Goldberg: Bob Costas concerned about 'gun culture' in US

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, let's get right to the purveyor of who joins you from Miami.

So, you heard Bob Costas last night at halftime, talking about the gun situation as it relates to the Kansas City Chiefs guy. What do you think.

BERNARD GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, like you, I know Bob Costas. He's a good friend of mine. And he's a very thoughtful guy.

The first thing, just to get it out of the way, he was on for less than a minute. And, almost all of the time, he spent quoting a very fine columnist out in Kansas City named Jason Whitlock.

But as far as Bob himself is concerned, I spoke to him today at length, and he told me that --

-- he, in no way, wants -- and if he could even snap his fingers and make it happen, he wouldn't repeal the Second Amendment because of abuses that some people commit with guns, in any more than he would repeal the First Amendment because some people say stupid things and hurtful things.

So, that's not what it's about. He told me he has no problem with people who have guns to protect their homes or to go hunting. He said that he thinks there should be reasonable gun control so that people don't have -- can't go online and build an arsenal of guns and put it in their basement.

But the most important thing he told me, Bill, is that he wasn't by and large talking about gun laws.

He was talking about a gun culture that creates an attitude, he says, in some young people, whereby, more -- this is a quote, "more bad things happen with guns than good things."

And this is my interpretation of precisely what he meant, that some people use guns to settle arguments. Some people use guns to show that they demand respect. Some people use guns because somebody looks at them funny.

But, in no way he made clear, does he want laws to abolish guns because of these abuses.


GOLDBERG: And, I think, he's been taking hits from people on the right today. And, I think, people on the right should be, first and foremost, in favor, agreeing with him on this attitude.

This attitude that, as he said, deadens empathy in some people and has more bad things happening with guns than good things.

O'REILLY: The mistake that Costas made was he waded into a very emotional issue. He used an emotional issue, the murder of the woman and the suicide of the player.


And then he put on top of that an emotional issue that people, they hear what they want to hear, Bernie. You know that.

GOLDBERG: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: People hear what they want to hear.

GOLDBERG: I told him that.

O'REILLY: What they heard from Bob Costas was that he wanted law- abiding citizens to either give up their guns or have a harder time getting them.

If you're going to get into this, you've got to do what I did at the top of the program. Give it three and a half minutes, put forth some solutions --


O'REILLY: -- and talk about it in a non-emotional, very clinical way. And, even now, I'm going to get -- you know, I'll get thousands of e-mails attacking me for whatever.

But I'm worried about this madness component. And, now, I want to talk to you about this. You have -- you did some reporting on the head injuries in the NFL. And there have been many.

And, just recently, we had Seau in San Diego commit suicide. Dave Duerson commits suicide, a Chicago Bear star.

And, now, we have this guy for Kansas City Chiefs who goes mad. Nobody does what he does unless you snap. I don't believe that there's a correlation between football and madness, do you.

GOLDBERG: I have spoken to the absolute, foremost experts in this field. And while -- I want to make clear, I'm not talking about what was in Belcher's head, the football player's head, when he killed the woman and himself.

I don't know what was in his head then. But, I will tell you that the science is unequivocal on this. That repeated hits to the head --

-- not just concussions, by the way, but routine hits to the head that football players take, often lead -- far more than in the general population, lead to depression, the early onset of dementia, Alzheimer's and even Lou Gehrig's disease. There is no question about that now.

O'REILLY: I don't think that anybody -- who would deny that. It's the roughest game in the world, maybe with the exception of rugby.

And you -- if you are going to play it, you are taking a bodily risk. Everyone knows that, all right.

GOLDBERG: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: And you're richly-rewarded if you succeed. And then there are guys like my friend, Frank Gifford, who played many, many years, got a bunch of concussions but, you know, he's now, you know, an elderly man but is still in good shape.

So, it's not a cause and effect. This is absolutely going to happen. But the culture of pro-football now is so intense.

And these guys take a lot of substance, whether they admit it or not, painkillers just to build your body up and all of that, that I'm just wondering whether this is a really now off-the-chart high-risk group for the madness component.

GOLDBERG: Well, you can smoke and not necessarily get lung disease or cancer but you don't want to take that chance.

The CDD did a study this year -- I think it came out just fairly recently, that said if you've been in the NFL for at least five years, there's a four times greater chance that you will die of dementia -- you will die of dementia than if you did something else for a living, such as being an accountant or being an anchorman or, you know, flying an airplane or anything.

So, statistically, no, it doesn't happen to everybody. You can retire and be OK. But, by the same token, it's going to happen to people who have taken repeated hits to the head far more often.

O'REILLY: Four times more often.

GOLDBERG: They will have bad things happen to them far more often. Four times more often is a lot than people who didn't play football.

O'REILLY: All right, Bernie. We appreciate your coming on as always.

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