Sean Payton on violence in New Orleans: Our city is broken

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After former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed on Saturday night, Saints coach Sean Payton called Smith’s death “senseless” in a post on Twitter.

Payton expanded on those thoughts during an interview with Jarrett Bell of USA Today and drew a line from Smith’s murder to the overall climate of violence in New Orleans. Payton talked about his hatred of guns and his feeling that there are too many of them able to be obtained too easily, adding “so be it” if his opinion is unpopular in Louisiana or elsewhere.

Payton said that the toll violence has taken on New Orleans recently has largely been overlooked because the impact has been heaviest in poorer neighborhoods and that Smith’s death highlights the issue for a wider audience.

“We don’t hear this noise when something happens in New Orleans East, or in the Lower 9,” Payton said. “Now you creep into the Garden District … I just know this: Our city is broken. … It’s like our big little secret. They don’t want to kill tourism. But right now, it’s like the Wild, Wild West here.”

Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu is a New Orleans native and shared some similar thoughts about the state of the city right now.

“It’s so dangerous, I tell you, I fly in and I fly out of town,” Mathieu said on FOX Sports Radio. “That’s how scared I am. And this is where I came from. I love my city to death. But it’s senseless.”

Smith was a father, husband and friend whose loss is being mourned by those who knew and loved him. Based on Payton and Mathieu’s comments, there will be too many others in New Orleans lost the same way if the city and its residents don’t find a way to coexist in the near future.

71 responses to “Sean Payton on violence in New Orleans: Our city is broken

  1. Until education is elevated in the poor neighborhoods of New Orleans and Detroit for that matter, these senseless shootings will continue. The poor have nothing to lose and no hope in sight.

  2. If Payton wants to say kind words about Smith, everyone’s on board. Talking about guns, however, is simply a ham-handed political statement.

    The poor guy just died yesterday, show some respect.

  3. Democrats elected to mayorships over a long period of time, look at the track record for Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Hartford, CT and on and on. You will never convince me it is merely just a coincidence, one breeds the other.

  4. It’s now a problem here in San Antonio TX , on the eastside of town where majority of people living in that area came from New Orleans after hurricane Katrina as refugees. It’s unfortunate people can’t create a positive lifestyle for themselves . Murder robbery & drugs is everyday life in Eastside SATX.

  5. thegreyedbook says:
    Apr 11, 2016 5:28 PM
    Certain communities are broken. Guns being accessible is not the problem, the problem is people not valuing human life.

    —–

    buccaboo says:
    Apr 11, 2016 5:35 PM
    Guns ARE the problem. They aren’t killing each other with pea shooters

    ——

    Together, you guys are pretty much right. The accessibility of guns is definitely part of the problem. Those that don’t value human life all that much would have a distinctly harder time acting on those thoughts if guns were harder to get.

  6. If guns didn’t exist it would be much harder to kill a man. Not so easy to choke the life out of a man, stab or bludgeon him to death.

    Guns are a huge part of the problem. If you can’t see that I question your IQ.

  7. Why does anyone live in a big city? What are the advantages? I can’t see a single one unless you like life in a pile of angry ants always looking to rip you off.

  8. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet they still have a high murder rate.. do the math!! Guns dont kill people.. stupid people kill people!!

  9. It’s the gangs that are running the city bring in the national guard to get them out and put them in jail where they belong.

  10. It’s America that’s broken. I visited Kiev last year and met a great girl and she was going to visit me in June but she just told me she was denied a tourist visa. I’m a civil engineer and work on a lot of projects in S Florida and on every project there are a ton of unskilled laborers that can’t speak english and have no desire to learn. How are these people getting in the country? My Kiev girl who speaks fluent English and has a masters degree can’t even visit the USA yet if you have no skills and can’t speak the language you’re welcomed with open arms. It’s insane

  11. It’s very sad when a coach has to say stuff like this, bury a recently retired player.

  12. This leads to the interesting question of what a football team can do for good using its high profile. Drew Brees is famously part of the community, and I don’t doubt many other players are, but each team should look hard to see if there’s more they can do to influence the youth of their cities.

  13. The left wants drugs legalized because they say anyone can get them anyway. Ask them how a ban on guns would be different and they clam up. The main difference is we have a constitutional right to have guns.

    The problem is the breakdown of the family unit. That’s what no one wants to talk about.

  14. Guns are a part of the problem.

    If you don’t think guns are at least a part of the problem, you are living in a total state of denial. What do you think that guy would have done if he didn’t have a gun? Do you think he would have challenged Smith to a fistfight? Of course not.

