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Hey Gun-Toting, NRA-Freaks, Hypocrites: Leave #BobCostas Alone

And they sure as hell could not bring themselves to be in the company of these:

But, not me, I'm fine with guns.

I have hung around enough "bad neighborhoods to realize that, yes, it's the person who has the problem ... it's the person who shoots the gun; the gun doesn't have the problem, nor does it shoot itself.

I also respect Bob Costas. I grew up watching the guy.

In fact, when I was a teenager, hosting a sports radio show at a small station in Niagara Falls, NY, I sent Costas a tape of my program, asking for his opinion of my work and some advice. At the time, I was sending my audition tapes to every big sports broadcaster in the world.

Only two big names responded: Steve Somers of WFAN in New York City and Bob Costas of freaking NBC.

I will never forget coming home from school to my mother telling me that Bob Costas called. I thought it was a joke. She stressed otherwise, handing me a message with a "314" phone number. St. Louis. If she was joking, she did her research.

Short story even shorter: I called, he answered. "Hello?" "Hi, is Bob home?" "Yes, this is Bob." Costas told me he liked what I did (I actually sucked) and to "send to every station in America that does sports."

And, yes, this has a ton to do with Costas's halftime expression of opinion.

That's the only personal contact I have had with Bob Costas my entire life. I can only base my personal opinion of him on that. Beyond that, I do not "know" the man.

And neither do most of the people who are personally attacking him for being a bit unsettled over the murder-suicide we set to the backburner in favor of playing a football game.

But that's not even the ironic part. People who presumably feel strongly about their rights and the rights of others to bear arms are ripping Bob Costas -- personally and viciously -- for exercising a closely aligned right: His freedom of speech.

Everybody should shut the bleep up and advocate for better dialogue surrounding mental health and related issues. Cancel the football game and spend three hours using our national airwaves to discuss how to remove the stigma from that epidemic.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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