Guns, Injuries, Macho Culture Didn't Kill Jovan Belcher's Girlfriend. Jovan Belcher Did.

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Were you disgusted by news coverage immediately following the death of Jovan Belcher?

Belcher was a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs who shot his girlfriend - and mother of his three-month-old daughter - dead after an argument. Belcher then drove to the Arrowhead Stadium practice facility to profusely thank general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel for their roles in his career. He reportedly said, "I love you, bro" before shooting himself.

Fans and sportswriters tried to make sense of the Belcher violence, and with the suicide of San Diego Charger Junior Seau earlier this year in mind, they grasped at common straws that might tie the two acts together. But what separates Belcher from Seau - and other depressed athletes who've struggled with the fallout from a career of hard hits and head injuries - is that Junior's plight didn't end in the barbaric murder of his girlfriend and the orphaning of a three-month-old baby.

Jovan Belcher's suicide might have forced the question as to whether or not football has become too violent and punishing for its player, but killing his girlfriend elevates the action to something that cannot be justified by appeals to celebrity culture and pop psychology.

Or even readily explained by scientific research suggesting traumatic injury causes permanent brain damage and behavioral problems. Killing your girlfriend is not a "behavioral problem", it is a horrific, evil, cowardly act that is morally wrong to try to either explain or excuse through the science of battered brains.

Yet everyone seemed to want to blame Belcher's actions on something else. At CNN, former Democratic congressional candidate and Real World participant Kevin Powell talked about the problems of super-macho culture and the ready availability of guns. Bob Costas lost his nut when he turned the Jovan Belcher tragedy into an anti-gun rant. Costas has fallen further off the rails than Powell if he thinks a gun-free Belcher home would have also shown an absence of violence or murder.

Instead of immediately reaching for our nearest ideological hobby horse, let's stipulate an ugly truth: Sometimes people are bad.

Brain injury did not pull the trigger that blew away both of Zoey Belcher's parents one horrible Saturday morning. Jovan Belcher did, and for that he will rightly be remembered not as a big man, but as a bad man.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Written by Kennedy, who also hosts, and Nick Gillespie.

About 2:40 minutes.

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  1. Don't be so ridiculous, Kennedy. It's racist to suggest anyone is responsible for their own actions.

    1. I know! This is crazy talk. Us White Trash types aren't gonna be held responsible either.

      Everything I do is the fault of the booze, oxy, PTSD, child abuse, and lead paint.

      1. What, no meth? You jest, sir, you jest.

        1. I forgot - blame that one on the pot.

  2. Researchers find area in brain responsible for killing girlfriend in 3, 2, 1, ....

    1. He was a jock, it's not like he was using that brain...

    2. I think they found that part on the ceiling.

  3. You can't hold people responsible for their own actions! Who will you sue?!?

    1. I have no idea whom I'll sue.

      1. Pedants are pedantic.

  4. That makes a LOT of sense! You raise some very good points!

    http://www.AnonHide.tk

  5. ...Real World participant Kevin Powell talked about the problems of super-macho culture and the ready availability of guns.

    Like I'm going to listen to a spawn of MTV anyway.

    1. Win. Drop the mike and walk off stage.

    2. *stands, applauds vigorously*

    3. But he was also a former Democratic congressional candidate. A TOP. MAN. I'm sure.

      1. It was a double derp, because, you know, Kennedy.

  6. this kind of thinking that gets people branded as fringe characters and kooks. It's like Kennedy has no concept of what America is anymore, wanting to hold people accountable for things they do. Good grief; what will she suggest next? Something like govt living within its means?

  7. Amen.

    If this poor woman was killed by any abstraction, it was anti-gun sentiment. If she'd been in a position to defend herself we'd still hear the tut-tutting about macho culture, but at least the aggressor would be on ice, not her

    1. "If this poor woman was killed by any abstraction, it was anti-gun sentiment. If she'd been in a position to defend herself we'd still hear the tut-tutting about macho culture, but at least the aggressor would be on ice, not her"

      You gotta be shittin' me. You have seriously escaped the bounds of reality if this is what you believe.

      You 'Merkin Gun Nuts (tm) think that all gun threats can be met by a well-time draw at a mythical OK Corral, when data shows that, under pressure, the average dumbshit with a gun is likely to panic and shoot his spouse, kid or own goddam foot.

      1. You 'Merkin Gun Nuts (tm) think that all gun threats can be met by a well-time draw at a mythical OK Corral, when data shows that, under pressure, the average dumbshit with a gun is likely to panic and shoot his spouse, kid or own goddam foot.

        Uhmm which data would that be? That's right, none. Stupid.

      2. There is ACTUAL data, that pretty much espouses the opposite conclusion. Look up any statistic on CCW, compare them to the general population, the police, whatever.

