Montana, and the rest of the country, is freaking out about this Chinese spy balloon that's been hovering overhead for the last few days. Rightfully so. No matter your political stance, everyone wants to know 'where is the Chinese spy balloon now' and 'did the US shoot down the Chinese spy balloon?'. 

NOTE: I am no Chinese spy balloon expert. I am not a person with vast strategic military knowledge. I am simply a Montanan who is insanely interested in the opinions of others, especially when it comes to crazy news stories like this one. This article is not about what I think - it's a sampling of opinions. That's it.

The opinions are vastly different. The snark is alive and well. The political posturing is in full effect. The keyboard warriors are having a field day with this one. According to the New York Times on Friday, February 3rd, 2023:

President Biden has chosen, for now, not to shoot down the balloon after a recommendation from Pentagon officials that doing so would risk debris hitting people on the ground, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

So what are average people suggesting we do about this Chinese spy balloon? We've scoured social media for the comments of political officials, academics, retired military, and average citizens.

(If the comment was from someone of note, we credited it. Otherwise, we're just trying to demonstrate the vast differences of opinion. Any grammatical errors are those of the original writer of the quote.)

  • Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana: "Shoot. It. Down. The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot."
  • "I would rather take the balloon down gracefully so the gear and tech can examined. However, I bet the payload is set to self destruct if it falls into US hands."
  • "Doesn't anyone in that state have a gun?"
  • "Just a question: What if it’s filled with something dangerous if dispersed in the air?"
  • Montana Libertarian Party: "SHOOT IT DOWN!!! ONLY OUR GOVERNMENT CAN SPY ON US!!!”
  • "So basically, the response to provocation is, take the bait?"
  • "Or maybe they can bring it down while still preserving intel. Not every job requires the biggest gun."
  • "Kind of a big payload to drop on commercial airspace and people on the ground. Recon, jamming and disabling camera probably the best bet."
  • "Probably better to figure out what it is doing. Shoot first ask questions later isn’t a good idea here. They’re not getting anything from that balloon visually that they can’t get from a there spy satellites… So… Whats the point of it???"
  • "I think we should capture it instead and see what it really is."
  • "Where is John Dutton in our time of need?"
  • "What if it's full of anthrax or worse?"
  • "Shot first ask questions later! The Montana way."
  • "There are Biohazard and Phytosanitary considerations for Montana agriculture. So no."
  • "It's at 90,000 feet. US fighter jets are limited to altitudes of 60,000 feet & below. It has no significant radar signature, so missiles can't lock on * would likely fall to the ground and kill US citizens. So what exactly should we use to safely shoot it down?"
  • "The smart thing would be to figure to figure how to capture it and study it for counter-intel. I know that’s not as fun as playing cowboy, but but it’s in the best interest of the US."
  • "Pretty sure there are some .300wnm out there in the Great Falls area that can go get that trashy blimp..."
  • "It’s over Mississippi now."
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