3 years, 3 months ago
H. Joaquin Jackson is the kind of iconic rifleman that gun advocates welcomed to their board. He spent 27 years as a Texas Ranger and is remembered for following his commander into a jailhouse shootout and capturing an elusive horse thief.
The actor Nick Nolte spent several weeks studying Jackson in preparation for his role as a Ranger in the 1987 film Extreme Prejudice. And Tommy Lee Jones cast Jackson to play a sheriff in the 1995 TV movie The Good Old Boys alongside Jones, Sissy Spacek, Frances McDormand and a young, unknown Matt Damon.
With Hollywood friends and a storied law-and-order past, Jackson was an ideal fit for the National Rifle Association’s 76-member governing board, which he joined in 2001. Today, however, he is under fire from a younger generation of NRA activists. Organizing online, they want Jackson voted off the gun lobby’s board for his past comments criticizing high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons. His comments are making waves again due to the assault weapons ban recently proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
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“I wouldn’t be with the NRA if I didn’t believe in the Second Amendment,” Jackson told MSNBC in a telephone interview. But critics are not convinced. “Joaquin Jackson has a background in law enforcement and he’s a ‘staunch supporter’ of the Second Amendment…or is he?” recently asked one gun rights activist, Joe Levi, on his blog sittingduckpolicy.com.
“I personally believe a weapon should never have over, as far as a civilian, a five-round capacity. If you’re a hunter, if you’re going to go hunting with a weapon, you shouldn’t need over but one round. So five rounds would be plenty,” said Jackson in the video now labeled by one of his critics as “The Enemy Within” on YouTube.
On assault weapons, Jackson said: “Personally, I think assault weapons basically…need to be in the hands of the military, and in the hands of the police.”
Two years later the NRA’s lobbying wing posted a statement by Jackson to clarify “misunderstandings” about the interview. Jackson said his comments on assault weapons referred only to fully-automatic weapons used mainly by military forces and some police. High-capacity magazines, he clarified, were not appropriate for hunting.
I don’t care that Mr. Jackson is a former Texas Ranger, any more that I would care if he were an engineer or dug ditches for a living. That movies that were made about his exploits are irrelevant to me. His history means something to him, but nothing to me.
The same rule applies to boards of directors that applies to politicians. You are voting for policy decisions. Nothing more. If my dog could consistently make decisions that followed my policy, I would vote for her for President. She would certainly make a better one that the totalitarian clown we currently have.
And that bit about a clarification of his position is clearly a lie. No one needs to “clarify” that he believes that hunters need to limit their available rounds for sporting purposes because every state already does that without his assistance. And as for a high capacity magazine, if all you’re talking about is the difference between LEOs having fully automatic weapons and civilians not being allowed to (a policy with which I firmly disagree anyway), then there is no need to bring it up in the first place. It’s not germane to the conversation.
Jackson is therefore lying about his clarification. Jackson’s days should be limited on the NRA board of directors. There is no place – none – for someone who says he believes in the second amendment but undercuts it with his words. The second amendment says nothing about hunting, and Mr. Jackson believes in a different second amendment than do I. Mine is written in the Bill of Rights, and he fabricated his version in his head.