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A former Fort Benning commander took a stand in the country’s ongoing debate on gun control with a thread of tweets posted Thursday evening.

“Let me state unequivocally — For all intents and purposes, the AR-15 and rifles like it are weapons of war,” retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton wrote on Twitter.

The retired major general went on to write the AR-15 was the civilian version of the M16, a close relation to the M4 rifles currently used by the military.

“It is a very deadly weapon with the same basic functionality that our troops use to kill the enemy,” Eaton wrote.

Eaton broke down the differences between the M16, M4 and AR-15 in the thread of seven tweets. He said those opposed to assault weapon bans were playing with semantics, when they claimed any meaningful difference existed between military weapons and AR-15 rifles.

“…The AR-15 is ACCURATELY CALLED a ‘weapon of war.’ … Don’t take the bait when anti-gun-safety folks argue about it,” he wrote. “They know it’s true. Now you do too.”

The tweets came on the heels of one of the country’s deadliest weeks in recent history. In the days since the Uvalde, Texas shooting, 20 mass shootings have claimed the lives of 17 people and injured 88 others, according to Gun Violence Archive. The researchers defined a mass shooting as any shooting with four or more victims shot, either injured or killed.

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