Retired General Stanley McChrystal joined a growing chorus Friday calling for action to curb gun violence following the Orlando terror attack and decrying what he sees as “a battlefield on our soil.”
Writing an op-ed for The New York Times headlined “Home Should Not Be a War Zone,” McChrystal called the moment “a national crisis” and wrote that “as a combat veteran and a proud American, I believe we need a national response to the gun violence that threatens so many of our communities.”
“Our communities should not feel like war zones,” he said.
McChrystal – who served as commander of Joint Special Operations Command – also criticized “politicians and the people who back them (that) seem to promote a culture of gun ownership that does not conform with what I learned in the military.”
McChrystal countered critics who argue that gun control laws aren’t effective.
“Some opponents of closing these gaps in our laws will continue to argue that dangerous people will obtain guns in our country no matter what, and that therefore taking these steps to make it harder for them is fruitless. That is both poor logic and poor leadership,” he wrote.
McChrystal highlighted specific gun control policy proposals, pointing to “loopholes that let felons and domestic abusers get hold of guns without a background check.”
And he wrote that “we are alarmed that a known or suspected terrorist can go to a federally licensed firearms dealer where background checks are conducted, pass that background check, legally purchase a firearm and walk out the door.”
Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub on Sunday, used a Sig Sauer MCX assault-style rifle and a Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol in the attack. Mateen was able to purchase the guns legally despite at one point being on a terror watch list.
McChrystal resigned from the military in 2010 after fallout from an interview he did in which he was sharply critical of President Barack Obama.