Noel Sheppard used a Dec. 2 NewsBusters post to denounce Bob Costas' reading of a sports columnist's criticism of the "gun culture" in the wake of the murder suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. Sheppard took particular exception to the statement that "If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today," huffing, "Yes, because men never killed each other or themselves before the creation of the gun."
Sheppard later added an update:
According to the American Association of Suicidology, roughly 50 percent of 2010's suicides were by firearm. The other roughly 50 percent were by such things as hanging and poisoning.
With this in mind, believing that "If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today" is preposterous.
Sheppard tries to distract from the issue at hand by focusing only on suicides. In fact, research shows that guns greatly increase the probability that women who are victims of domestic violence will be killed by their abuser, and the vast majority of murder-suicides are committed with guns.
So there's nothing at all preposterous about the idea that both Belcher and his girlfriend might still be alive had a gun not been involved in their dispute -- except, perhaps, inside Noel Sheppard's head.