Sean Payton

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks at a play card during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Matt Dunham

The Las Vegas shooting that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured 527 more prompted New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton to renew his support for stronger gun control laws in the United States.

Payton, who made his initial stand against guns in the wake of Will Smith's murder last year, tweeted a statistic from the New York Times on Tuesday morning that showed more Americans have been killed by firearms in the U.S. since 1968 than American soldiers on the battlefield in all wars.

Payton, along with the rest of the Saints, was returning from London when the shooting happened and saw the news when he landed.

"The current protocol is not working," Payton said. "The current system is not working, and the madness is when you go years and years and years, and say, well, (things don't need to change). ... The current policies and thoughts are flawed."

Payton told USA Today last year he believes the right for citizens to bear arms should not mean it's easy to assemble an arsenal. Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock reportedly had 23 firearms in his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

"It's frustrating," Payton said. "Sometimes you see things from afar, and you think it's madness."

Payton, as he has in the past, cited the U.S. in relation to other countries on the topic. 

According to USA Today, the United States has a "significantly higher rate" of gun homicides than other countries in the Western world, and the statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight.com has reported that mass shootings are far more common in the United States than the rest of the world. 

"These things come up, and you try to draw parallels throughout our world, and it's hard to," Payton said. "It's hard to find other countries like that — and here we are, as educated and smart and forward-thinking as we think we are, and yet, it's broken, and it's obvious."

Payton referred back to the positions he outlined in the USA Today interview, a wide-ranging story in which Payton said he understands the use of guns for hunting but questioned whether the argument that guns are necessary for self-defense should outweigh the statistics of gun violence.

"Very clear," Payton said. "And look, if that pisses people off, it's tough."

For Payton, the need for better gun control comes down to common sense. That was the hashtag he put on his initial tweet and a theme he kept referring to in his comments to reporters Tuesday. 

"I believe this in my heart," Payton said. "We as a society owe it to our children. We need to be better that way."

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Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.