Gun-owner Chipper Jones against civilians having assault weapons

Gun-loving outdoorsman and Hall of Fame Mets tormentor Chipper Jones believes assault weapons have no place in American society.

Jones owns several guns, but he prefers to hunt with a bow and arrow because “it’s more sporty” than using the same kind of powerful semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s that are also the preferred weapons of mass murderers.

“I believe in our Constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves,” Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Braves spring training. “But I do not believe there is any need for civilians to own assault rifles. I just don’t.

“I would like to see something (new legislation) happen. I liken it to drugs — you’re not going to get rid of all the guns. But AR-15s and AK-47s and all this kind of stuff — they belong in the hands of soldiers. Those belong in the hands of people who know how to operate them, and whose lives depend on them operating them. Not with civilians. I have no problem with hunting rifles and shotguns and pistols and whatnot, but I’m totally against civilians having those kinds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.”

21 PHOTOS
Chipper Jones through the years
See Gallery
Chipper Jones through the years
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 21: Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves bats during Game One of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians on October 21, 1995 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 1995: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves on the field after winning the World Series against the Cleveland Indians on October 28, 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
17 Oct 1996: Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves celebrates after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 15-0 in game 7 of the National League Championship Series at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
ATLANTA, UNITED STATES: Atlanta Braves General Manager John Schuerholz and Third Baseman Chipper Jones during a press conference in Atlanta, GA 17 August, 2000 to discuss his new contract with the team. Jones is reported to have signed a six-year deal worth $90 million USD. AFP PHOTO/Alan Mothner (Photo credit should read ALAN MOTHNER/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES: Atlanta Braves left fielder Chipper Jones (L) looks down between innings late in the game against the San Francisco Giants during game four of the 2002 National League division series playoff in San Francisco, CA 06 October 2002. The Giants won 8-3. AFP PHOTO/Monica M. DAVEY (Photo credit should read MONICA M. DAVEY/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 29: Chris Denorfia #13 of the San Diego Padres slides into third base ahead of the tag of Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning of a baseball game Petco Park on August 29, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 25: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates with Eric Hinske #20 after the game against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on September 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves defeated the Marlins to clinch a post season berth. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Third baseman Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves signs a ball for a Girl Scout before the game against the New York Mets at Turner Field on September 29, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 03: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on October 3, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 05: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves tips his helmet to the crowd before his final at bat before the Braves lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 during the National League Wild Card playoff game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 01: Former Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during Opening Day at Turner Field on April 1, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 01: Former Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones hugs Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves after he threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during Opening Day at Turner Field on April 1, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 28: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves waves to fans during his number retirement ceremony before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field on June 28, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 28: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves waves to fans during his number retirement ceremony before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field on June 28, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 30: Former Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones attends the game between the Braves and the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on July 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 24: Former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones sits in the stands and gets a massage from his fiance, Taylor Higgins, during the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on May 24, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 8: Former Braves player Chipper Jones participates in a pre-game ceremony honoring many Braves alumni players prior the game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on August 8, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin Liles/Getty Images)
Apr 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves former third baseman Chipper Jones (left) shakes hands with Hank Aaron prior to the first MLB game at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Chipper Jones smiles during the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame press conference announcing this year's induction class on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, and Jim Thome pose for a photo following the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame press conference announcing this year's induction class on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

The retired Braves slugger, who is from rural Florida, is in favor of raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21. He also doesn’t think arming school teachers is a smart way of protecting kids from crazed shooters.

“If you want to up school security with people who’ve been through police training and know what it’s like to draw your weapon when your life is threatened, know when to pull the trigger and when not to, that’s one thing,” Jones said. “But I would venture to say that if you polled all of the teachers in America, it would be way over 90 percent who would say no.”

Media outlets like Breitbart quickly pounced on Jones’s comments, criticizing him and the author, Jeff Schultz, for not being able to define what an “assault weapon” is — splitting hairs might be a better way of putting it.

“What is going on here in Florida with the protests and people really stepping up to try to make things happen is a good thing,” Jones said. “It’s always good for there to be open discussion. Hopefully if we can keep those high-powered automatic weapons out of civilians' hands, the Las Vegases and the Columbines and what happened here in Florida will start to dwindle.”

Jones’s words this week are part of that discussion. The fact that he grew up in a rural area where guns are a big part of the culture and these issues hit closer to home made what he said a legitimate part of the conversation about guns.

He is also part of a fraternity known for owning guns. In the past, individuals in the sports industry have estimated that more than half of MLB players and more than 60% of NBA players own guns; a USA TODAY Sports investigation in 2012 reported that about 75% of NFL players had owned some form of firearm, whether it’s a hunting rifle for sport or a handgun for self-defense.

8 PHOTOS
2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees
See Gallery
2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

Chipper Jones

(Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GA - CIRCA 1993: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves looks on from the dugout during an Major League Baseball game circa 1993 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Jones played for the Braves from 1993-2012. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Trevor Hoffman 

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

24 Feb. 1996: San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman (51) posses for a photograph during Padres team photo day at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria Arizona. (Photo By John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jim Thome

(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15: Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians reacts to hitting a two-run homer off of Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio in the sixth inning of game five of the American League Championship Series at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio 15 October. The home run gave the Indians a 3-2 lead. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images)

Vladimir Guerrero

 (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4 May 1997: Right fielder Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Montreal Expos sits in the dugout during a game against the San Diego Padres at QualComm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Expos won the game 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

We’re already seeing those with opposing views trying to tear down Jones’s words. Hopefully that doesn’t deter others from voicing their beliefs on the issue, and doesn’t force people with something to say to stick to sports.

“I grew up in a town where two-thirds of the people who came to school drove trucks and had hunting rifles and hunting shotguns in their gun racks in their trucks,” Jones said. “But never at any point did anyone ever pull one out and say, ‘I’m going to kill somebody.’

“Whenever there was a disagreement, we threw knuckles,” he said. “We’d meet after school and fight. That’s just the way it was.”

Read Full Story