Rev. Jesse Jackson on Sunday repeated the debunked claim that semi-automatic and so-called assault weapons can "shoot down airplanes" -- and added that they can also "blow up railroads."
"Semi-automatic weapons are not just about gun control, they're about national security," Jackson said on Fox News. "You know that these weapons can shoot down airplanes, they can blow up railroads. This is really a whole national security issue."
He added, "you want a gun for your house, you got it, a gun with which to hunt, you got it. But these semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons -- they shot at the White House two years ago, so none of us are safe."
"It’s clear Rev. Jackson doesn’t know the first thing about rifles and guns in general," former CIA officer and author of "The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry" Jason Hanson said.
Chris Gahr, who assisted in aircraft investigations while in the Marine Corps, summed it up this way: "you would have a better chance of being hit by lightning WHILE winning the lottery than bringing down a commercial airliner with the weapons that [accused Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooter James] Holmes carried."
On Sunday, Jackson -- who has called for the Department of Homeland Security to patrol the streets of Chicago to deal with soaring gun violence -- said "the full weight of the government" needs to be devoted to stopping the city's gun problems.
"We need a comprehensive plan, we need jobs, education access and health care," Jackson said. "[We] need to appeal for intervention to stop this killing...the full weight of our government must come in as we had to appeal for intervention into Birmingham or into Selma to stop this killing...we need a level of support we've never had before."
- Jesse Jackson Wants Homeland Security to Patrol Streets of Chicago
- 'Laughable’: We Asked Experts (Including a Former CIA Officer) to Weigh in on Rev. Jackson’s Claim That ‘Assault Weapons’ Can ‘Shoot Down Planes’
- Rev. Jesse Jackson: Assault Weapons Can ‘Shoot Down Planes’ & Therefore Pose Risk to National Security