    Guns are not the totality of the problem but they are a piece of it.

  15. abninf says:
    Apr 11, 2016 6:33 PM
    No longer a fan of Sean Payton.
    _______________

    Well that’s going to keep him awake at night

  16. You Should all take a cue from out great city of Boston. We are well educated, liberal leaning and have very strict gun laws. And the best pro sports teams to boot by far. We are the model blueprint for a great city.

  17. So, let me see if I have this straight. If you make gun laws tougher, criminals will have no other choice than to obey them.

    That has to be the dumbest thing i have ever heard. If they do not obey laws now, why would they with stricter laws? I am not a jeenyus but at least I know this is just a stupid way of thinking.

    Common sense tells me if a criminal, take a felon for instance who can not legally own a gun, cannot buy a gun he will steal one. He will break into a house and steal one. Again, im not a jeenyus but its just common sense.

  18. I was in Pat O’Brien’s back in 1980. A friend I was with told me when the servers waiter’s coat opened that he saw a gun. Waiter seemed like a good guy, so when he came back with our drinks I asked him, Do you have a gun ? He said yeah, don’t you ? Everyone in New Orleans has a gun, you need a gun in New Orleans. That was 36 years ago, sounds like things have not improved.

  19. It’s a society issue. We have a national breakdown and shift of morality and what is a healthy lifestyle. This breakdown spans across all races and ethnic groups. Take all the guns away then you will have to remove knives, then stones. Evil always finds a way. We have become godless and soul less. It will get worse, count on it.

  20. yeah gun violence is a big problem, and if we lived in the land of unicorns and rainbows we could just click our heels together 3 times and wish for all the bad guns to dissapear.

    but we live in reality and removing guns is impossible and will never happen. If you want to protect yourself from gun violence then get yourself a gun and shoot back.

  21. Don’t worry. When President Sanders comes into office this gun garbage will end with a full out ban like every other civilized country in the world.

    There’s a reason why the USA isn’t even remotely near the top 10 in any reputable livable country list.

  22. It is the common denominator in all big cities (plus guns) that is the problem.

    Anyone want to try truth instead of political correctness?

    Give me the answer.

  23. How the most powerful nation in the world cowtails to the gun lobby and the Middle Ages mentality of the right to bear arms is beyond belief….the Islamic threat is the least thing of the worries, we’re our own biggest threats. The rest of the civilized world just shakes their head.

  24. painsyndicate
    Apr 11, 2016, 6:10 PM PDT
    It is the common denominator in all big cities (plus guns) that is the problem.

    Anyone want to try truth instead of political correctness?
    ________________________________

    What’s “it” exactly? What’s the common denominator?

    Poverty? Socio-spatial polarization?

    Well I imagine it’s a bit of both, and that the two are actually interrelated, but well said just the same. I thought you were going to go another route with that, largely because I presumed you were a half-wit.

    I apologize.

  25. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Apr 11, 2016 9:08 PM
    Don’t worry. When President Sanders comes into office this gun garbage will end with a full out ban like every other civilized country in the world.

    There’s a reason why the USA isn’t even remotely near the top 10 in any reputable livable country list.

    _________________________________________

    Tell your boy Sanders to get back to the kitchen and make fried chicken, because there’s no way he’s going to be President.
    You show how stupid you are by saying he would put a full ban like every other civilized country. How stupid are you? That statement is so wrong, it’s not even arguable.
    If you live in America I have one request for you. Get the hell out!!

  26. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Apr 11, 2016 9:08 PM

    Don’t worry. When President Sanders comes into office this gun garbage will end with a full out ban like every other civilized country in the world.

    There’s a reason why the USA isn’t even remotely near the top 10 in any reputable livable country list.

    —————————–

    A full ban on guns? haha ok, lets start with the presidents security detail. I think he should set a example to all of us and show us that none of them need guns..

  27. larryed says:
    Apr 11, 2016 5:28 PM
    Until education is elevated in the poor neighborhoods of New Orleans and Detroit for that matter, these senseless shootings will continue. The poor have nothing to lose and no hope in sight.

