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Petraeus Backing Gun Control with Veteran Group

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We will soon be seeing messages and lobbying from a new gun control group: the Veterans Coalition for Common Sense (VCCS). The driving force behind it? Gen. David Petraeus (US Army, Ret) and retired astronaut (and former Navy captain) Mark Kelly. Petraeus is perhaps the most storied general officer of the Iraq war and a former director of the CIA. Kelly is husband to former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and co-founder of another gun control organization called Americans for Responsible Gun Solutions.  Apparently other flag level officers, including Adm. Thad Allen, and at least one former general turned NSA director–Michael Hayden. Additional reports, including this one from The Guardian, say Gen. Stanley McChrystal will be in the organization as well.

According to numerous sources the new organization will be focusing on the topic of veteran suicide; 22 veterans reportedly kill themselves every day, some 70% of them (according to the VCCS, and in keeping with statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs) with a firearm.

Said Kelly,

“As service members, each of us swore an oath to protect our Constitution and the homeland. Now we're asking our leaders to do more to protect our rights and save lives.”

The exact rights he was referring to, since he is obviously not referring to the Second Amendment, are unclear. Perhaps more information will be forthcoming.

Former Navy R Adm Jamie Barnett and retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney are apparently involved.

Said the former,

“I saw first-hand the incredible power of firearms [while serving in the Navy], and I know the precautions we taught to keep people safe. But I also know the dangers guns pose when they are in the hands of dangerous people.”

Said the latter,

“Our laws don't support responsible gun ownership and far too often guns fall into the hands of dangerous, irresponsible people.”

News of this organization of high ranking military officers comes hard on the heels of a recent anti-gun ruling from the 9th circuit. We'll report more as it becomes available.

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