Op-Ed: Speaking My Mind On Guns Torpedoed My Appointment
By DEAN L. WINSLOW
December 21, 2017, 12:45 PM
Last week, I withdrew my name from consideration to be assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. My appointment had been put on indefinite hold by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and I felt the Defense Department needed to fill the position without undue delay.
Unfortunately, I do not possess one credential the committee wanted to see: I do not support ... ownership of semiautomatic assault weapons by civilians.
At my hearing..., I was asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., about the military discharge status of the (Sutherland Springs, TX) shooter. I acknowledged that the Air Force dropped the ball and recommended an inspector general's investigation focusing on systems failures that contributed to the tragedy.
Then, I blurted out what was in my heart: "I'd also like to ... just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semiautomatic weapon like an AR-15." Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., interrupted, warning this was not in my "area of responsibility or expertise." Soon after, my confirmation was put on hold.
Nevertheless, I have no regrets. Having semiautomatic weapons makes no sense.