No matter what your viewpoints are on Rev. Jesse Jackson and his work, one thing you must admit and respect is his consistency. Rev. Jackson is 71-years-old and has maintained traditions that others would’ve abandoned a long time ago. One of those traditions is giving an annual sermon in the Cook County Jail on Christmas Day.
During his sermon, Rev. Jackson turned to the inmates, urging them to assist with getting guns off of the street. Although he did not present a specific strategy on the role inmates will play in getting guns off of the streets, he said inmates could provide insight. He told them: “You want to turn your jail cell into a classroom. Turn your jail cell into a prayer closet.” Prior to starting his sermon, Rev. Jackson walked around the jail auditorium and shook hands with inmates. In addition to encouraging them to assist with taking guns off of the streets, Rev. Jackson encouraged the inmates to get tested for HIV, to register to vote, and to pray for forgiveness.
After preaching a touching sermon that brought the inmates to their knees and to tears, Rev. Jackson spoke to the press saying: “We’ve all been grieving about the violence in Newtown, Connecticut, the last few days. Most of those here today … have either shot somebody or been shot. We’re recruiting them to help us stop the flow of guns … We need their awareness of the dangers of more guns and more drugs.”
Rev. Jackson has been a long supporter of gun control, including a ban on assault weapons.