    _________________________________________

    This is the same liberal crap we’ve heard since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” failed miserably.
    Here’s the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. Until these poor people start taking control of their own lives and responsibility for their own actions, they will keep themselves down.
    Every immigrant who ever came to this country has faced adversity. For years in my grandmother’s house, there was an old framed picture of her aunt’s country store and the adjacent hardware store. The picture was taken right around 1900. There was a sign in the hardware store window. It read: “help wanted — Irish need not apply”.
    The difference between those immigrants and those who live in places like New Orleans , Detroit and other large cities in this country today is they didn’t sit back and wait for the government to hand them everything. They pulled on their boots and worked their backsides off to make sure their children had it better than they did.
    I suggest you pick up a copy of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation sometime and read it. It’ll enlighten you big time.

  28. I live in Michigan which has fairly permissive gun laws and is ranked around 25-29 of gun ownership per capita with about 34% of the population owning at least one gun depending on the stat that you read.

    The City Of Detroit is one of the most violent cities in America, yet the suburbs of Detroit are generally pretty safe and contain Oakland County which is one of the wealthiest counties in the USA. The city of Grosse Pointe literally shares a boarder with Detroit and it is perfectly safe and one of the most affluent cities in the country. I would guess that gun ownership is reasonably consistent throughout these areas.

    When you head north to the more rural parts of the state, I can attest for sure that there is 95-100% gun ownership in the small towns in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula of the state yet the vast majority of these towns have never had a murder once.

    Where as Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in America, and is one of the most violent cities in the USA, (Washington DC as well). Where as the rest of Illinois is reasonably safe. Vermont has the most permissive gun laws in the USA, and is one of the safest places in America,

    What I am getting at, is the statistics are all over the place.

    Violence is a sickness, a mental issue. Sure a gun does kill people when you pull it’s trigger, but the trigger does not pull itself.

  29. “Guns ARE the problem. They aren’t killing each other with pea shooters”

    Ok so lets take away all the guns.

    When people start killing each other with knives far more often than they do now will you say take away all blades ? Even a small kitchen knife can kill.

    So what then ? Baseball bats ? Golf clubs ? Whatever the weapon du jour turns into without guns ?

    The problem is the extreme inequities the broken American system has created in this country.

  30. What a minute. Aren’t New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore ie..murder capitals of the country, all controlled by Democrats? In fact Democrats have had a one party monopoly on these cities for decades.

    Don’t worry residents. Just keep voting Democrats into office. Hillary said she’ll fix everything.

  31. When the 2nd amendment was written they only had muskets…it can’t be the same rules when guns have gotten substantially more advanced. And besides you gotta have a license to drive a car and nobody freaks out about that

  32. Hey Sean, how about the politically incorrect truth that we don’t have a gun problem but we have an inner city problem? I have read nothing about the story but would lay 10 to 1 it was another black man between 18 and 40 who shot Will Smith. Until society and supposedly Black leaders wants to face the inconvenient fact that astronomical rates of illegitimacy, broken families and the absence of responsible fathers are what is driving the awful conditions in cities like New Orleans, you can pass all the gun-control laws in the world and little will change.

  33. How about you just make all murder illegal…wait, what? Sorry but I cannot think of a single gun control law that is directed toward criminals owning guns… Besides I am absolutely sure that any laws created for the purpose of giving the general public a false sense of security would work as well as making drugs or before that alcohol illegal.

  34. All of America is messed up just like NO. Poverty, Drugs, horrible education, brainwashing of by the mass media has lead us down a path of destruction.

    Anyone who blames a “Gun” is just naive & they keep their head buried into the sand.

    Right now we have a reality TV goofball Billionaire running against a 74 year old mentally ill woman who actually believe the countless lies that flow out of her mouth.

    This whole country is broken & I honestly don’t know if it can be fix. It’s going to get A LOT worse before it gets a little bit better.

  35. olefballcoach says:
    Apr 11, 2016 6:01 PM

    Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet they still have a high murder rate.. do the math!! Guns dont kill people.. stupid people kill people!!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Except for the fact that Chicago boarders Indiana which has very lax gun laws.

  36. Widespread access to guns is a very large part of the problem…Second amendment rights be damned. Have at it here, but common sense drags me to this conclusion.

  37. Benderflexo. I can’t fathom your statement. Driving isn’t a right. It’s a privilege. And when the constitution written, the 1st amendment’s freedom of speech was facilitated by the printing press. I suppose with your thinking today there would be no freedom of speech on the Internet

  38. Until education is elevated in the poor neighborhoods of New Orleans and Detroit for that matter, these senseless shootings will continue. The poor have nothing to lose and no hope in sight.

    165 62

    ….Education elevated?? Really?

