More than 1,100 former and current Army Special Forces troops — Green Berets — have reportedly put their names to a letter condemning any efforts to restrict gun ownership following the massacre of 20 students and six staff at Sandy Hill Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The 2,900-word letter has been distributed to media outlets and posted on Professionalsoldiers.com, which is operated by retired Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Jeff Hinton. Because of the sensitive nature of their military careers the names of those signing the letter are not being released.
Hinton — who has routinely exposed phony Green Berets and others on his website — said he has confirmed that everyone who put his name to the letter is a current or former Special Forces soldier. Military.com could not validate all 1,100 names by press time.
Hinton’s original goal was to collect 100 signatures. He was surprised by the response he received. The letter makes the case for allowing civilians to own and use a military-style assault rifle, in particular the AR-15, as well as high-capacity magazines that can hold in excess of 10 rounds.
While the AR-15 is designed to look like the Army’s M4A1 rifle, it is not able to fire automatically and cannot be reconfigured to do so, the letter states. As for limiting magazines to 10 rounds, they wrote “it is our considered opinion that reducing magazine capacity from 30 rounds to 10 rounds will only require an additional 6 -8 seconds to change two empty 10-round magazines with full magazines.
“Would an increase of 6 -8 seconds make any real difference to the outcome in a mass shooting incident? In our opinion it would not.”
The view offered by the Special Forces soldiers is markedly different than that given by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of forces in Afghanistan, who also came out of the Special Forces community.
In interviews with various media outlets McChrystal drew no hard distinctions between the AR-15 and M4, both of which fire a .223 caliber round.
“We’ve got to take a serious look — I understand everyone’s desire to have whatever [weapon] 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 during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this month. “Serious action is necessary. Sometimes we talk about very limited actions on the edges and I just don’t think that’s enough.”