  8. "Killing your girlfriend is not a "behavioral problem", it is a horrific, evil, cowardly act that is morally wrong to try to either explain or excuse through the science of battered brains."

    Evil? Morality? Such quaint notions. Scientists have dissected thousands of corpses but they have never found either of those things in there.

  9. Talking sense on a Friday? Are you mad (in the British sense), Kennedy?

    1. And why isn't Kennedy investigating what this woman did to deserve being shot?

      1. You mean being a woman wasn't enough?

  10. Boy, did I find this article disturbing on a bunch of levels. I'm not quite sure how this guy's teammates were even able to bring themselves to go to his memorial service. Maybe they're still just in such a state of shock and denial that they're not quite thinking straight.

    1. Although, in KC's defense: before last Sunday's game they observed a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence (not for Belcher) and they are not (at least last I heard) going to wear his number on their uniforms.

    2. As a Chiefs fan who has followed this whole fiasco fairly closely, I'll say this: some nuance is required. While what Belcher did clearly was evil, I don't think the man underneath the act was evil. The team remembered Belcher as a good teammate, a hard worker, and a generally friendly person to be around. Reconciling that reality with what he did is a difficult thing. I don't know if you've ever known a murderer(I have, I knew David Attias, the Isla Vista car killer) , but sometimes a person snaps and does something wholly evil and it simply doesn't fit with the person you knew.

      This process can be remarkably difficult. You don't approve of what the man did, but you recognize that the man you knew was not the man that did that. Belcher ended up taking his own life probably because he realized what he did and couldn't live with himself (after shooting his gf nine times, he bent over kissed her, apologized, and said he loved her).

  11. Has anybody suggested male post-partum depression yet? I'm pretty sure you can get sympathy even for killing your kids with that one.

  12. Why is it so outlandish to think that long-term brain damage might make people behave less rationally?

    1. the guy was, what, 25 years old? What long term brain damage? Sometimes, bad people are just bad people. The NFL has had some of those, just like every other industry has.

      1. Regular concussions dating back to high school isn't long-term enough for you? I mean, he might have just been naturally crazy, there's no hard evidence either way. But "NFL player commits suicide, autopsy shows him to have the brain of an Alzheimer's patient" is becoming a regular story on ESPN.

        1. it's kind of hard to do an autopsy on the brain when it's splattered all over the ceiling.

        2. Taking drugs for a long time will make people go stupid, that doesn't mean the blame suddenly shifts.

    2. Also, exactly how many concussions did Belcher recieve over the course of his football career? Has the coroner's report shown evidence of permanent brain damage (other than what was caused by the bullet that is)? Was he under treatment for any psychological issues that could be caused by permanent brain damage as a result of concussions?

      What's that? We don't know the answers to any of the above questions? Then maybe this is all just idle speculation on the part of a media obsessed with trying to explain every horrific act that someone commits while also pursuing their own pet causes and hobby horses.

      1. The article doesn't dismiss the claims that Belcher's profession made him more prone to brain injury. It just says that rather than being linked to such injury, "Killing your girlfriend ... is a horrific, evil, cowardly act that is morally wrong to try to either explain or excuse through the science of battered brains."

        So why is "brain damage might have caused Belcher's actions" a pet cause and hobby horse that his no place in the discussion, but "brain damage definitely did not contribute to Belcher's actions" fine and dandy?

        1. There's NO FUCKING PROOF that "brain damage made him do it". That's what I said: it's all just speculation at this point. Until it is proven that he had permanent brain damage, I'm going with the simplest explanation, which is usually the best and most likely explanation for these kinds of things: Javon Belcher was an angry asshole who was just good at hiding it.

          Hell, even if it does turn out that he had multiple concussions over the course of his career that caused some kind of permanent damage, there's no way to know for sure what set him off, so the simplest explanation is still the more likely. People need to just stop trying so fucking hard to explain away shit like this and just accept the truth. Sometimes people do bad things. Shit happens.

          1. Loki, a better, more reasoned, approach would be to ask if there was a propensity towards violence on the part of the many, many other football players who have suffered concussions.

            1. There is. Look at all the suicides of NFL players, pro-wrestlers, hockey players, soldiers serving in iraq/afghanistan (brain injury from explosions). Suicidality is homocidality turned inward.

              There is so much evidence linking long-term mild repetitive brain injury and violent/erratic behavior, to deny it is ridiculous. What the fuck is your guys's argument, exactly?

              This is all complicated and hard to think about though, so lets just call them evil. Also, climate change doesn't exist.

              1. Well, I'd expect such an argument from a Believer.

                Where is the control of big, burly men who grow flowers for a living and their incidence of depression. In other words, those people prone to "rough trades" and the a priori mental reasons for it. It's not too difficult to suppose that people who go in for football and wrestling and such will also be violent people in other situations. You have not addressed that in any way.

