Police in North Carolina are urging residents to refrain from trying to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon floating their way, as it just can't be done.
Also, they said in a Facebook post, don't call the police to report seeing the balloon flying by, reports Newsweek.
"If the now infamous Chinese 'weather balloon' makes its way over Gastonia, please don't call the police to report it," police in Gastonia, North Carolina, about 20 miles from Charlotte, where the balloon was spotted Saturday, reports Newsweek. "We don't have the capability to respond to an altitude of 60k feet to check it out. We are pretty sure the Feds would want us to stay out of it."
Further, the post said, "please don't take potshots at it with your handguns in an attempt to bring it down on your own."
President Joe Biden said Saturday that "we're going to take care of it" when asked if the balloon, which China insists is a civilian aircraft that escaped by accident, would be shot down.
However, he drew backlash from Republicans all week after he decided, upon advice from military leaders, not to shoot down the surveillance balloon over land for fear of injuring civilians or damaging property, leading to some to post social media posts saying a "regular person" could bring it down.
"If Joe Biden and his administration are too weak to do the obvious and shoot down an enemy surveillance balloon perhaps we just let the good people of Montana do their thing," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Friday. "I imagine they have the capability and the resolve to do it all themselves."
"Literally every regular person I know is talking about how to shoot down the Chinese Spy Balloon," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tweeted Friday. "It would be great if an average Joe shot it down because China Joe won't. Regular Americans can do everything better than the government and actually care about our country."
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., tweeted a picture showing himself aiming a gun with the comment, "count me in" in response to a message from former Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who also shared a picture of herself pointing a gun in the air.
But, according to experts, even if the balloon were flying lower, it's not likely someone with a gun from the ground could bring it down.
Puncture holes in surveillance balloons do not cause them to pop or explode, Kevin Massie, a U.S. Air Force major, wrote in a research paper in 2009.
He noted that in 1998, a 100-meter weather balloon stayed up for six days after Canadian F-18 fighter jets shot at it with at least 1,000 rounds.
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