL,” LaPierre replied. “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.”
His response comes after sportscaster Bob Costas caused a stir from comments he made supporting gun control during last week’s Sunday Night Football halftime.
“Handguns do not enhance our safety,” said Costas. “They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”
Kansas City police have said that the handgun Belcher used was legally acquired. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (twice) that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep a handgun in the home.
LaPierre stated that malicious individuals should be blamed for such violence, not firearms.
“It’s not a culture of athletes,” LaPierre told USA Today. “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.”