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Top Story — McChrystal: Assault Weapons for Soldiers, Not America’s Streets

“I think we have to look at this legislation. 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.” – Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on assault weapons ban

THERE IS no better advocate to have on your side for gun safety than someone who has spent his career understanding what assault weapons do to the human body and why they’re meant for combat, not the streets of America.

McChrystal’s statement comes as former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, launch Americans for Responsible Solutions, this era’s version of what James Brady and his wife did after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan that left Brady permanently disabled.

Today on “Morning Joe,” retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose career was torpedoed by an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, became a cop’s best friend.

Politico put up a partial transcript, with MSNBC not having the video online as of this posting.

”I spent a career carrying typically either a M16 and later, a M4 carbine,” McChrystal said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “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 added, “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 – 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.”

Retired Gen. McChrystal was on “Morning Joe” to promote the release of his memoirs. MSNBC has an excerpt posted online.

McChrystal has also endorsed Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

This column has been updated.

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16 Responses to Top Story — McChrystal: Assault Weapons for Soldiers, Not America’s Streets

  1. Jane Austen January 8, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Finally a sane voice about what assault weapons are for. Thank you General McChrystal. Coming from a family with many police officers who have advocated for bans on assault weapons on the street I’m thrilled that this man understands exactly what assault weapons on to be used for – combat.

  2. fangio January 8, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Thank you. Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians. What a revelation.

  3. PeggySue January 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    McChrystal must have done the early segment. I had Morning Joe on today but missed this. Thanks for putting the post up.

    The battle lines are being drawn on this issue. The Obama Administration better be prepared. It’s going to get ugly real fast!

  4. Cujo359 January 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    A lot of the folks who accept the NRA’s position on firearms accept a fantasy where firearms make them safer. Gen. McChrystal is someone who lived with the reality of firearms violence, and he appears to have learned from it.

    As others have pointed out, it’s a rare moment of sanity on TV talk shows.

  5. secularhumanizinevoluter January 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Anyone with any illusions about what the real situation is just needs to go over to the other gun control related thread here and see the gibbering, UBERparanoid insanity of the gun nuts. It is sane people vs the shit house rat crazy mob.
    Oh yeah…and it is no coincidence that so many out right racists are wandering around the gunshows either, nor is it any coincidence which party is primarily alined with these accessories to murder.

  6. TPAZ January 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    ” I don’t think we’re a bloodthirsty culture, and we need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people.”

    Yes we are a bloodthirsty culture. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem.

  7. whitepaw January 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    I am 100% for more gun control and have been having a FB feud with a friend of my cousin’s re: outlawing assault weapons. The sooner the better from my POV.

    However, I am SOOO sick of comments such a Sec’s above lumping the gun issue to racists:

    From Sec above:

    “Oh yeah…and it is no coincidence that so many out right racists are wandering around the gunshows either.”

    • angels81 January 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      If you have been around a lot of gun shows like I have, you would know Sec is right on target.

      • whitepaw January 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

        Oh yes angels, I always see you as the voice of reason. Get over yourselves and quit stereotyping everything. You two are a BIG reason I rarely frequent this site. I continue to donate to Taylor, as I respect her…. certainly not many of the bullies that frequent this site as posters, however.

        • angels81 January 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

          Bullies? I’m sorry you have problems with facts. Its a fact that you will find a lot of racists at gun shows, it just seems to draw them. I’ve spent 30 plus years in the bike world, and have been to a lot of gun shows all over this country, and the white redneck ” the south should have won the war” types always seem to show up in rather large numbers.

          As for the voice of reason, its not about reason, its about reality.

          • DaGoat January 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

            I’m sure there are plenty of racists at gun shows, but that has no bearing on the arguments for or against gun control. Bringing it up is an attempt to deflect from the actual issues by focusing on motivations.

          • Taylor Marsh January 9, 2013 at 9:10 am #

            Whitepaw is correct. Racism has absolutely nothing to do with this thread on gun safety.

            DaGoat January 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

            This is absolutely correct as well. Bringing up racism is a distraction to the actual issue. It’s a reaction that takes the discussion off on a tangent that is unhelpful and a side issue to the point of gun safety.

            Married to a firearms expert who’s been to many gun shows, as well as once having a special class license due to the weaponry he used to own, if you’re going to talk gun shows it’s necessary to widen the discussion. The south is one thing, but out west it’s quite another, as it is in the northeast. The problems with gun shows go way beyond racism.

            What’s missing in this thread unsurprisingly is that there are many people out there who appreciate the artistry of firearms and the history of them who collect.

            The other thing missing is something I’ve written about extensively and that is that “banning” assault weapons doesn’t actually ban them. There are parts out there and always will be to allow the average gun owner to augment their firearm to a semi automatic if they choose.

            It’s also very interesting to me that racism was brought up before mental health issues, which has been a much bigger cause of the modern day massacres than racism.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter January 9, 2013 at 6:05 am #

      Yeah, all those African Lion-lyin African with a picture of a lion and President Obama and Obama shooting targets and Obama with cross hairs on him T shirts at the gun shows are actually being worn by ACLU members right?
      Time for some folks to pull their heads out of their asses just far enough so their eyes and ears are exposed since it is pretty clear they need to keep some of their heads stuffed up there.

  8. angels81 January 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Motivations have a lot to do with the problem we have with guns and gun violence in this country. Understanding why some people feel the need to arm themselves to the teeth may help us understand what makes people use then against other people. By bringing up what may motivate someone to feel angry, fearful, paranoid against his or her fellow human beings could help us curb gun violence.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter January 9, 2013 at 6:07 am #

      Now now Angels….don’t go letting reality, rationality and logic get the better of you there…next thing you’ll be saying gun shows are crawling with racist rightwing nuts!

    • DaGoat January 9, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      That makes sense, but I don’t get the feeling the racism accusations in this thread are being used to increase understanding in the way you suggest.

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