Houston Rockets star Chris Paul on Santa Fe shooting: 'We've got to do something about it'
A longtime advocate for stricter gun control laws, Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul began his press conference on Friday addressing the school shooting that claimed at least 10 lives in Santa Fe, Texas.
“I think first and foremost, aside from the playoffs that’s going on, which is minor compared to what’s taking place down in Santa Fe, our prayers go out to the victims and the families having to deal with that situation,” said Paul. “We have a lot of fan support there. Those people come out and support us night in and night out, so this is very minor compared to what those people there are dealing with.”
Santa Fe is located roughly 45 minutes southeast of Houston.
“It’s tough, man,” Paul added on Friday. “It’s scary that that’s become the norm here, and we’ve got to do something about it, because I can’t imagine something like that taking place with my kids.”
Chris Paul’s history of gun control advocacy
In 2015, Paul was one of many NBA players who appeared in a series of Christmas Day commercials calling for an end to gun violence. The advertisements were paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to counteract the National Rifle Association’s lobby. The organization calls for expansive background checks, stricter sentences for gun traffickers and a ban on gun sales to convicted domestic abusers.
“It’s in the news every day,” he said. “Once upon a time, everyone would be stunned like, ‘Wow, this happened.’ And now people are like, ‘Oh, again.’ That’s not something that should ever be normal.”
That was three years ago, 44 school shootings ago — too many mass shootings ago to count.
More recently, Paul pledged support for the student-led March for Our Lives demonstration this past March, ensuring students from his hometown of Winston-Salem, N.C., could attend in Washington, D.C.
The NBA’s support for stricter gun control
Paul and fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony famously opened the 2016 ESPYs with a call for political action, including an end to gun violence. They continue to do so.
“The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop,” Wade said after also calling for an end to social injustice and racial inequality. “Enough. Enough is enough.”
The issue hits particularly close to home for Wade. His cousin, Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four, was shot and killed in the crossfire of a gunfight while she pushed a baby stroller on a Chicago area street.
The Miami Heat star was one of the most vocal supporters of the survivors of February’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. He and his wife donated $200,000 to the March for Our Lives and made a surprise visit to Stoneman Douglas High School in March, telling students, “I’m inspired by all of you.”
The Parkland and Santa Fe school shootings came 93 days apart. There were eight others in between.
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