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Jesse Jackson Incredibly Claims Assault Rifles Can Shoot Down Airplanes

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 17, 2013

It is not surprising to hear pretty strange things come from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.  However, this week Jackson went over the top even by his low standards.

Like many on the Left, Jackson has offered his “expertise” on the gun control debate.  During an interview on Monday Jackson claimed that so-called “assault weapons” posed a risk to homeland security, specifically claiming they have the capability to “shoot down airplanes”.  As shown in the video link below, Jackson said: “These semi-automatic weapons, these assault weapons, can only kill people, and in fact, they are threats to national security …  The young man who did the killing in Aurora, Colorado, with the arsenal he had – he was right near the airport, right near the runways [in] Denver.  He could shoot down airplanes, so this is a matter of homeland security as well.

It doesn’t take much expertise in either aircraft or firearms to understand that the so-called assault rifle is not capable of bringing down aircraft.  However, for those of you on the Left without even this minimal knowledge, here is a quote from Major Fernando Molina, a U.S. Air Force flight instructor who said of Jackson’s comment: “I am not a gun expert, but I do know aircraft and what effects different threats to aircraft are.  I can tell you with a degree of certainty that it is highly unlikely you would EVER shoot down an airplane, even a Cesna with any small caliber weapon such as a semi-automatic or assault weapon.  In order to accomplish this with “small caliber weapons” such as these you would need to be standing on the ramp as it rolls past you, or on the end of the runway as it takes off toward you.  I have seen many examples of attempts by varying classes of weapons, from small arms to surface to air missiles.”




Jackson’s comments join other over-the-top claims concerning assault rifles.  If the Country is to have an intelligent conversation about violence in America and any relationship with a particular gun it must occur at an intellectual level involving facts, not emotion or rhetoric.  Jesse Jackson’s comments indicate that he is either ill-equipped the play a role in this discussion or he is purposely misleading any who would listen to him.  You make the call.


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