Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL and bestselling author, was shot to death on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013. Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were at a shooting range with a fellow veteran, Eddie Ray Routh.
Kyle and Littlefield were both active in helping fellow veterans who suffered from both physical and mental trauma. It is believed that Kyle and Littlefield were doing just that on Saturday when they took Routh to a shooting range.
Since then, a lot of people have had very harsh words for Chris Kyle. Many people are really angry that he would take someone suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to a shooting range and hand them a weapon. Others see a plot against gun rights. Nobody seems to think their decision to take Routh shooting makes any sense at all.
U.S. soldiers are trained to use firearms until they can do it flawlessly. Shooting is one of the skills they develop that they are extremely comfortable with by the time they finish their service. Those with PTSD suffer most when they try to adapt back into normal life after something serious (such as serving in a war) has happened. It makes sense that Chris Kyle would use those skills to help veterans suffering with PTSD. Something comfortable that they both have in common.
Kyle also claimed to have suffered with PTSD of his own after his time in Iraq, so if anyone knew how to best help a fellow veteran, it was him. Kyle was well rounded and seemed to be doing perfectly well every time I saw him on tv or in the news. Kyle, as a former soldier, also knew the dangers that can stem from PTSD. He most certainly wouldn’t have taken Routh shooting if he thought it would result in a dangerous situation whatsoever.
Here’s a quote from Chris Kyle about helping veterans:
“There’s definitely still a lot of hurt from losing my guys or the fact that I got out and I felt like it wasn’t my time yet. Being able to do this makes me feel like I’m still a part of it and still giving back.”
I think what happened is extremely tragic but I don’t think Chris Kyle deserves any harsh words for his actions. Kyle helped a lot of veterans since he retired and I’m sure plenty of them were helped on shooting ranges that were very similar to the one where he died on Saturday. He and Littlefield both knew the dangers when they went to the range. But they took the risk to help a veteran in need.
These were two very generous human beings and I think we should focus on helping those with PTSD rather than condemning those who try to help them. Chris Kyle should be a positive example to everyone.