Professor argues with letter criticizing Costas’ rant in support of gun control
Robert Burwell, in his letter to The Daily Orange on Dec. 4, chastises Bob Costas for suggesting during the halftime of Sunday Night Football that “we should outlaw handguns.” I encourage students to find Costas’ comments online and listen to them carefully. What they will hear is an expression of concern about the gun culture in the United States, and a suggestion that the widespread possession of handguns is a factor in many violent deaths.
Burwell’s claim that Costas called for a blanket ban against handguns is simply untrue. It is, however, typical of how the gun lobby responds to proposals to regulate the sales and possession of guns in any way. Whether it has to do with the sale of armor piercing bullets, the ability of people on terrorist watch lists to wander into gun shows and purchase assault rifles, or anything else, all such suggestions are instantly equated with a diabolical plan to confiscate all firearms from Americans.
Laws pertaining to the sale of prescription drugs, the granting of drivers’ licenses and even how we dispose of our trash are for the most part noncontroversial. The idea that any regulation whatsoever of firearms is an intolerable violation of our rights is patently absurd.
Leonard S. Newman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Area Director, Social Psychology Program
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