Will Smith’s Death and Gun Control

William Raymond Smith III was born and raised in Utica, New York. While attending Proctor High School in Utica, Smith received accomplishment such as the U.S. All-American pick and highly rated prospect in the state, according to the Prep Football Report. After high school he played college football at Ohio State from 2000-2003, helping to lead the Buckeyes to the 2002 BCS National Championship. He entered the draft in 2004 in the first round he was selected by New Orleans Saints. The Former New Orleans Saints defensive ended died in a shooting on April 9, 2016, in the Lower Garden District, New Orleans. As reported by CNN, surveillance footage reveals pieces of evidence as to what happened. The video shows a Mercedes SUV, possibly Smith’s, running into the back of a Hummer probably Cardell Hayes after an abrupt stop. Both vehicles were at a standstill for a few seconds after the contact. Then the Hummer tries to pull over to the side of the road, the Mercedes SUV speeds off around the Hummer, Moments later the Hummer trails closely behind Mercedes SUV. According to the police, an altercation occurs a short distance away, where this time the Hummer rear ends the Mercedes. Both men got out of their vehicles to exchange words, during the exchange six gunshots were fired. A bystander calls 911 reporting that “there’s a male down with about six gun wounds to the chest.” That referred to Smith. His wife was shot once in the right leg.” Four minutes after the shots the police arrive; they found Smith in the middle of the road, hanging out the vehicle bleeding to death. Smith dies at the scene. Hayes’ lawyer is claiming self-defense ; Hayes lawyer states, “That he didn’t leave — and, moreover, that he’d secured a witness who was heading out “Now, tell me if that’s the behavior that’s consistent with someone who’s an animal out here looking for blood,” Fuller said. “His actions are totally consistent with someone that is complying with a police investigation.”

A passionate and frustrated Sean Payton, the Saints head coach, publicly shared his opinion about the shooting. Not only does Payton want stricter gun control laws, but if it were up to him, we would be living in a country without guns.  Payton said, “Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ 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.”  He goes on to talk about the fact that everyone needing a gun is absurd, and he discussed how the police in England don’t carry guns.  Later on for some peace of mind Payton got online to find out as much information about the weapon. The gun was a .45 designed during World War I. The gun can kill a person in four seconds from one shot, but Smith took six shots. This information worried Payton, and it made him reevaluate The Second Amendment.  Payton stated that “We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.” With Sean Payton being a high profile person, did he do the right thing by letting his emotions get the best of him causing him to dive head first into one of America’s most controversial issue? Gun control is often a popularized and contentious issue in America today. The Second Amendment to the Constitution allows citizens the right to bear arms, which many citizens hold dear. I believe he was well within his rights to comment about something he felts so close to his heart regardless of what kind of uproar it may cause. Furthermore, he should use his celebrated status to bring awareness and highlight gun control issues. Sports has usually been one of the driving forces to lead social and political change. Gun control and self-defense is an important issue that sports can spearhead to get some progress.  Right now in America the gun control topic is heating up. Matter of fact, a Bernardino mass shooting caused state lawmakers to give approval for gun control bills, which would outlaw assault rifles with removable magazine clips that hold more than ten rounds, and homemade guns need to be registered with the state. The Bernardino shooting took place in December where two terrorists killed 14 people dead and 22 wounded.  The attackers used assault rifles. But some people have opposed the gun law. One man, in particular, Ed Worley, member of the national rifle association, stated that “We continue to oppose banning guns for citizens who have no criminal background,” Worley told the panel. “People should be able to own any kind of gun they want to own in the United States of America.”  Just to play devil’s advocate even though the law prohibits the sale of a particular type of gun; criminals can still get their hands on illegal guns of just steal a gun from a family member. With all the hype with lawmakers prohibiting certain firearms and the death of Will Smith, this the best time for players and coaches to pressure the legislators in order to push for stricter gun control laws. Even if stricter gun control measures do not have an everlasting effect something was done to combat gun violence.

 

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