People AND guns kill Steve McNair

Instead of keeping family members safe, having a gun in the house endangers them. Accidental shootings and gun-related suicides kill more than one and one-half times the number of people killed by armed criminals. In his research, medical school professor Arthur Kellerman found that people were more than three times more likely to be killed in homes with guns than those without guns. A further study by Kellerman in the late 1990s showed that for every instance in a gun being used in self-defense, there were four accidential shootings, seven assaults or murders, and eleven attempted or completed suicides.

 -- From the 2004 book "Gun Control" by Susan Dudley Gold.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Steve McNair's 20-year-old girlfriend bought a gun a couple of days before she was found dead alongside the slain former NFL quarterback, her relative said Monday.

Farzin Abdi said police told him about the gun purchase by his aunt Sahel Kazemi, who was raised with him like a sister. Kazemi and McNair were found dead on Saturday in a Nashville condominium leased by the former Titans star.

-- Associated Press, July 6, 2009.

Every time the subjects of guns comes up, we hear so much about how Americans need guns for the freedom to defend themselves and their property. Maybe that's why young Sashel Kazemi decided to go up and buy herself a gun in Tennessee, one of the most pro-firearms states in the country, the other day. We'll never know what her motivation was, since she and her illicit boyfriend Steve McNair are both dead -- dead from the kind of workaday all-American gun crime of passion that is much more prevalent than acts of self-defense. I was reading some comments over on and readers were saying that a jealous girlfriend could have killed the bulky ex-quarterback with a knife or an ice pick or by poison...get real, people. Yes, people kill people -- but for the person who killed Steve McNair it was a lot easier to do it with a gun.

Of course that doesn't mean that we should ban all guns or confiscate the weapons that people already own legally or restrict hunting or gun sports, but maybe we could talk about ways to make it harder for a 20-year-old girl in a toxic relationship to so easily buy a handgun that's going to be used just a couple of days later. Not that I'm holding my breath -- if the killings of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, among so many, didn't loosen the grip of the gun lobby, why would a pro football player?