Robert H. Scales wrote a piece for The Atlantic entitled Gun Trouble, with the catchy subtitle as follows: The rifle that today's infantry uses is little changed since the 1960s—and it is badly flawed. Military lives depend on these cheap composites of metal and plastic. So why can't the richest country in the world give its soldiers better ones? Scales then proceeds to rehearse the history of flaws after the initial rollout of the M-16 in Vietnam, well known flaws (and failed to mention [read more]
In his own words.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
First of all, when McChrystal carried a weapon it had selective fire capability, unlike my own rifles, but I don’t want to press that difference too far because I think it should be legal for mine to have selective fire capability too.
But the irony is that McChrystal, who issued the most restrictive rules of engagement ever promulgated on American troops, waxes know-it-all on what it takes to keep our people safe. He can micromanage the campaign, release a bunch of inept, bureacratic, PowerPoint jockeys into highly protected mega-bases to command the troops under fire in the field, turn so-called general purpose troops into constabulary patrolmen, and become a laughingstock when his juvenile staff turned party-animal with Rolling Stone. But he didn’t manage the campaign in such a manner as to keep our children in uniform safe in Afghanistan. If he didn’t do that, why should I care what he has to say about anything else regarding my safety?
This is what happens when media stars think they know somethng about policy. So here is a suggestion for Mr. McChrystal. You go read the lamentations at this article from the families and widows of SFC Kenneth Westbrook, Gunnery Sgt Aaron M Kenefick, Corpsman James Ray “Doc” Layton, and others in the Ganjgal engagement. You know the one I’m talking about, even if others have forgotten. You and I will never forget. The one where they left our men to perish without fire support because of your rules of engagement. You sleep with this reality, if you can, you ponder on those men and their lives morning and night, and you lament with the widows and families. And then you tell me why I should give a shit what you have to say about anything, much less what it takes to keep my children or loved ones safe?
UPDATE: Hot Air also weighs in.