Retired Military Leaders Demand That Congress Act Now to Reduce Gun Violence
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 02:52 PM EST
New Ad Features Retired Admirals and Generals Saying Now is the Time for Common-Sense Gun Law Reforms; www.DemandAPlan.org
Mayors Against Illegal Guns today released a new ad featuring retired military leaders calling on Congress to take immediate action and pass sensible gun reforms that will help stop the epidemic of gun murders that claims the lives of 33 Americans every day. The ad can be viewed at www.DemandAPlan.org/Military .
It is being released on the same day that a group of retired military leaders – including some of those featured in the ad – is meeting with Vice President Biden to discuss proposals for gun violence prevention like requiring background checks for all gun sales, removing assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from our communities and making gun trafficking a federal crime.
Featured in the ad are Rear Admiral (Ret) James A. Barnett Jr., USN; Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen A. Cheney, USMC; MajorGeneral (Ret) Paul Eaton, USA; RADM Malcolm MacKinnon III, USN (Ret); Lieutenant General (Ret) Charles P. Otstott, USA; and Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen N. Xenakis, MD, USA.
“These men have stood in the line of fire in service to our country, and they speak with great knowledge of guns and the purpose of military-style weapons and ammunition,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “I want to thank them for continuing to protect American lives – even in retirement – by helping to lead the charge for more sensible gun laws that will make our country safer.”
“These generals and admirals are warriors, defenders, heroes and gun owners. They have witnessed the devastating effects of assault weapons, and more than anyone, they know that these weapons have no place in our neighborhoods,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “We are grateful to have these heroes join Americans across the country in the battle for legislation that will save lives and protect our children.”
The ad will air throughout the week on Washington DC cable and broadcast television. Full script of the ad and biographies of participants follows:
RETIRED MILITARY LEADERS DEMAND A PLAN
OTSOTT: I know. I know what guns can do.
EATON: Guns in the right hands protect us.
CHENEY: Guns belong on battlefields.
BARNETT: Guns belong in a place that’s safe and secure.
XENAKIS: Assault weapons are weapons of war.
MACKINNON: Not for cowards to use...
BARNETT: .... in movie theaters.
OTSOTT: .... in classrooms.
EATON: .... or on our streets.
CHENEY: As a General,
MACKINNON: As an Admiral,
BARNETT: As a member of the Armed Forces,
EATON: As a gun owner, I demand a plan.
MACKINNON: Demand Action.
Rear Admiral (Ret) James A. Barnett Jr., USN
James Arden “Jamie” Barnett, Jr. is a retired Rear Admiral in the Navy and Navy Reserve. He has commanded several commissioned and reserve units, including Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 207, and he served on the ground in Saudi Arabia during DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. In 2002, Jamie Barnett proposed the establishment of the Navy Center for Personal Development (now called the Center for Personal and Professional Development) and served as its first Commanding Officer. The Center was very involved in the Navy’s effort at suicide awareness and prevention. Upon being promoted to Rear Admiral, he served in the Pentagon as the Director of Naval Education Training. His last assignment in the Navy was Deputy Commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Little Creek, Virginia, which consisted of approximately 40,000 specially trained Sailors such as the Seabees, Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel, Coastal Warfare and Riverine units. He retired in 2008, having served for 32 years.
Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen A. Cheney, USMC
BGen Cheney is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has more than 30 years experience as a Marine. His career included a wide variety of command and staff positions with the operating forces and the supporting establishment. His primary specialty was artillery, but he focused extensively on entry-level training, commanding at every echelon at both Marine Corps Recruit Depots, to include being the Commanding General at Parris Island. He also served tours as Deputy Executive Secretary to Defense Secretaries Cheney and Aspin; ground plans officer for Drug Enforcement Policy in the Pentagon; liaison to the Congressional Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces; and Inspector General of the Marine Corps.
Major General (Ret) Paul Eaton, USA
Major General Paul D. Eaton served more than 30 years in the United States Army, including combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. As a major general he was assigned to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), where he designed, manned, trained and equipped the Iraqi armed forces for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the security forces for the Interior Ministry. Prior to that assignment, he commanded the Army’s Infantry Center and was Chief of Infantry for the Army.
RADM Malcolm MacKinnon III, USN (Ret.)
RADM MacKinnon retired from the Navy in July 1990. His last assignment was as the Chief Engineer of the Navy and the Vice Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. While on active duty RADM MacKinnon served in destroyers and qualified in submarines. He then became an engineering specialist, an Engineering Duty Officer, involved in the design, construction and maintenance of naval ships and submarines. He is a qualified diver and has also specialized in other aspects of ocean engineering-- small submersibles, deep ocean search and recovery, and salvage. He led the conceptual and preliminary designs of current submarines, notably the SSN-688 Class and the Trident Class, in the late 1960's. He was also the project officer for the design and construction of the Sealab II habitat, a milestone project in saturated diving and underwater living. He participated in the search for and recovery of the H-bomb lost off of Palomares, Spain in 1966. In the mid-1970's he founded and was the first officer in charge of the Engineering Duty School, Mare Island, CA. He served in shipyards, naval and commercial, culminating in a six year tour as the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, building and repairing LOS ANGELES (SSN-688) Class Submarines and USS NIMITZ Class Aircraft Carriers.
Lieutenant General (Ret) Charles P. Otstott, USA
LTG Charles P. Otstott, USA (Ret.) served as the Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee. While there, he was an activeparticipant in many of the crucial decisions made at NATO during the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the Eastern European states and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union to western influence and ideas.
Prior to his two and one half years at NATO, LTG Otstott served as Division Commander of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, from July 1988 to January 1990. He was responsible for training and operational employment of the division, which routinely deployed units for joint and combined exercises with allies in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia. He also directed and supervised major improvements in facilities management and in excellence of service to the people of the Schofield Barracks community.
From 1986 to 1988, he was the Commanding General of the Combined Arms Combat Development Activity (CACDA) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He represented the user community in the determination and integration of requirements for weapons and equipment systems. Prior to 1986, LTG Otstott served as an Assistant Division Commander in the 1st Armored Division in Germany, as Executive to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) at SHAPE HQ, and as Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division (HTLD) at Ft. Lewis after commanding a brigade in that division.
Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen N. Xenakis, MD, USA
Dr. Xenakis served 28 years in the United States Army as a medical corps officer. He retired in 1998, at the rank of Brigadier General. He held a wide of variety of assignments as a clinical psychiatrist, staff officer, and senior commander including Commanding General of the Southeast Army Regional Medical Command.