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Keller @ Large: Why The Need To Exploit Tragedies?

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Jovan Belcher. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jovan Belcher. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – What a horrible story out of Kansas City over the weekend, where a 25-year-old linebacker for the Chiefs murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend, the mother of his three-year-old daughter, then drove to work and took his own life.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You hear about something like this, and you feel shocked and saddened by the waste of life, then perhaps also curious to know – what could possibly have caused such violence?

At least, I guess that’s what most of us are thinking.

I do know that some of us appear to have quickly transitioned into another reaction – the need to exploit the tragedy for their own purposes.

After any gun violence makes the national news you can count on someone to claim it as a story about gun laws, and that’s exactly what a Kansas City-based sportswriter did before the crime was 24 hours old. If the killer hadn’t had a gun, he argues, he and the girlfriend would still be alive.

This same columnist also predicts the story will be “analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries,” and asserts that this was a “domestic dispute,” thus scoring a hat trick of claims about the case free of any immediate supporting evidence.

No doubt, somewhere on the internet other armchair experts are discussing the role steroid use played in this horror. And at least one local commentator has described the perpetrator as “evil,” so Satan is in the mix too.

Any or all of those knee-jerk theories might prove to be true, or they might not.

More likely we’ll learn that the man who did this suffered from longstanding, poorly-treated mental illness, a serious, complicated social problem that doesn’t seem to excite the quick-draw opinion choir as much as does attaching their own political or personal agendas, well before the dead are laid to rest.

Exploitation comes easy, it seems, when its no longer seen as poor taste.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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