              2. Choctaw, what is the "so much evidence", exactly? You heard it through the grapevine? It makes lots of sense to you?

                The argument here is that there is really no compelling evidence linking long term brain injury and violent behaviour, to ASSERT it is ridiculous.
                What can be gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied.

          2. I'm not sure who said concussions definitely led to Belcher's murder-suicide, but it wasn't me. You're complete right, we have no idea whether he had significant brain damage, and since he shot himself in the head it will almost certainly remain a mystery.

            What I take issue with is Kennedy's statement that even if we knew for a fact that he was brain-damaged, it would still be "morally wrong" to link that to the killings, so it has no place in the discussion at all, regardless of the pattern of brain-damaged NFL players committing suicide.

            1. Since plenty of players suffer such damage but DON'T murder their wives and kids, yes it's wrong to link it to the killings.

              1. Plenty of schizophrenics don't kill anybody. Ergo, the ones that do turn violent are EVIL.

              2. And plenty of people murder their wives and kids with perfectly healthy brains. And they don't need guns to do it.

                An NFL linebacker is quite capable of killing with his bare hands.

              3. And plenty of people murder their wives and kids with perfectly healthy brains. And they don't need guns to do it.

                An NFL linebacker is quite capable of killing with his bare hands.

              4. And plenty of people murder their wives and kids with perfectly healthy brains. And they don't need guns to do it.

                An NFL linebacker is quite capable of killing with his bare hands.

              5. And plenty of people murder their wives and kids with perfectly healthy brains. And they don't need guns to do it.

                An NFL linebacker is quite capable of killing with his bare hands.

      2. Also, does Kennedy believe that the insanity defense should be abolished, or that we should execute mentally incompetent defendants? I'm curious how far this "no amount of brain malfunction excuses murder" stance goes.

        1. So it does make murder ok? Good to know.

          1. Get it through your fucking right-wing unthinking brain: UNDERSTANDING THIS SHIT, REGARDLESS OF ITS EFFECTS ON YOUR PRECIOUS WORLDVIEW, WILL LESSEN ITS INCIDENCE IN THE FUTURE.

    3. Because if people arent strictly rational, the whole "free minds and free markets" paradigm gets covered in icky nuance.

      1. "Man, if people don't agree I'm really REALLY tall, they they must just not understand the nuance of my ickiness."

      2. Yeah, cause that means we then need the strictly rational TOP.MEN to manage everything for people.

        1. No, but it does mean that you can't always assume voluntary exchange necessitates both parties are better off.

          1. No, but it does mean that you can't always assume voluntary exchange necessitates both parties are better off.

            That assumption isn't made by libertarians.

            Fascination with Utopian outcomes (and belief, or at least argument, that they are possible) is pretty much the hallmark of leftists.

          2. Who ever said they were? The issue is do they THINK they will be better off making the trade or not. No one has ever said they may not be remorseful for the trade a day or a year or a decade afterward. The idea is whether a supposed know-it-all gets to interfere for everyone, everywhere based on THEIR own value judgments so as to make things, on net, better. That is simply an impossibility on the face of it. But the Believers believe and they set about trying to be mother to everyone. And when failure to have an affect reveals itself, they just redouble their efforts and try and gain more access to the right to program people to think the right way and so make correct choices. And all they do is create more problems than existed before and do little to nothing about the original problem.

            Long story short, freedom is a double edge sword and it can be good or bad. Only time can tell. And those self appointed who deem to be able to use offensive Force to interfere don't have the prescience they think they have. They're just lashing out due to their own superstitions just like any other fear laden Statist sap.

  13. Bob Costas suffers from guilty white liberal syndrome. he has to protect his 'property'. after seeing him fist bump Hines on the NBC set in the Superdome, he's not going to bite the hands that feeds, young dumb black kids, so he blames the gun, not the shooter.

    1. Or he could just be a liberal douche.

      1. Or he could be brave enough to talk the truth.
        And it's you gun-fetishing fktards who can't seem to get around your love of killing things.
        What's the boogerman that you guntards are so afraid of?
        Is he hiding in the closet? Coming over the border? Looking to rape yer wymynfolk?

  14. Shut the fuck up Kennedy. Just shut the fuck up. You don't know anything about anything and your mouth diarrhea is stinking up the place.

    1. Shut the fuck up Warren. Just shut the fuck up. You don't know anything about anything and your mouth diarrhea is stinking up the place.

      1. I don't think anybody could have put it better than you darius.

  15. I'm not saying that concussions played any role in this; I don't have any facts on that one way or the other. However, I have seen dramatic changes in personality, usually becoming short tempered and more violent, in guys who sustained traumatic brain injuries (i.e. severe concussions) from IEDs in Iraq. Throw in a little PTSD, and some of these guys were like sweaty dynamite. One guy in particular that I remember was so laid back before his TBI that you would have thought he was on benzos. Nothing riled him. Afterwards, he was always pissed off, and would start a fight if he thought you looked at him sideways.

