Generals are coming together to advocate for gun control, and that effort has increased after the deadly terrorist attack in Orlando.
Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, founder of the new group Veterans Coalition for Common Sense, made an appearance Monday at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition in Washington, D.C., to argue assault rifles are incredibly dangerous, CS Monitor reports.
Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, early Sunday morning and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was killed by police.
For Petraeus, the country must “work together to figure out how it is that we can identify situations like this to the very best of our ability, and how we can make it more difficult for individuals to get what it is that they’ve used to kill so many fellow Americans.”
Also joining Petraeus is retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who served as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal has pushed for serious gun control laws for a long time. In an interview on “Morning Joe” back in 2013, McChrsytal stated there are various kinds of weapons only soldiers should be allowed to use.
“I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second,” McChrystal said. “When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.”
Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden has also thrown his support behind the coalition.
According to U.S. Navy veteran Shawn VanDiver, regular veterans might not be able to pull much weight with policymakers, but a group of generals stand a much better chance at opposing the National Rifle Association and moving forward with gun control proposals.
“Policymakers should know that they’re not alone when they stand up to the NRA – they’ll have all of us behind them,” VanDiver told CS Monitor. “My name might not carry much weight, but Gen. Petraeus, Gen. McChrystal, they do.”
VanDiver is on the coalition’s advisory committee, along with 22 other veterans.
A key purpose of the new coalition is not just to stop mass shootings like the one in Orlando, but also to curb the suicide rate among veterans.
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