    Until PARENTING is elevated to the point of actually having the father in the home to help raise his kids he helped bring into this world……….there’s no chance

  39. Liberals/democrats are destroying this nation….

    They keep the poor, poor to get votes

    I wish the Black community would realize they are not helping them…..giving handouts does not help…giving a hand up does…

  40. Get a gun and shoot back, says the pro-gun yahoo. Yea, right: Will Smith was shot in his car. What is everyone going to do: get out of their cars with guns drawn after a fender bender, or during an argument? Every time you have a disagreement with someone, you’ll have to pull you gun in case the other guy pulls his. Idiocy: that’s what america’s pro-gun philosophy is. The self-defense argument is NONSENSE–doesn’t happen.

  41. I see that the NRA and gun-nuts are out in full force with their B.S. pro-gun propaganda. The fact is that fewer guns means fewer gun deaths and violence. Just compare America’s off-the-charts gun violence with the lack thereof in other western industrial nations where gun control is very strict.

  42. White guy here. There is still a great deal of institutional racism in America, and the African-American community continue facing centuries-long discrimination. That is the root cause of wholesale poverty, lack of education, homelessness and unemployment among African-Americans, and those, in turn, result in drugs and crime. The solution is for America to truly end institutional racism and invest in education and jobs for African-Americans and other disadvantaged minorities.

  43. You don’t see this in other nations where they control guns and have greater limits on self defense. The numbers aren’t even close. People carrying guns are the reason for shootings like this. No gun, no shooting. Its not rocket science.

  44. People kill people, not guns.

    Stricter gun registration is good (a background check doesn’t delay much; this doesn’t solve the problem of guns acquired illegally). People who feel they need a gun immediately, should probably call the police.

  45. buccaboo says:
    Apr 11, 2016 5:35 PM

    Guns ARE the problem. They aren’t killing each other with pea shooters

    Guns are NOT the problem…our society is the problem! By your logic, knives are also a problem. Only 2/3 of murders are committed with a gun…1/3 by other weapons. If you want to get rid of guns, fine…but then we also need to get rid of steak knives. There has NEVER been a gun that just got up and shot someone by itself. Guns don’t kill…people do!

  46. pft264 says:
    Apr 12, 2016 9:46 AM

    People kill people, not guns.

    Stricter gun registration is good (a background check doesn’t delay much; this doesn’t solve the problem of guns acquired illegally). People who feel they need a gun immediately, should probably call the police.

    That’s a myth. The cities with the highest rates of murder with guns also have the strictest gun laws. The purpose of strict gun laws has nothing to do with trying to decrease gun violence. Stricter gun laws will be used to identify gun owners when the government decides to take all guns away. BTW, every mass shooting that’s ever occurred in America ocurred in a gun-free zone. People are not allowed to fight back…even on military bases.

  47. whatisms says:
    Apr 12, 2016 9:30 AM

    You don’t see this in other nations where they control guns and have greater limits on self defense. The numbers aren’t even close. People carrying guns are the reason for shootings like this. No gun, no shooting. Its not rocket science.

    It’s a symptom of American society…because of our media, Americans are desensitized to violence and murder. In those other countries you mentioned, a lot of people get chopped up by machetes. 1/3 of murders in America have nothing to do with guns! Even if they take away all guns, you could get everything you need to make your own shotgun for about $30 from Home Depot. And just so you know, UK, Ireland and Australia all took away guns from their citizens in the late 1990’s. Murder rates there have either stayed the same or increased slightly since they lost all of their guns. Guns were illegal in Russia for decades, and their murder rates have been out of control the entire time.

  48. All of these cities have been run by Democrats for years. Every election cycle they promise to spend more money on education and government programs. If money was the solution all of the violence problems would have been solved years ago. All the promises of government spending and so-on is just a bunch of crap. All of these bureaucrats want one thing…a voting block. They could care less about the people. All they want is to have these people in low income communities to continue to vote them in office. Face it…the government has replaced the father in the home. Kids are now considered an increase in benefits and left to raise themselves

  49. willyeye says:
    Apr 12, 2016 10:41 AM
    ….And just so you know, UK, Ireland and Australia all took away guns from their citizens in the late 1990’s. Murder rates there have either stayed the same or increased slightly since they lost all of their guns.
    ——————-
    That’s nonsense. Rates in Oz dropped 20%. Rates in UK dropped 30% (though UK rates were tiny anyway – about 1/34th that of the US). Rates in Ireland did rise – but that had little to do with gun laws – it coincided with the rise of violent mafia-like republican gangs like the IRA in the early 70s (funded by the good ol’ US of A) operating on both sides of the border.

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