    1. I've known some people who have joined the military and became assholes without seeing any hot action whatsoever. It's part of the experience. My own brother, who was home on leave before being sent to Germany, was a substantially different person and that was just being stateside in the first two years of his four year hitch.

      People are simply over thinking a lot of this. Men being men being programmed to be violent tend to be violent. It doesn't take being hit the head a lot, making it an organic thing. A lot of it is simply programming.

  16. O....kay, Warren.

    Costas is a pompous ass and self-proclaimed gatekeeper. Dude still rails against blogs I bet. I won't take anything away from his excellent skills, but he should stick to that.

    I remember back in 1996 when Donovan Bailey won the 100 m dash. But Costas called Michael Johnson 'the fastest man alive' after winning the 200. Up until that point, the fastest man alive was always considered to be the 100 winner. Suddenly, Costas switches. Maybe because Bailey was Canadian, who knows? Now it's reverted back. No one would suggest Usain Bolt ain't the fastest guy on limbs.

    Costas had nothing to back him up then and he certainly is skating on specious ground here. I just don't understand the mindset. O'Reilly cleverly got him to admit that if given the choice between being armed and protecting himself and hiding under a chair hoping and praiyng, Costas would go with the latter.

    He had invested so much pseudo-intellectual energy building to that conclusion O'Reilly forced him to expose how utterly degenerate it really was.

    1. If O'Reilly actually managed to corner him... Well that sure does say something.

  17. This is super easy for pop culture to figure out if he doesn't kill himself. Then, he's Ray Carruth. Easy to find the right recycling bin on that one. But then he goes and kills himself, and suddenly, it's tragic. You're right about one thing, Kennedy. Actually two things. The sweater is a good look, almost as iconic as the jacket. But the other thing is that he's just a bad guy. And we don't have any recycling bins for bad guys. I guess they just get put out with regular trash.

  18. I think that saying "It's just because he's evil" is every bit as simplistic as saying "Guns or macho attitude made him do it." There's probably a culmination of a lot of things that happened along the way that we can never know or understand.

  19. I'd love to see you guys react to late-stage dementia patients who cuss, punch, kick, scream, throw their feces and do horrible shit all the time. They're just bad people right? Can't blame brain damage at all.

    I know, two people are dead and you want blood, but if we could understand concussions/brain injury better, we could maybe prevent this shit from happening in the first place. Branding someone with a scarlet E for EVIL because they did an EVIL THING guarantees this'll happen again.

    1. So Michael Vick is evil because he engaged in dog fighting, but Belcher shoots and kills the mother of his baby, and he's just had too many concussions.

  20. I dont recall Phil Hartmans wife playing football or most of the murder suicides that happen every year. Sometimes people are just broken, evil, bad or whatever label you choose. Shit happens move on and quit looking for someone to blame.

  21. People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

  22. Guns didn't force Belcher to kill his girlfriend, but they picked up the primary assist.
    The day 'Merkins admit that guns are your country's curable cancer is the day you grow up. Until then, enjoy killing each other. And then spending time on comment boards fapfapfapping about how guns aren't to blame.

    1. As if a 250 lb NFL player lacks any other way of killing his 120 lb girlfriend...

    2. Hello Mary Stack of Forth Worth, Texas. So nice to see you back again.

    3. Dallas Cowboy Jerry Brown was recently killed when the car he was riding in, driven by his drunk teammate, crashed. The driver, Josh Brent, was arrested for intoxicated manslaughter. What gets the "primary assist" on this one? The car? The alcohol? Football? Concussions? Alcohol is America's curable canc-, oh wait, Fast cars are America's curable canc-, no, wait, Winding roads are America's curable canc.......blah blah blah.

  23. More crap from Reason. Everyone is individually responsible for their actions. There is no such thing as "culture." It is a collectivist notion. Everyone behaves in their own self-intrest. Either that or they are "evil." Real scientific a term, there, Reason? The man was raised in a culture where "becoming a man" was code for "kicking the shit out of someone." That didn't affect him at all? Because if you criticize their culutre(I say "their" because almost everyone here is a white nerd), your a "socon."

  24. Topic aside, that SWEATER just triggers all kinds of memories of growing up in the mid-west in the 80s...

    Wow - I though I'd lost all those memories! +1 for sweaters on cute and intelligent women!

  25. The biggest thing that stood out for me with regard to Costas was that he(and Whitlock) said the GF would still be alive if not for a gun. First, that is pure speculation meant to push a leftist anti-gun agenda. Second, I'm fairly positive people were murdered long before guns and football. Third, guns are inanimate objects. They do NOTHING unless activated by a user. Do we blame the camera for child pornography? A gun does not a murderer make.

  26. The latest around town is that they were arguing over paternity of little Zoey.

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