Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Jovan Belcher Tragedy

On Saturday morning Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his 3 month old child and then shot himself in front of the men who believed in him at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. On Sunday there was a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence at the Chief's game, presumably for Belcher and his girlfriend. Bob Costas gave an impromptu commentary saying if Jovan Belcher had not had a gun then none of this would have happened.
   If there is any blame to assign then it goes to Jovan Belcher but if he is sick then what do we do? I don't know if he has reached out for help, perhaps he was on medication that didn't help him as much as he thought it would. If we don't know then we can't help.
   I am far from a bleeding heart but my views on this have changed over the past several days. At first I was up in arms about the gun control commentary and I still disagree with Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock that are calling for more gun control. Gun control would not have stopped this, he would have used another weapon (knife, car, stick) if he was intent on hurting someone. That isn't the answer. More personal accountability is the answer. Changing the culture of violence is a start. Football is not to blame but perhaps we should focus more on our family and personal relationships than on our fantasy football team or bowl game practices for State U. Let's talk to each other, meet face to face instead of over a phone, find time to spend listening instead of thinking what next to say. We can't sit still for a minute, always so much to do - as the father of 12 children I know how that feels and sometimes I don't feel like I am in control. That is when I need to stop, take a breath, and cancel things that are not important.
   To avert future events let us take the time to listen. It may not save a life, but maybe it will.

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