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The Times
  • Alix Kunkle: Gun control laws wouldn't have stopped the tragedy that happened in Kansas City

  • Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock were all over the news early this week because of comments they made regarding the tragedy that occurred in Kansas City over the weekend, when Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide in front of Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli at the Chiefs' practice facility. 

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  • Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock were all over the news early this week because of comments they made regarding the tragedy that occurred in Kansas City over the weekend, when Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend before committing suicide in front of Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli at the Chiefs' practice facility. 
    Whitlock wrote (and Costas quoted on national television, though he did basically say that he agreed with him) that if we had stricter gun control laws in America, both Perkins and Belcher would still be alive today. 
    I don't believe that argument, not for a second. It's not because I think Belcher is a bad person, or that he set out to kill someone. I never knew him, so I can't make a judgement on what he was really thinking. But what I have learned over the years, from watching numerous crime shows and news programs, is that guns aren't exactly necessary for these kinds of incidents to happen. If someone really wanted to use a gun to kill someone, we live in a day and age where it wouldn't be too hard for someone to get their hands on a gun, legally or illegally (depending on your state's gun laws). 
    Gun control is not the problem here. 
    Instead, the true issue is domestic violence and abuse in the relationship — whether it's physical, mental or verbal — awareness. 
    And identifying abuse problems starts with the family itself. I think more and more people don't want to, or are afraid to, reach out for help from an outside source, such as a friend or a counselor. Maybe it's because they're ashamed to resort to such an avenue, or because they think they can work through it themselves. Everyone is different.
    But asking for help is the only true way to solve these problems. Many times, it's not exactly evident that families are having problems. They hide it because they don't want their friends and family to see they're having a problem, or, like above, they think they can get through it themselves. 
    The reasons are endless. I'm not saying in any way that this is the case in every domestic abuse case, or that this was the case in the Belcher incident. But this is what I've heard the most in my short life.
    So how do we fix this? Well, it comes down to us. Every single one of us. 
    Whether we're married or not, we need to recognize what is domestic abuse and what is not. Every couple is going to have its fight. There's no avoiding that. But there is a difference between a fight and abuse. 
    Page 2 of 2 - And we need to recognize how to avoid getting into an abusive situation, and we need to understand the steps we can take if we get into such a situation. This is a problem that can happen to men and women, and just knowing the psyche of males, I would believe they're less inclined to report some sort of an abusive incident because they believe it might make them look like less of a man. 
    It doesn't matter whether you're a man or a women, if you're only in a serious relationship or you've been married for 20 years, or if you're living in the United States or in Luxembourg. 
    Domestic abuse is a serious problem in our world right now. It could happen to all of us, whether we're a superstar or just another everyday American.  
    Now, I'll agree with Costas and Whitlock on one thing. These tragedies need to stop. These are tragedies that can be prevented. 
    But gun control laws won't do a thing to stop this. 
    Only we can help stop these tragedies. 
    Alix Kunkle is the news editor of the Leesville Daily Leader in Leesville, La. You may contact him at news@leesvilledailyleader.com.
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