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Last week’s Thousand Oaks mass shooting is still at the top of many people’s minds, and Los Angeles area athletes are no exception. Before the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Atlanta Hawks at the Staples Center, many were spotted wearing tribute shirts with the names of the 12 people murdered at the Borderline Bar & Grill on the back and the word “enough” on the front.
The Lakers are wearing these shirts to honor the victims of the shooting in Thousand Oaks tonight. They say "enough" on the front and have the victims' names on the back. pic.twitter.com/d0qZnL0b5Y
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 12, 2018
After the game, reporters asked LeBron James to give his thoughts on the shooting, and he obliged.
“Probably the same that went through everybody’s mind: ‘Not again.’ Or ‘Wow.’ ‘What the hell.’ Probably some more explicit terms that I won’t same right here. it’s just how do we clean up this … It all comes back to this gun situation that we have in America and gun violence. I don’t definitely want to go into that right now, but I can do it at a later point. We know that these people are just being able to go and buy guns and do things with them and innocent lives are being taken at young ages. Young ages. You know, when I was younger we didn’t really have to worry about gun violence too much. I mean, if you had a problem with somebody you kind of fist it out and move on. And now, it’s like people are like shooting it out and don’t even have a problem with somebody. They just got a problem with themselves or a problem with the situation they’re in. It’s just very troubling times for everyone and for parents. It’s just how can you be comfortable with sending your kinds to school or sending them to church or sending them to the movies or sending them to the mall? Those are kind of like the great havens when I was growing up: school, church, go to the mall, go to a sporting event. That was like heaven. You know? And it’s kind of scary at this point in time. So, sorry to go in depth with it. But you guys asked.”
It’s not uncommon for anyone over the age of 30 to reminisce about the way things used to be when they were kids. But LeBron is giving voice to the worries of many parents across the country. He’s lamenting that many parents no longer feel like there’s a safe place for their kids to go and hang out and just be kids. But even beyond that, he’s wondering how he can feel safe sending his kids to school or to church, places that are supposed to be safe.
James also directly criticized gun culture in the United States. He declined to go in-depth into his feelings about guns, but told reporters that he’d be willing to do it at a later time. LeBron has never been shy about sharing his opinions about politics or current events, so you can bet that he’ll eventually spend time talking about it.
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