In the wake of last week's fatal Blue Angels jet crash in Tennessee, a San Francisco lawmaker wants to ban the famed F/A-18 fighter jets from being able to fly over his city -- and, in his words, "strafe neighborhoods."
City Supervisor John Avalos, who long has waged a public battle decrying the squadron's aerial acrobatics over San Francisco -- at one point calling them loud "killing machines" -- has introduced a nonbinding resolution to require the jets to only fly over the bay.
He says the ban on flights over populated areas is needed to protect residents, and give them peace of mind.
“It’s about them crashing and hitting a building — a place where people live,” Avalos told the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”
While facing plenty of Twitter backlash for his comments, Avalos claimed a majority of residents oppose the flyovers that take place during the annual Fleet Week in October.
Fact there's a large number of ppl who don't want them flying over SF in LARGE proportion to the ppl who want them. https://t.co/YodxW8L1lD— John Avalos (@AvalosSF) June 4, 2016
Despite his complaints, Avalos told the Chronicle he expects the resolution, which he introduced on Tuesday, will not pass.
Avalos' office did not respond to calls for comment. A Navy spokesman also did not return a request for comment on the proposal.
It is not the first time Avalos was part of a move to ban the Blue Angels.
As a staffer for then-Supervisor Chris Daly in 2007, Avalos reportedly helped write a similar resolution that never moved beyond the committee level.
When one supporter of the Blue Angels pointed out that the military protects his freedom of speech, he replied:
Then why are you so bothered by what I say? Unfortunately, more than anything they just maintain US power über alles https://t.co/aPDZsHKlgN— John Avalos (@AvalosSF) June 5, 2016
Last year, Avalos used Fleet Week as an opportunity to launch an all-out Twitter assault on the military.
Maybe the rain and the fog means no Blue Angels!...#wishfulthinking— John Avalos (@AvalosSF) October 10, 2015
.@tolles U expect me to LIKE war planes buzzing SF w/feel good jingoism? Just the THOUGHT of a crash over the city s/b enuf to shut it down— John Avalos (@AvalosSF) October 10, 2015
Even in a city of colorful politicians, Avalos is good at grabbing headlines.
In 2012, he was conflicted over whether to name a ship after Harvey Milk, one of the nation’s first openly gay politicians, who was gunned down by a colleague in 1978. Avalos wondered how Milk might have felt about the idea, so he used a Ouija board to solicit his opinion.
The Board ended up backing the resolution to name a ship after Milk, who had served in the Navy before getting a seat on the Board of Supervisors.