In the aftermath of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide, anti-gun advocates have used the tragic murder of Kassandra Perkins to provoke a national conversation about the need for increased gun control.
This misguided conversation has been spearheaded by NBC Football analyst, Bob Costas and culminated in his halftime commentary Sunday night. Paraphrasing FoxSports.com columnist, Jason Whitlock, Costas ended his 90-second rant about gun control with, "But here wrote Jason Whitlock is what I believe, 'if Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today.'"
What Costas fails to mention is that domestic violence and gun control are not mutually exclusive, and to group the two together does a disservice to victims of domestic violence who were not injured or murdered at the hands of a gun.
Earlier this year, a Massachusetts woman, Kristen Pulisciano was stabbed to death in front of her two children by her boyfriend with a knife. A new bridge in Chicago, Estrella Carrera was brutally stabbed by her husband of only a few hours on her wedding night. In fact, on the morning Jovan Belcher took his own life and the life of his live-in girlfriend Kassandra, Jodi Surinaga in Staten Island, New York was allegedly beaten to death with a baseball bat by her husband, Gregory Surinaga who then tried to hang himself.
Domestic violence was what ultimately took Kassandra's life, and to marginalize her death to a discussion about gun control is a tragedy upon itself. Since her death, the focus should be on the dangers and threats domestic violence poses and educating the public to avoid senseless tragedies in the future. Domestic violence in and of itself is its own epidemic and it is one of the greatest threats women in this country face today. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more so than car accidents and sexual assaults combined.
In fact, statistics tell us that in the United States more than three women will be murdered today by their husband or boyfriend. Built like a linebacker, Javon Belcher was 6'2 and weighed 228 pounds. Gun or no gun, the petite Kassandra Perkins was no match to the rage that had built up inside him. Kassandra's death should be the catalyst we use to reexamine our stance on domestic violence and try to curb what is becoming an expanding epidemic. The continuation to politicize her death under the sham that gun control is the reason Kassandra died, causes her death to have been in vain.