Sean Payton Speaks on Gun Control Policies After Las Vegas Shooting

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 24:  Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said Tuesday the gun-control laws in the United States are "broken" following the mass shooting Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. 

Mike Triplett of ESPN.com passed along comments about the topic from Payton, who said the need for change is "very clear. And, look, if that pisses people off, it's tough."

"So the current policies and thoughts are flawed," he said. "And I believe this in my heart: We as a society owe it to our children, and we have to be better that way. And I made my statements clear after the death of Will Smith. And these things come up and they come up, and you try to draw parallels throughout our world. And, look, it's hard to find other countries like that. And here we are as educated and smart and forward-thinking as we think we are, and yet it's broken and it's obvious."

Payton told Jarrett Bell of USA Today last April, following the shooting death of former Saints defensive lineman Will Smith, the reasons presented in favor of allowing guns are "silly."

"Two hundred years from now, they're going to look back and say, 'What was that madness about?'" Payton said then. "The idea that we need them to fend off intruders … people are more apt to draw them (in other situations). That's some silly stuff we're hanging on to."

CNN reported 59 people were killed and 527 are recovering from injuries after Stephen Paddock fired on the crowd at the country music concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Payton said he doesn't mind using his high-profile position to speak out on the topic of gun control, per Triplett.

"It was no decision, it's just common sense," he said. "It's, 'We should quietly sit ...' And I just think it's frustrating. Sometimes you see things from afar and you look and you think, 'It's madness.'"

The latest Gallup News poll showed 55 percent of respondents said "laws covering the sale of firearms" should be more strict, while 34 percent said keep them the same and 10 percent wanted less strict rules.

President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that the country will be "talking about gun laws as time goes by" in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy.


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