This San Francisco Official Thinks The Blue Angels Strafe Neighborhoods

REUTERS/Kimberly White

Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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San Francisco city supervisor John Avalos wants to ban the Blue Angels from flying over the city during California’s annual Fleet Week celebration in October, SF Gate reports.

“It’s about them crashing and hitting a building — a place where people live,” Avalos said about the group of carrier-certified pilots with more than 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours each.

His lack of faith in the pilots’ skill did not stop there, however, as he went on to express his fear that the Blue Angels attack civilians.

“It’s about the terror that they cause in people when they strafe neighborhoods. That’s something I hear about all the time when Blue Angels fly overhead,” Avalos said.

In light of his statement, Avalos may be surprised to learn that no Blue Angels aircraft has ever fired on civilians. In fact, none of the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornets have ever featured a weapon to fire.

This is not the first time Avalos has attempted to ban flyovers outside of the San Francisco bay, however. According to SF Gate, he drafted a similar resolution, which never made it out of committee, as a staffer for then-Supervisor, Chris Daly, following the 2007 Blue Angels crash in South Carolina.

His latest resolution follows last week’s crash in Tennessee in which the pilot, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, was the only casualty.

Supervisor Eric Mar, one of the supporters of Avalos’ resolution, argues that the dangers to spectators outweigh the benefits.

Mar also said the Fleet Week celebration “goes against the values of peace that San Francisco stands for. … They promote militarism, and I don’t think a city like ours should be promoting that.”

According to SF Gate, however, Avalos and Mar do not expect the resolution to pass.

“It seems like there is a lot of support for the Blue Angels every year despite the obvious risk of flying over the city,” Avalos said.

This support may have something to do with the fact that rather than being averse to what Mar called “militarism,” San Francisco has one of the richest military histories of any city in the United States.

From the World War II gun emplacements circling the Golden Gate to the 14 military museums scattered around the city, San Franciscans are proud of their naval heritage, which is why more than 1.2 million people are expected to attend October’s Fleet Week celebration.