When a senior, retired military man like General Stanley McChrystal say they are in favor of gun law restrictions, people tend to notice.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the retired General said:
“I spent a career carrying typically either a M16, and later a M4 carbine,” he said. “And a M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed to do that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry.”
He commented, “I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America. I believe that we’ve got to take a serious look — I understand everybody’s desire to have whatever they want — but we have to protect our children and our police and we have to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that.”
The Huffington Post report that although he resigned in disgrace in 2010 after a Rolling Stone article, is still revered by many as a top general, and his comments are significant for a former member of the military. If he does continue to advocate for gun control, he could be a significant voice in a movement whose opposition appeals to machismo.
“I think serious action is necessary. Sometimes we talk about very limited actions on the edges, and I just don’t think that’s enough,” he said.
Asked what his message was to the National Rifle Association and the House Judiciary Committee, he said, “I think we have to look at the situation in America. The number of people killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations. I don’t think we’re a bloodthirsty culture, and we need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people.”
The gun laws debate is heightening with the addition of powerful and influencial voices like McChrystal’s as the debate gathers pace.