As I drove home from work Tuesday night, two armed men pulled out in front of me.

Their rifles hung from the back window in plain sight. The men looked tired and it was obvious their truck had driven through a field.

What were they up to? Did I just interrupt their felonious getaway? Was there a victim nearby? Should I call the cops?

Of course not. They were deer hunters. It was a father-and-son team headed home for the night. The guns in their truck were harmless -- because the men were harmless.

After Bob Costas hit all of us with his anti-gun rant during halftime of Sunday night's big football game, America's "gun culture" is under fire. The 90-second clip rattled the cage of the beast that is the gun-control debate.

For all the controversy surrounding Costas' on-air rant, I have to give him credit. He used the right word. It's just too bad he put the word "gun" in front of it. The guns aren't the problem. It's our culture that needs controlled.

The sportscaster made my point in a follow-up interview this week. As Costas discussed how 65 of the 80 members of the Indianapolis Colts team "admit" to owning a firearm, he argues no good can come of their gun ownership.

"Even if all those guns were obtained legally," he said, "you can't have 65 guys in their 20s and 30s, aggressive young men subject to impulses, without something bad happening."


In his rush to judgment, Costas must have forgotten about the million or so young men and women in our armed forces. Many of them are carrying guns right now to protect Costas' freedom to speak as he pleases.

And let's not forget our gun-toting police officers. Many of them fall into the age range Costas wags his finger at. The guns strapped to their sides do far more good than bad. Nobody will argue the fact.

But Costas overlooks that angle. He misses the good side of guns -- like protecting my house and family, or the unbreakable connection that's built when a father hunts with his son. Instead, he focuses on our broken culture and wrongly infers guns are the cause.

Think about this. If it were in another hand, the gun that killed Jovan Belcher and his wife could have been the gun that saved a child from becoming an orphan. It was not the gun that killed. It was a sick man.

Despite what Costas told the nation, we don't live in a gun culture. We live in a sick culture. Guns must be treated with respect. But a human life must be treated with far greater respect.

The father that took his son hunting this week did more to fix our "gun culture" than the man who ranted against it on TV. Guns are harmless.

It's the men that pull the triggers who are dangerous.

-- Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@york