New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton harshly criticized gun laws in the wake of the shooting death of former Saints team captain Will Smith.
In an interview with Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Payton questioned the laws that allow Americans to own guns, saying that the argument for keeping them as defense is “silly.”
“Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ “ Payton said. “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.”
Payton acknowledged that his opinion is likely to be unpopular in Louisiana, a state that typically leans towards conservative.
He went even further to say that although he is not an “extreme liberal,” he hates guns.
“I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it,” he said.
Payton also said that the violence in New Orleans is as bad as it’s been since he arrived in 2006, calling the city “broken.”
“It’s like our big little secret,” Payton said. “They don’t want to kill tourism. But right now, it’s like the wild, wild West here.”
Payton visited the scene of the road rage shooting where Smith was killed and spent time with Smith’s wife, who was also shot, at the hospital. He praised his former player, who was set to join the team as a coaching intern and will be inducted into the Saints hall of fame in May.