Featured photo: Alex Brady via Wikipedia
Larry “Chipper” Jones, recently voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and a co-host for the Major League Bowhunter television show, responded with a lengthy statement following his comments by Second Amendment supporters for his statements about gun control and so-called “assault rifles.”
Jones spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at spring training in Florida. Jones is a roving minor league instructor with the Atlanta Braves; he played for them from 1993-2012, winning a World Series title and other honors.
During the conversation Jones told AJC columnist Jeff Schultz this in regard to a question about the Parkland high school shooting and gun control:
“I believe in our Constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves,” Jones said. “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 what-not. But I’m totally against civilians having those kinds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.”
Hunters and supporters of the Second Amendment responded immediately and loudly, and have not let up. Social media has been on fire, with Jones’ Facebook and Twitter feeds roiling like seas in a hurricane. Jones has received mixed responses. One question on Twitter was whether, as a longtime hunter, Jones had any AR rifles; he stated that he does not.
Jones hasn’t backed down, though, and attempted to offer more explanation with a lengthy statement on his Facebook page and on the Major Leage Bowhunter website. The latter also includes a statement of support by Major League Bowhunter co-founder Matt Duff. Jones is a co-founder of the company with Duff.
But Jones also threw at least one snotty jab at AR rifle owners:
Company drops MLB partnership
Of the 15 companies that sponsor or partner with Major League Bowhunter, which airs on Sportsman Channel, at least one has separated from Jones and the show.
Heater Body Suit is based in Wisconsin and makes a wind-, water- and cold-resistant zip-up winter hunting shroud. The company announced Feb. 27 that it is severing its relationship with the MLB show.
Many have heard about the controversial comments made in an interview recently by Chipper Jones of Major League Bowhunter. we have had a longstanding working relationship, and we respect Chippers use of the 1st amendment and voicing his opinions. However after much consideration, we at Heater Body Suit, strongly believe in and support the 2nd amendment and have come to an irreconcilable impasse. It is with that in mind that we are no longer in a partnership agreement with Major League Bowhunter. We wish them well in all endeavors. Thank you.
Given the MLB show’s thrust of bowhunting, about half of its partner sponsors are archery-specific, including Mathews Archery, Lumenok, Barnett Crossbows, Bloodsport Archery, HHA Sports and Titanium Archery Products. The others reach into the firearms side of hunting: Hunter Safety System, Realtree, Hunterra, Quiet Kat, Ameristep, ScentLok, Evolved and CE-Z.
Statements or decisions from any of those will be updated if they’re made public.
Ivan Price, co-founder of The Burt Coyote Co., posted this notice on Facebook on March 1:
We here at The Burt Coyote Co. respect everyone’s constitutional right to own and use firearms responsibly. We are as upset about this issue as anyone. As far as Chipper Jones and Matt Duff go, They are associated with Major League Bowhunters TV. A lot of TV shows use our products. We do not sponsor that program beyond sending the crew Lumenoks. We haven’t sent them any for 2018 and will not.
We are just a small company here in Yates City, Ill. We do our best to keep a few people employed and are lucky enough to have developed a market for a product that we engineer and manufacture right here in the heartland. We know that we could never have done this without the liberties that the Constitution guarantees or without great customers like you.
We appreciate your business and hope that you will continue using our products.
Ivan Price- CoFounder of The Burt Coyote Co.