Former Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who led the war in Afghanistan, endorsed strong gun control laws Tuesday on Morning Joe.
“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. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “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.”
The AR-15, the civilian version of an M-16 or M-4, has been the weapon of choice in many recent mass shootings —both Adam Lanza and James Holmes used them in Newtown and Aurora, respectively. Since Lanza massacred 20 young children in Newtown, Connecticut, gun control has returned to DC’s front-burner and the president has called for strict gun control measures.
“We’ve got to take a serious look—I understand everyone’s desire to have whatever they want—but we’ve got to protect our children, we’ve got to protect our police, we’ve got to protect our population,” McChrystal said. “Serious action is necessary. Sometimes we talk about very limited actions on the edges and I just don’t think that’s enough.”
McChrystal led the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, but resigned amidst scandal after Rolling Stone magazine published a controversial profile that portrayed the General and his staff as dismissive and disrespectful of the president.
Tragic shooting sprees aside, McChrystal also pointed to the more deadly and common gun violence—32 people die each day from gun violence—as another reason he believes gun control is necessary.
“The number of people in America killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations, and I don’t think we’re a bloodthirsty country,” he said. “We need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people.”