Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins kept "about eight guns" in their house and liked to go shooting together, according to a new report from Sports Illustrated. SI talked to Reggie Paramoure, a former teammate of Belcher's at Maine, and Paramoure provided them with a text-message exchange he had with Belcher on Friday night:
"I see yall boys aint doing too well," Paramoure wrote, referring to the Chiefs' 1-10 start. "Wats goen on wit u besides ball."
"Yea man," Belcher replied, "our 'o' can't even put 7 in the board for us, but everything good bro, baby momma crazy but I have a little girl almost 3 month man and she's a blessing, she makes me smile on the worst day."
"Daughter!" Paramoure wrote, and then jokingly suggested that Belcher better have a gun ready to ward off future boyfriends. "Yea man," Belcher responded, "I got about 8 guns now, from hand Gunz to assault rifles for her little bf's."
And it wasn't just Belcher who was immersed in gun culture, but Perkins too:
Belcher and Perkins, Brianne York, [a friend of Kasandra Perkins] says, enjoyed going to gun ranges together. Once, when York was at the couple's house, she noticed a handgun on the kitchen table. "I guess they forgot it was out," she says. [Devene] Dunson-Rusher, [another one of Perkins's friends], recalls once seeing a rifle leaning against a chair in the room she called Belcher's man cave. Again, underscoring how wide the gulf can be between one perception of a man and another, every one of the West Babylon friends of Belcher's who spoke with SI had no idea he was interested in guns.
What's emerging now, between this story and Monday night's, in the Kansas City Star, is a portrait of a man who displayed plenty of warning signs. He was armed like a Central American cartel, and proud of it. He didn't treat his weapons somberly. He left them lying around his house. And he was out until dawn partying the night prior. This is how gun violence happens. We can't remember the last time we said this, but Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas were absolutely correct.
The SI report also does the meaningful work of shutting up the National Rifle Association's lead doofus, Wayne LaPierre, who suggested that Perkins might have been safe from Belcher had she carried a gun. But Perkins was a trained shot, living in a house that had enough guns to arm her, her mother, and the infant twice over. It didn't help.