Gun Rights Leader: Murdered Football Player’s Girlfriend ‘Should’ve Had a Gun’

By Patrick Burke | December 6, 2012 | 4:09 PM EST

Kasandra Perkins, who was killed by Jovan Belcher. (AP)

( -- Kasandra Perkins, who was murdered by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher before he committed suicide, “should’ve had a gun” to defend herself, says Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.

On Dec. 1, Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, with whom he had a 3-month-old daughter, and then killed himself at a practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

“Hopefully, what people will take away from this is if they don’t have a gun yet -- obviously there are fewer of those now than before the election because guns have been flying off the shelves, but anyway -- they take the opportunity to buy a gun themselves. Because poor Kasandra should’ve had a gun,” Pratt told

Pratt also criticized NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, who on Sunday night praised left-wing columnist Jason Whitlock for his criticism of the “current gun culture” and Whitlock’s claim, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

“I thought it was kind of counterproductive to think that the first thing he would recommend is no one would’ve been killed if there hadn’t been a gun there,” Pratt told “Here he’s talking about one of the finest physical specimens in the country and he would need a gun or a knife for that matter, or anything to kill a woman?”

During halftime between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday, Costas, quoting Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock, lamented what he called America’s “current gun culture.”

“Our current gun culture, Whitlock wrote, ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will lead more teenagers bloodied and dead,” said Costas.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. (GOA)

He continued, “Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”

“In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connections to football will be analyzed, who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe,” said Costas. “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

When asked whether it was appropriate for a sportscaster like Costas to discuss guns, Pratt responded, “Well, if he doesn’t mind looking silly and [making] himself look ridiculous. It’s a free country, go right ahead.

Pratt hopes that Costas’ monologue will raise awareness of the inverse relationship between gun ownership and violent crime.

“I thank Costas for reminding us that the pro-gun control arguments really aren’t very good. And it’s given us another opportunity to point out what the data have shown us: where guns are more prevalent, violent crime is less,” Pratt told

“It’s kind of like having homeowner’s insurance. It’s not the kind of thing that you get after the house burns down, you have to have it ahead of time, hoping you never have to use it. And it’s the same with owning a gun for self-defense,” he said.

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruling in the case McDonald v. Chicago struck down the 1982 Chicago handgun-ban ordinance.

The conservative Heartland Institute filed an amicus brief in which authors examined gun violence and criminals despite the handgun ban, using data from the Chicago Police Department.

“According to Chicago Police Department data, the percentage of murders committed with handguns has skyrocketed since 1982 and handgun murder rates per 100,000 population more than doubled in the 1990s over 1982 levels. In 2008, these rates were up more than 60% over 1983,” the legal brief said.

“In the 25 years since Chicago’s handgun ban was enacted, the number of handguns used in murders and handgun murder rates dropped below 1983 levels in only four years (1984-87).”  In other words, handgun violence went way up after Chicago instituted a ban on handguns.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) gun processing has increased since 2009, with 1,112,041 firearms processed in 2012 alone.