11:04 AM EST, December 3, 2012
Sportscaster Bob Costas is causing a firestorm after calling for stricter gun control laws during halftime on Sunday Night Football.
Costas said, "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."
He spoke in the wake of the tragic murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs star Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend dead Saturday before killing himself at the sports stadium on Saturday.
Costas said, “If Jovan Belcher didn't posses a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Costas' halftime remarks triggered an angry backlash.
On Fox News, syndicated radio host, Lars Larson said, "Bob Costas, based on the standards of our society, and the standards of our industry, the one you and I work in, deserves to be fired for these remarks."
Kirsten Powers then said, "Bob Costas has been around for a long time, he is very respected. The idea that he would be fired over expressing an opinion over a tragedy is kind of shocking."
Broadcaster Lou Dobbs tweeted, "Bob Costas pushing gun control.”
But others came to Costas' defense.
One fan tweeted, “bob costas said it well....you can't predict who is going to snap.”
25-year-old Belcher gunned down his girlfriend at their home in Kansas City, then drove to the Chiefs stadium in his $120,000 Bentley and shot himself in front of his coach, Romeo Crennel.
The terrifying moment was witnessed by a cop at the scene.
The officer said in a police radio transmission, “He's got a black pistol to his head. I see at least four guys standing trying to negotiate with him... Shots fired!”
Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers went on as scheduled, and there were emotional scenes as players dropped to their knees for a moment of silence.
In the locker room, Belcher's No. 59 uniform and helmet were laid out like a memorial.
After the game, coach Crennel spoke briefly about the traumatic moment of Belcher's suicide.
Crennel said, “I'm choosing not to answer any questions about what I saw yesterday and I think that you will all understand that, because it was not a pretty sight.”
Now, INSIDE EDITION is learning more about what may have led to the shooting. Belcher and his 22-year-old girlfriend appeared happy just three months ago after the birth of their child, Zoe.
But friends say they had been arguing and even separated for several weeks.
Friday night, Kasandra Perkins attended a concert by R&B star Trey Songz. Belcher was reportedly upset that she went to an after concert party and came home at 1a.m.
Trey Songz tweeted, “As sad as it may be, it has nothing to do with me. Sending prayers up to the families and friends of the people involved."
Now, the focus has switched to the fate of three-month-old Zoe. Now an orphan, little Zoe is expected to be raised by Belcher's mother, who lives in Long Island, New York, where there was a makeshift memorial on Monday.