On Monday, Retired Army Gen. Russel Honoré said that America is caught in a state of denial about gun culture, and it’s harming the country. Best known for his role in leading the recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Honoré pressed for a candid conversation about gun violence between politicians and their constituents.

“It breaks my heart to see that happen in my home state or anywhere in America,” Honoré said, referencing the recent shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, that left two dead.

“We’ve got a problem in this country, and at some point the politicians have to get down into the community and find some answers to this problem. … As a country we’re in a state of denial because we’ve confused the right to bear arms with the right to carry arms all the time anywhere or anyplace you want. … We have to have a different kind of conversation in America and be prepared to speak about the politically unspeakable.”