Saints' Sean Payton renews call for better gun control after Las Vegas mass shooting

There aren’t many tweets that come from the official account of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton as he had only two in September.

But like so many Americans, the massacre in Las Vegas has affected Payton, and on Tuesday, he posted some statistics, attributed to The New York Times (and affirmed elsewhere), showing the number of Americans killed on all battlefields in all wars in history vs. the number of Americans killed by firearms since 1968. The firearms deaths have exceeded the battlefield deaths.

Saints coach Sean Payton is renewing his call for stronger gun control. (AP)
Saints coach Sean Payton is renewing his call for stronger gun control. (AP)

Payton wrote, “Crazy statistic!! It’s time. #commonsense”.

Payton and the rest of the Saints got news of the tragedy when they returned to New Orleans after their flight home from London, where they had shutout the Miami Dolphins.

“The current protocol is not working,” Payton told reporters on Tuesday. “The current system is not working, and the madness is when you go years and years and years, and say, well, [things don’t need to change] … The current policies and thoughts are flawed.”

This is not the first time Payton has spoken out about gun control – he first did so last year, after former Saints standout Will Smith was shot and killed, and at the time, Payton indicated he’d like to see guns banned altogether.

He told USA Today then that the right for citizens to bear arms should not mean they can easily assemble an arsenal. He understands using guns for hunting, but when he sees the statistics on gun violence, including in the city he’s called home for over a decade, he questions whether having guns for self-defense is that vital.

Stephen Paddock, the terrorist who carried out the shooting in Las Vegas, reportedly had nearly two dozen firearms in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort, where he carried out the shooting.

And Payton isn’t worried about others being upset at his stance.

“Look, if that pisses people off, that’s tough,” he said.

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On Tuesday, as he has in the past, Payton cited statistics which show mass shootings are far more common in the United States than other countries.

“These things come up, and you try to draw parallels throughout our world, and it’s hard to,” Payton said. “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 used the hashtag “common sense” and believes that’s what’s needed for better gun control.

“I believe this in my heart,” Payton said. “We as a society owe it to our children. We need to be better that way.”

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