Given its recent history, the National Football League would likely be demanding more gun control if running back Ray Rice used a firearm to attack his wife in an elevator instead of his bare hands.
Celebrity news outlet TMZ released a surveillance video today showing Rice, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, knocking Janay Palmer, his then-fiance, into the handrail of an elevator and then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator car.
The NFL, which had until today only seen footage of Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of the elevator, responded by suspending Rice for two games, but if the Ravens’ running back had instead used a gun during this violent incident, there’s no doubt the league would currently be engaged in an all-out war against the Second Amendment.
After Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before killing himself on Dec. 1, 2012, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, with the NFL’s blessing, blamed America’s “gun culture” for the killings during the Sunday Night Football halftime show the following day.
“Handguns do not enhance our safety,” he said. “They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”
Of course, blaming a firearm, which obviously cannot move or function on its own, for killing someone is akin to blaming a spoon for making a person fat, and because the lack of a gun did not stop Rice from attacking his wife, its pretty obvious that Costas’s argument is flawed.
Costas was simply exploiting Belcher’s murder-suicide to fit his pre-existing vendetta against the Second Amendment, a vendetta the NFL seemingly shares.
Last October, for example, the NFL banned off-duty cops from carrying their guns inside FirstEnergy Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Browns.
The president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, Jeff Folmer, was disappointed at the NFL’s decision.
“We are police officers 24/7,” he said. “I don’t know why anyone would want to disarm a police officer.”
The NFL enacted similar gun bans at other stadiums, prompting two Minnesota police associations to sue the league earlier this year.
“The lawsuit, filed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, claims that the policy puts members of the public at an unnecessary risk by prohibiting licensed, off-duty police officers from carrying their weapons inside a stadium,” Fox News reported.
Similarly, late last year, the NFL rejected a pro-gun Super Bowl advertisement by Daniel Defense which depicted a Marine arriving to greet his family with a voiceover stating “no one has the right to tell me how to defend them.”
Despite the fact that the commercial did not feature “firearms, ammunition or other weapons,” which are banned per NFL advertising guidelines, the NFL still nixed the ad.