Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered his thoughts tonight on the Sutherland Springs, Texas, mass shooting that left 26 First Baptist Church worshippers dead—saying that the government’s inaction on gun violence is a failure to prioritize basic public safety over the money of the firearm industry.
After sharing his condolences for those affected by the shooting, Kerr laid out his thoughts on the issue writ large:
“To solve it, I think we almost have to look at it like a public health issue. Too often, we get caught up in political rhetoric, second amendment rights, NRA stuff. We have to look at this as having nothing to do with partisanship, political parties. It’s got to be a public safety issue, a public health issue. I read a great article today that talked about comparing this to the automobile industry. Apparently in the 1950s, about nine or 10 times more people died in auto wrecks than die right now. What changed over 70 years? Safety measures, right? Speed limits, auto regulations, seat belts, car seats, driver’s license registration and making sure people deserve to drive. All these things are safety issues, and I think we somehow get our government [to] cut through all the crap and get right to the point—the point of fact, which is safety. Which means a lot of things we can do without taking away people’s second amendment rights. Let’s do the sensible thing. But our government has to lead the way, and they can’t just cave into the NRA just because they want to make money. They have to put people’s safety and health over the interest of the gun lobby and the gun industry. Doesn’t seem like it would be that far of a stretch, but for whatever reason, we’re paralyzed and unable to do anything to protect our citizens. It’s disgusting and it’s a shame.
Kerr follows fellow head coach Gregg Popovich in speaking out about the massacre. The Spurs coach cut his media availability short last night—saying that basketball was not important in light of the shooting, which happened about 35 miles outside of San Antonio.