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“At one point a couple years ago, it was nothing but a bunch of home invasions, and you’ve got to protect yourself,” he said. “You work so hard to get to where you’re at, and I’d be damned if I just let somebody take it away from me, period.”

But beyond the debate over gun control, reality is setting in for Belcher’s family. Belcher, a 25-year-old linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaves behind a baby girl, Joey, three months old.

It’s a very sad situation: Belcher left his daughter without any parents, and, unfortunately, the issue of the baby’s welfare has gotten lost in the heated gun control debate.

Joey, a black baby, seriously needs a father in her life – as all children do.

The orphaned daughter of Jovan will receive about $1 million from the NFL as she grows up. Under the NFL’s Surviving Child benefit, Zoey will receive $9,000 per month for the next 48 months, and at least $4,000 per month from age 4 until she turns 18 – or 23 if she goes to college.

Money doesn’t solve all problems, but it will go a long way to help Zoey get the physical, educational and emotional care she will need when she’s old enough to learn how her parents died.

“If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today,” NBC sports commentator Bob Costas said on the air last week.

I couldn’t agree more.

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