Conservative Political Views


December 5, 2012

FULL INTERVIEW: Bill O’Reilly Takes on Bob Costas Over America’s ‘Gun Culture’


Tonight, Bob Costas went head-to-head with Bill O’Reilly about gun control in America. Costas found himself in the middle of the debate on guns after he spoke out during halftime at an NFL game about Kansas City Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide.

The NBC sportscaster sat down for an interview with O’Reilly, who is outspoken about his own views on gun rights.

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The Factor host asked Costas how he really feels about the right to bear arms. Costas said he’s not looking to repeal the Second Amendment. “I didn’t call for any specific prohibition on guns, never used the words gun control,” he defended.

Costas said he quoted columnist Jason Whitlock’s response to the tragedy because he “credibly” mentioned a gun culture in America that’s about a “mentality about and toward guns that almost always leads to tragedy rather than safety.”

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O’Reilly asked Costas, “So, you’re saying you want a more stringent program by the authorities to make it harder to get guns?”

Costas interjected, “No, you are saying I’m saying that. […] If you were to ask me, I believe that there should be more comprehensive and effective controls on the sale of guns.”

O’Reilly brought up the recent massacre at a movie theater in Colorado, asking Costas, “You and I are in the theater, OK, in Colorado. We’re watching the Batman movie. The nut comes in through the back door with his guns and he opens fire. […] Would you rather have the choice of ducking down on the floor or having a handgun on you to pull out and defend yourself against the man?”

In that particular situation, Costas said, “I don’t want to have a gun on me.” He said it’s much more likely that there would be more carnage as a result.

O’Reilly said that was Costas’ “big mistake” and explained to him that, “You don’t want a gun, I want one. I want to be able to protect myself against that loon with a gun rather than being on the floor.”

Costas interrupted, stressing that it’s about a kind of mentality, but O’Reilly persisted, “I have this kind of thinking and millions of people have it: I want to be able to protect myself against that guy.”

In retrospect, Costas stands by his own remarks, but acknowledged, “I don’t back up on anything I said, but I think it might’ve been more effective if I said, ‘Look, if we’re looking for perspective on this, we’re going to have a serious discussion within sports […] about domestic violence, about the culture of the game itself, about the easy access to guns.’”

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