With Sunday's Superbowl, the NFL has reached the pinnacle of its season, one which featured the league finding itself smack dab in the middle of popular culture in a way that it hasn't been for quite a while. MLB spring training is coming up and other leagues are working their way through their own year.
You'd think they have enough on their plate, especially after seeing how a league getting involved in politics has hurt sports in general of late, but you'd be wrong.
It seems that the leagues have one big thing in common. They all want to inject themselves into the gun control debate.
The National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and numerous other professional sports leagues are asking Congress for more gun control via reauthorization of the Undetectable Firearms Act.
On February 10, 2024, Gun Owners of America (GOA) used an X post to call out NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, and NASCAR, for sending the letter to Congress. They noted that collegiate giant NCAA signed the letter, too:
GOA elaborated in a February 8, 2024, column published by Zero Hedge, noting that the letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
The professional sports leagues used the letter to claim renewing the Undetectable Firearms Act is key to the security of professional sporting league fans.
That's a load of male bovine excrement and we all know it.
The Undetectable Firearms Act doesn't stop criminals from producing undetectable firearms (assuming such a thing is viable, anyway). It just means that law-abiding citizens can't do it. The thing is, those inclined to follow the law aren't the ones the leagues need to worry about.
The people inclined to commit acts of violence at a sporting event aren't the people who follow those laws. They never have been and never will be.
What's more, the leagues should know this. Guns aren't prohibited from a lot of sporting events, including professional sports, in a number of states. There haven't been any issues, and this is with detectable firearms.
And again, this is all predicated on such a weapon even being viable, which I haven't really seen any evidence of. 3D-printed guns are a thing, sure, but those that are just 3D printed are bulky and not particularly concealable. That alone makes them a terrible option for criminal activity, at least at the current technology level.
The Undetectable Firearms Act wasn't a law, it was an act of hysteria based on media misrepresentations of firearm technology. There's no reason to reauthorize hysteria.
And there's no reason for the leagues to interject themselves into controversial debates.
Sports used to be one of those things that could bring us together or, at a minimum, divide us in far less dangerous ways. We'd wear our tribal affiliations proudly during the game, playfully smack talk our friends from other tribes around the bar or watercooler, and then go on with our lives. We'd even invite folks over to watch the game knowing they're rooting for the other team.
Today, though, the leagues are getting political. They're not content to just lobby for new stadiums or sales tax exemptions or changing traffic patterns around the game. No, they want to interject themselves into discussions about the basic, constitutionally protected rights that have been trodden upon for ages now.
What's more, they somehow think this won't hurt their already beleaguered television ratings.
Just when I thought about coming back to watching professional football, they have to pull this.