I have the deepest respect for Stan McCrystal and, like may Americans, am thankful for his service, but he blew this one.
Gen. McChrystal’s comments are based on his experience with the M16 and M4 rifles which are selective fire weapons that can fire continuously with a single pull of the trigger. The modern semi-automatic weapons, in the commercial space, are semi-automatic – one round is fired with the pull of the trigger and no more. Think of it as dating a transvestite. It looks like the real deal but works completely different.
What the media outlets, like MSNBC, refer to as an “assault” rifle is nothing more than a semi-automatic rifle dressed to look like a military specimen. Physically, they are constructed to impede fully automatic operation.
All of us are concerned with violence in this country but, as Gen. McChrystal knows, uninformed decisions translate to bad policy, and the electorate in this country is becoming weary of bad policy. Therefore, addressing the gun violence requires that all parties be responsible enough to review the facts.
In 2011, the FBI reported a total of 8,583 gun related homicides down from 10,129 in 2007. Of the 8,583 homicides reported for 2011, only 323 were committed using rifles. The data does not support the fallacy that modern semi-automatic rifles are the issue.
The FBI further reports that the lion’s share of gun related crimes, about 60%, are perpetrated by gangs and gang related business activities, like street level drug distribution. Chicago, which has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in gun homicides, reported that 80% of those homicides are gang activity. However, MSNBC and other “news” media never tell you this, and there is a reason for that. These organizations, have become purveyors of theater and sensationalism not impartial and factual distributors of information.
I invite Gen. McChrystal, MSNBC, CNN and others to download the FBI’s 2011National Gang Threat Assessment-Emerging Threats and read it. It is 100 pages of some amazing stuff.
Gen. McChrystal your comments are uninformed and you of all people should take to heart John K. Galbraith’s humorous quotation:
“If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.”