After Will Smith’s tragic death late Saturday night in New Orleans, Saints reporter Brian Alee-Walsh, listed as “special to the Sun Herald”, could only think of one thing to say: we need a discussion on gun control.
Although details were still emerging from the incident, in which Cardell Hayes shot Smith following a fender bender in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District, this man thought he had everything boarded up and wanted to nail it down. Quickly.
In an article published Sunday evening titled Smith’s Death Opens Debate for Stricter Gun Control Laws, Alee-Walsh stood tippie-toed on his soapbox and threw a few facts out to his readers with a liberal peppering of condemnation for anyone unwilling to join his mindset.
Some might argue that this is not the proper time to debate the merits of stricter gun control laws, nor demand increased police presence on our city’s streets, especially so soon after the fatal shooting of former New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl defensive lineman Will Smith.
So you tell me: When is the right time? Before or after the next senseless gun-related death? Or, is there any solution to the ongoing epidemic, any middle ground at all, that we can agree on?
I am sick and tired of hearing guns don’t kill, people do. Tell that to Smith’s surviving wife, Racquel, who was wounded in the incident, and their three young children.
As background, Smith and his wife reportedly ran afoul of a man shortly before midnight Saturday after they were involved in a multi-car accident in the city’s Lower Garden District.
Prayers and condolences poured in Sunday from friends, former Ohio State and Saints teammates and coaches and other well-intentioned leaders, such as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu who called the killing “a tragic loss of life” and “senseless.”
It is on both counts.
Ironically, only hours before Smith’s death, New Orleans voters rejected a proposal to hike property taxes, that if passed, would have expanded the Police Department and theoretically helped to improve public safety.
Voters did approve a proposal Saturday that will throw more money toward street repairs, ensuring smoother rides perhaps but offering no promise of safer streets.