Sean Payton knows his opinion on guns likely isn’t popular in Louisiana, but it’s something he believes needs to be shared following the senseless tragedy that resulted in the death of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith.
Smith was shot and killed Saturday night in an apparent road rage incident, during which his wife, Racquel, also was shot. Smith played all nine of his NFL seasons with the Saints, most of them under Payton.
Payton talked about the former defensive end in a lengthy interview Monday with USA TODAY, and the conversation centered mainly around guns, which he flat out said he “hates.”
“Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’” Payton told USA TODAY. “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 onto.”
He added: “I’m not an extreme liberal,” Payton said. “I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it.”
Payton also went into graphic detail about the specific type of gun that was used to kill Smith
“It was a large caliber gun, a .45,” he said, via USA TODAY. “It was designed back during World War I. And this thing just stops people. It will kill someone within four or five seconds after they are struck. You bleed out. After the first shot (that struck Smith’s torso), he took three more in his back. … We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow. I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.”
The politics around this issue can be toxic, but Payton isn’t shying away from his beliefs. Not after what happened to Smith.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton