Atlanta Braves legend and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Chipper Jones has joined the ranks of Second Amendment supporters and gun owners who, in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., say that a civilian owning an AR-15 is unnecessary.
Jones, who shot guns before he picked up a baseball as a kid and who currently owns three pistols, a shotgun and a rifle, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that while he “believe[s] in our Constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves” he “[does] not believe there is any need for civilians to own assault rifles.”
“I just don’t,” he said, adding emphasis to his opinion.
“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 gunracks in their trucks,” he 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. We’d meet after school and fight. That’s just the way it was.”
Jones said that, in light of how things have changed from then to now, he supports new gun legislation. He said that “AR-15s and AK-47s and all this kind of stuff — they belong in the hands of soldiers.”
“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,” he said. “[AR-15s and AKs] 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 what-not,” he continued. “But I’m totally against civilians having those kinds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.”
He also said he supports raising the gun-purchasing age to 21.
“Some people will scoff at that, but that’s a big difference,” he said. “Kids grow up a lot in those three years.”
While not an NRA member, Jones did say that this issue is more than just about guns, saying, “The bottom line is we as individuals, as parents, as a country, we have to take responsibility for our own actions. Mental health is also a big issue.”
Jones is also an avid hunter, as his Twitter account shows.
He said he prefers using a bow because it’s “safer and it’s more sporty.”